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The History of Recycled Water in the Las Virgenes Region

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The History of Recycled Water

Las Virgenes Municipal Water District was a pioneering agency in using recycled water as a valued resource. In 1972, LVMWD worked to replace some of its imported potable water with recycled water from the Tapia Water Reclamation Facility to be used for irrigating golf courses, parks, school grounds, highway landscapes and common areas of certain housing developments.

Today, 20% of water served by LVMWD is tertiary treated, Title 22-compliant recycled water used for irrigation, reducing the region’s dependence upon imported water. LVMWD’s recycled water system consists of 66 miles of water lines, three storage tanks, two reservoirs and four pumping stations.

Water recycling has been a great success in our watershed. During peak summer demand, every drop of the nine million gallons of recycled water available daily is used to irrigate public landscapes. In 1997, this achievement became a mandate as a result of environmental regulations that prohibit recycled water from flowing to Malibu Creek from April 15 to November 15 each year. Compliance is challenging during cool, overcast periods—common in spring and fall. Alternatives to creek discharge for seven months cost nearly $1 million annually.

This report (PDF - 2.5MB) provides information on the development of the recycled water distribution system and management of the surplus water when discharge to Malibu Creek is prohibited.

The Tapia Water Reclamation Facility is operated in partnership with Triunfo Water & Sanitation District as a Joint Powers Authority (JPA).

Can homeowners use recycled water for irrigation? 

Yes. Free recycled water is available for pick up at the Rancho Las Virgenes Composting Facility, Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Participants must:


Want to see the Tapia Water Reclamation Facility? Register for one of the quarterly tours.


What's up with the irrigation on Las Virgenes Road? 



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