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Groundwater Recharge
Water Recharge Diagram
With the City, and California as a whole, facing the longest drought in state history, the time has come for San José to take measures that will ensure our residents have safe, drinkable water for decades to come.

Since 1956, the San José – Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility has been hard at work cleaning over 100 million of gallons of waste water every day. The rigorous 10.5 hour process removes 99% of the waste water’s impurities before releasing the recycled water into the San Francisco Bay or sending it to be used at industrial plants, cooling towers, or for flushing toilets like the ones at City Hall.

Despite its practical uses, most of the recycled water is merely released into the Bay, which led to the question of what else can recycled water be used for? To answer that question the City of San José partnered with the Santa Clara Valley Water District and built the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center.This state of the art facility takes the recycled water from the Regional Wastewater Facility and turns it into potable water that is more pure than California’s drinking water standards.

Once the recycled water has finished the advanced purification process, current state regulations allow us to replenish our underground supply through groundwater recharge. In this process, the highly purified water slowly trickles through natural filtration, layers of sand and gravel, to enter our groundwater supply.After recycling, purifying, and natural filtering we will have a drought-proof system that provides millions of gallons of drinkable water.Placing this water in our groundwater supply has the added benefit of ceasing the lowering of our ground level as we deplete our water supply which poses danger to the water, sewage, and power systems below our feet.

The future of reusing water is the direct link between highly purified water and our drinking water.Though state regulations have not yet reached this level, we believe that once they catch up San José will be in prime position to further advance our water supply efficiency.