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How Can I Tell if Recycled Water or Domestic Potable Water is Being Used?

The physical  difference between a “potable” water system and a “non-potable” or “Recycled Water” system is the color/marking of piping, fixtures, and appurtenances.  Potable water systems do not have a specific color or marking for piping.  Potable water systems can range in color from black to blue or from natural metal/plastic colors to a variety of wraps.  On the other hand, Recycled Water has very specific color and marking requirements.  Recycled Water pipes, fixtures, sprinkler heads, valves, mains, services, and appurtenances, by regulation, must be purple in color and/or clearly marked “Recycled/Reclaimed Water, Do Not Drink”.  Marking must be on a purple background with black lettering.  The coloring/marking of Recycled Water helps to assure that Potable and Non-Potable/Recycled systems are not interconnected by accident.

Initial shut down pressure tests are conducted at every Recycled Water Use Area with annual and periodic follow up shut down tests, to confirm the physical separation of Potable and Non-Potable/Recycled Water systems.  In addition to color/marking, Recycled Water use areas must be clearly identified with adequate signage stating “Recycled Water – Do Not Drink” in both Spanish and English and shall include the universal symbol for “Do not drink”.

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