Contra Costa Co. officials giving away recycled water for free

MARTINEZ, Calif. (KGO) -- Many people are now paying more for using less, but in Contra Costa County, officials are actually giving away recycled water for free.

There is plenty of recycled water that is available for residents trying to keep their landscaping alive during the drought.

The water is flowing, almost nonstop, at the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District in Martinez, where residents can pick up as much recycled water as they need -- up to 300 gallons per visit.

"People that do use it for growing gardens and stuff, it's getting a lot of feedback that the gardens have been thriving off this water so it can't hurt," Concord resident Mike Hansen said.

When asked if this recycled water was saving his garden, Lafayette resident Bob Holbrook said, "Yeah, yeah because I probably couldn't water with the water restrictions."

The program started late last year but really didn't take off until now, now that summer has hit and people realize just how deep the drought is.

"Once the governor made the proclamation in April about the mandatory conservation, we just saw exponential growth to our programs. So much so that now we're over 1,100 registered users in our program," Central Contra Costa County Sanitary District's Melody LaBella said.

For some, this has become a daily ritual. "Without this water, we wouldn't be able to water the lawns or keep up our gardens or other plants that we have," Martinez resident Isabel Da Conceicao said.

Those who take advantage should be aware that 300 gallons of water weighs more than 2,000 pounds, so users should be certain their truck, trailer or car is capable of carrying as much as they take.

To learn how much water your city is required to cut back, click here. For water rebate information from Bay Area water suppliers, click here. And click here for tips on how to conserve water. To learn more about how to report water wasters #WhereYouLive, click here.

For full coverage on the drought, click here.
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