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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco is looking into using recycled water in its street cleaning vehicles instead of the Hetch Hetchy drinking water used to wash city streets.
The San Francisco Examiner reports that the city’s Department of Public Works (DPW) has been conducting a series of meetings to see what can be done to cut down on use of drinking water, including the possibility of building an additional water-recycling plant on the city’s east side, but that could take years to build.
Mayor Ed Lee in turn, has asked city residents and businesses to cut back on their water use 10 percent, but he wants city government to do the same.
San Francisco only has two wastewater treatment plants that could possibly be used to fill the street sweepers, but they lack the necessary hookups to get the wastewater from the plants to the city-owned vehicles.
Work is underway to make about 4 million gallons of non-potable water available per day. By comparison, East Bay Municipal Utility District cranks out 9 million gallons of treated wastewater each day, but nearly all of that goes to Chevron for the cooling towers at its Richmond refinery.
San Jose has plans to create 100 million gallons of waste water a day by the year 2022.