Project IRIS is the City's reclaimed water project: In-City Reclamation Irrigation System. This
system provides reclaimed water for irrigation to a number of area parks, commercial green spaces,
residential lawns and landscaping. reclaimed water is a viable alternative to using drinking water
for landscape irrigation.
Reclaimed water is recycled wastewater that has been highly treated, filtered and disinfected for the irrigation
of landscape areas. Boca Raton's reclaimed water system delivers recycled water to customers through its own
reclaimed water distribution system, completely separate from our drinking water system.
The cost of reclaimed water is less than half the cost of potable or drinking water. The two tables below indicate the costs of reclaimed water and potable/drinking water:
$0.449 per 1000 gal up to 25,000 gal. (60% of potable water - Tier 1)
$0.553 per 1000 gal over 25,000 gal up to 50,000 gal. (75% of potable water - Tier 1)
$0.669 per 1000 gal over 50,000 gal. (90% of potable water - Tier 1)
Large user agreements $0.449 per 1000 gallons
Fee Per Meter
3/4 - 1"
POTABLE WATER (DRINKING WATER):
$0.742 per 1,000 gallons up to 25,000 gal.
$1.786 per 1,000 gal. over 25,000 gal. up to 50,000 gal.
$2.277 per 1,000 gal. over 50,000 gal.
Installation costs will vary according to the meter size the homeowner uses. If your home currently has a 1 1/2'' water meter, a 1" IRIS meter may suffice, and could save some homeowner costs. Costs for a 1" meter include $225 for the installation, payable in six bimonthly bills, a $35 permit application fee, and costs associated with the actual plumbing hook-up. These costs will vary depending on which licensed plumbing or sprinkler contractor you choose to provide the hook-up services, or if you do the hook-up yourself. Once in use, IRIS water is billed on a bimonthly basis.
In the past, this highly treated wastewater has been essentially 'thrown away' by discharging
it into the Ocean. Yet, studies showed us that the typical Boca Raton customer poured as much
as 70% of their drinking water each month onto lawns and landscaping. reclaimed water is a way
to conserve a valuable resource by reducing the amount of drinking water used as irrigation, and
the IRIS program offers other benefits to customers at the same time.
Reclaimed water is safe. Many safeguards are built into every water
reclamation facility, and the water is tested to meet national, state and local regulatory standards. The City of Boca
Raton meets or exceeds all of these regulatory standards for its production of reclaimed water. Simply put, this water
cannot leave the plant until it has been fully tested for safety and water quality.
Reclaimed water is not intended for consumption, but it poses no threat to public health from accidental contact.
reclaimed water is actively used in more than 1,900 locations around the country, about 400 of them here in Florida.
Some communities on the western side of Florida have had a similar successful urban irrigation reclaimed water program
in place for more then 20 years.
In order to get reclaimed water service, we ask customers to:
Verify that you have reclaimed water service available in your area (click here for area map). If you think you have reclaimed water service available or have questions, call the Utility Services Department at (561) 338-7310.
Once reclaimed water service availability has been confirmed, customers must apply for a reclaimed water meter through the Customer Services Department in City Hall at 201 SW 2nd Avenue, Boca Raton, FL 33486. Customer Services can be reached at (561) 393-7750.
Once your application has been approved and a reclaimed meter has been installed, a licensed plumber or irrigation contractor must connect your irrigation system to the reclaimed water meter.
City Code, Article 2, Section 17-57(1) Application states: The provisions of this section shall apply during all periods of time in which no water use restrictions, as provided in sections 17-55 and 17-56, are in effect. The provisions of this section shall apply to all use of water for irrigation regardless of source, except:
Reclaimed water may be utilized for irrigation purposes each day of the week from 5:00pm - 8:00am.
Irrigation with reclaimed water by golf courses shall be exempt from all day of he week and time restrictions
IRIS water is for irrigation and back-up fire protection. While accidental contact with IRIS
water is safe, reclaimed water is not meant for drinking, cooking, bathing, swimming pools,
hot tubs, pets, or indoor use.
Please treat IRIS as the valuable resource
it is, and water only as much as necessary. And of course, we need to remind you of the many things that
IRIS is not intended for, including:
Body contact recreation, such as pools or spas, hot tubs, wading pools or children playing in
Connection to a dwelling unit for any purpose, including water cooled air conditioning
Use with a hose bibb
Washing pets, equipment, structures (E.g., siding, roofs), driveways, or vehicles
on "salad" crops
(i.e., lettuce, tomatoes, berries)
If you live in an area where reclaimed water is available and you have an in-ground
sprinkler system, we recommend hooking up to Project IRIS. If you do not have an
in-ground sprinkler system, then you cannot hook up to IRIS until you have one installed.
If you are currently watering your lawn through some means other than the City's drinking
water system (e.g., canals, wells) and IRIS is available, we recommend you hook up.
If you aren't sure if you live in an area where IRIS is available, feel free to call
the City's Operations and Environmental Compliance Manager at (561) 338-7310.
Studies of the use of high quality reclaimed water show that it can be safely used to irrigate edible food crops. In fact, the national reuse guidelines (EPA, 1992) fully support the use of reclaimed water meeting Florida's standards as being safe for irrigation of any type of edible crop. However, Florida's reclaimed water guidelines are more stringent than the national and international guidelines. Florida's reclaimed water rules also allow for irrigation of food crops, but with one exception. Spray irrigation using reclaimed water is prohibited for crops that will not be peeled, skinned, cooked, or thermally processed before human consumption (salad crops).
IRIS BENEFITS EVERYONE...
by reclaiming a valuable freshwater resource and reducing our withdrawal from the aquifer that is our source of drinking water the City of Boca Raton Utility Services Department is helping ensure the sustainability of our regional water supply.
By using IRIS water instead of drinking water to irrigate, customers have already been able to make a notable impact. Since 1996, the City and our customers have saved over ten billion gallons of drinking water.
If you would like to receive more information about Project IRIS, or about other ways to conserve water,
please call City's Operations and Environmental Compliance Manager at (561) 338-7310 or write to us at:
City of Boca Raton
1401 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
for helping us to conserve for the future.