By Jane Smith
Delray Beach reclaimed water customers had their service restored on Oct. 8.
The system for customers living east of Interstate 95 was shut down for 1 week to allow the South Central Regional Wastewater Treatment plant to use the city’s 36-inch outfall pipe to the Atlantic Ocean.
The city apologized on its social media accounts for the inconvenience.
Rains soaked Delray Beach over the first October weekend, giving the city more than 5 inches of rain, according to South Florida Water Management District records.
Reclaimed water is treated wastewater that is suitable only for irrigation.
The last known time that the Wastewater Treatment plant had to use the outfall pipe was about 19 months ago. That’s when the plant had an “unknown upset.”
The wastewater treatment plant stopped discharging into the ocean in April 2009. The plant can still discharge treated wastewater from heavy rains, from testing its pumps and from “plant upsets.”
Ocean outfall pipes can no longer be used by Dec. 31, 2025, according to state law. But the Wastewater Treatment plant will still be allowed to use the Delray Beach outfall pipe during wet weather conditions, according to Doug Levine, plant manager.
“The Board is working to expand the number of reuse customers and develop other disposal methods that are cost effective,” Levine wrote in an Oct. 8 email, “so the outfall pipe would not be required to be used during wet weather.”