East Bay residents use free recycled water to save lawns

DUBLIN, Calif. (KGO) -- The rain this week was a nice thirst quencher, but these mandatory water cutbacks are making it harder and harder to keep a lawn looking nice and green. The Dublin Sports Grounds uses recycled water and that's how a lot of people are getting around these drought restrictions.

The wave of showers that rolled through the Bay Area gave homeowners a break from watering their lawns.

"It wasn't much of a rain, but we definitely got to keep it going. Keep them watered," Pleasanton resident Regis Lachance said.

The problem is most water authorities, like the Dublin San Ramon Services District, are enforcing mandatory cutbacks.

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"First of all, the policy is you can only water two days a week -- that's the statewide policy -- and you cannot water within 48 hours of rain with drinking water," Sue Stephenson from the Dublin San Ramon Services District said.

To get around that rule, an average of 500 people per day has been visiting the recycled water fill station in Pleasanton.

"I have a pool in the backyard, so I figured I better use this water to take care of everything else," Pleasanton resident Darin Scherer said.

"It's got some minerals in it. It's got some nitrates in it and those help the lawn. You don't have to fertilize," Alameda County Resident Tom Rodrigues said.

It's available to anyone -- even if you're not a local customer -- you can use as much as you want and it's free.

"My water bill a couple of months ago was $166 dollars. I dropped it down to $87. I just got the bill," Rodrigues said.

In just the past three months, the number of recycled water users at the Pleasanton fill station has doubled.
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