Cary is currently under a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most public-facing and staffed facilities are closed to the public, including Town Hall. All playgrounds are closed but greenways, parks, and park restrooms remain open at this time. Some services have been canceled or are limited. Learn more.

Reclaimed Water System, Effective Utilization

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option



PREPARED BY: Stephen J. Brown, P.E., Director of Water Resources

SUPERSEDES: 03/14/2013
EFFECTIVE:  10/30/14 

Purpose and Background

In an effort to reduce the non-essential use of potable water, the Town of Cary has developed a reclaimed water system that went online June 22, 2001. Reclaimed water is an integral part of the Town’s plan for providing water resources to meet long-term water demand requirements. Use of reclaimed water also helps to prevent peak potable water demands from accelerating the need for expansion of the Cary/Apex Water Treatment Facility. This policy has been adopted to ensure the continued orderly expansion of and effective utilization of the reclaimed water system. 


It is the policy of the Town of Cary that residents and businesses utilize—to the maximum extent possible—the Town’s reclaimed water system for secondary plumbing usage, including irrigation, cooling towers, and other potential uses (“secondary water use facilities”) as determined by the Town Manager or designee (hereafter “Manager”). The Town has designated reclaimed water service areas (Figure 1) where reclaimed water service will be provided according to the Reclaimed Water Master Plan. For development within those designated reclaimed water service areas, the developer shall install, and shall be responsible for the full cost of, reclaimed water facilities within their own properties. The developer shall extend the reclaimed water system to the development including the reclaimed water line connecting adjoining properties along the edge of the developer’s property line, and shall be responsible for the full cost of these facilities. Any infrastructure reimbursement shall be accomplished as established in the Town’s utility system extension and connection policy. Any infrastructure oversizing shall be accomplished as established in the Town’s utility system extension and connection policy. All facilities installed shall fully comply with Town design standards and the Reclaimed Water System Master Plan.

Town Council may grant waivers to eliminate the requirement to make connection to the reclaimed water system. 

If reclaimed water is not available to a site for use when that site is ready for development, all on-site secondary water use facilities suitable for reclaimed water shall be designed to be readily converted to use reclaimed water when reclaimed water supply is available to the site. The Town may provide potable water supply to secondary water use facilities on such site, at potable water rates, only until reclaimed water is available to the site and connection to the Town’s reclaimed water system is possible. Such potable water supply shall be isolated from potential backflow from the secondary use facilities by suitable backflow prevention as described in the Town’s Utilities ordinance and Standard Specifications and Details. At the time that reclaimed water is available to the site, permanent disconnection from the potable water system and connection to the reclaimed water system is required. The reclaimed water customer will be responsible for Utility connection fees at the time the connection is made. 

No person shall plumb or alter secondary plumbing fixtures, including irrigation systems, or otherwise modify such potential reclaimed water appurtenances so as to preclude the use of reclaimed water when such becomes available. 

This policy directs staff to develop the necessary ordinances and procedures to ensure the effective utilization of the Town’s reclaimed water system. 

See Figure 1, the reclaimed water service area. 


Other policy statements include provisions related to this policy statement, including but not limited to: Utility System Extension and Connection Policy , Policy Statement 23.