Ukiah’s wastewater no longer being wasted

The Ukiah Daily Journal –

The city of Ukiah made its first delivery of recycled water through its extensive Purple Pipe system this week, putting about 2 million gallons of water reclaimed from local sinks, showers and toilets into an irrigation pond just south of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“This is the coolest thing in the world,” said David Koball Thursday, explaining that his full pond will be used later for frost protection, while the water irrigating his 44 acres of vineyards through sprinklers and drip lines was coming straight from pipes drinking out of the city’s new ponds that can hold 66 million gallons of treated wastewater. “If all goes well, I won’t ever have to draw from the river again.”

Farmers with water rights like Koball can divert water from the Russian River flowing near their property, but use of that water requires adhering to an expensive and laborious process of compliance with state regulations. Plus dealing with the uncertainty of Mother Nature.

“You never know how much water will be flowing in the river, or even where it will be flowing,” he said, adding that he also prefers being able to leave the water in the river for all the plants, animals and everything else that depends on it. “Water is a precious commodity, so it’s great that we can recycle it and put it to good use again.”

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