Authorities in Scotts Valley, California, have agreed to sell recycled wastewater to customers outside the city, according to media reports.
Scotts Valley City Council voted unanimously to move forward with an agreement with the city's water district to sell the water for irrigation and construction purposes. The water district treats the wastewater so that it can be used for such purposes.
Scotts Valley Water District general manager Piret Harmon told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that the water authority had an excess of recycled wastewater and had been getting requests to buy the water since early this year.
"When we constructed the recycled water plant, we did it with excess capacity and thinking of the future," Harmon noted.
A new agreement on selling outside the district was necessary because of a long-term agreement between the water district and the city, signed in September 2013, not to sell recycled water outside the city limits.
Customers buying the water will have to transport it by tank trucks, which hold an average of 5,000 gallons. Concerns were raised about damage caused to local streets by the tank trucks carrying water and the city asked for a surcharge to be added to the price in order to compensate for any potential damage.
The price for the water has not yet been decided, but Harmon estimated that it would cost an average of $50 per truckload.
Revenue generated from the sale of the treated wastewater will go toward the city's general fund.