When you see the color purple used in sprinkler systems, it means that the water is being reused and is not fit to drink (non-potable).
The color purple can show up on:
- The valve boxes which are normally green;
- The irrigation pipe which are normally white;
- The nozzles that are placed in the head of a sprinkler or rotor which are normally black. The sprinkler head may have a purple wrap.
- The valve covers which are normally black;
- The quick coupler valve which are normally metallic.
A lot of local, state, and federal governments and schools are implementing recycling the water to help save water, money, and the environment. Every gallon of recycled water used for these purposes saves a gallon of drinking water.
The use of purple piping has become the international symbol for recycled water. The recycled water is delivered completely separate from the drinking water infrastructure. This is to prevent recycled water from getting into the public distribution systems.
Some people ask what the difference is between recycled water and grey water. Recycled water is wastewater that has been treated for reuse for approved non-potable uses which are primarily landscape irrigation. Grey water includes untreated wastewater from bathtubs, showers, washing machines, etc. Grey water normally is only used to irrigate landscapes at the site at which the grey water was generated and the irrigation is an underground system.
If you see purple valve boxes or sprinklers that have any purple on them, don’t drink the water.
Also even if it is really hot out and your children beg you to run through the sprinklers, take the time to educate them on recycled water and if they were to get the water on them, they would need to wash off with clear water right away.
If you have more questions regarding reclaimed water in your area, please contact your local water jurisdiction. If you have general questions on landscaping and irrigation, contact Controlled Rain, LLC at 360-456-7578.