Frequently Asked Questions

What is OASIS?

OASIS is an acronym for Our Alternative Supply Irrigation System. It’s a reuse water system designed to save drinking water for drinking, and allows highly treated wastewater to be used on lawns.

OASIS is operated and maintained in a cost-effective, reliable and safe manner, which meets all state and federal permits and regulations. It provides a good supply of irrigation water, which you can use any day of the week (except between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.), no matter what the current watering restrictions are.

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What is reuse water?

Reuse water is recycled wastewater that has been highly treated, filtered and disinfected for the irrigation of landscape areas. Pompano Beach’s reuse system delivers recycled water to customers through its own reuse water distribution system, completely separate from the drinking water system.

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How is reuse made?

Treated wastewater originally intended for the Atlantic Ocean is instead diverted from the North Broward Regional Treatment Plant to our reuse facility. There, the water is filtered through upflow sand filters and disinfected using the chemical sodium hypochlorite, which you would know better as bleach.

After extensive testing, the water is pumped to ground storage tanks, and then sent via pressure pumps to your home, ready to let you water when you want to water.

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Why does reuse water for irrigation make sense?

If you’re a typical Pompano Beach homeowner, then half the drinking water piped to your home is used on the lawn. At the same time, millions of gallons of treated wastewater are “thrown away” in the Atlantic Ocean.

Reuse water conserves a valuable resource by reducing the amount of drinking water used as irrigation. Each gallon of reuse water used saves one gallon of drinking water.

Right now, the OASIS facility can generate 7.5 million gallons of reuse every day, and it has the ability to expand up to 12.5 million gallons in the future.

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Do I need to have an irrigation system to connect to OASIS?

No. For single-family residential customers without in-ground irrigation systems, OASIS connections come with a hose bibb. You can use this faucet to connect a hose.

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What is the cost for a typical homeowner to hook up to the OASIS system?

For a single-family residential homeowner, there are no upfront costs. The city will take care of all connection costs.

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What are other benefits of OASIS?

First, there are no sewer charges for reuse. At the same time, the reduced strain on drinking water supplies means Pompano Beach can put off expensive system upgrades that would result in higher drinking water rates for you down the road.

Because of the nutrients found in reuse, you’ll need far less fertilizer to keep your lawn healthy.

And most importantly, it’s good for the environment.

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Is reuse water safe? Who else is doing this?

Yes, reuse water is safe.

The OASIS facility is monitored closely by the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Florida-licensed wastewater plant operators run the facility, following all state and federal regulations.

At the same time, many safeguards are built into the OASIS water reuse facility. The water is constantly tested to meet national, state and local regulatory standards. And that water can’t leave the plant until it is fully tested for safety and water quality.

While reuse water is not intended for drinking, it poses no public health threat from accidental contact.

Click here to review the 2016 OASIS Report.

Reuse water is actively used in more than 1,900 locations around the country, with about 400 of them here in Florida. Never in any of those locations has any illness been reported because of direct contact with reuse water.

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Who supports use of reuse water?

It starts with your neighbors, many of them who already are connected to OASIS. It’s also supported by the South Florida Water Management District, which manages water use in our region, as a way to prevent saltwater intrusion into our drinking water supplies and restore the Everglades.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection also encourages reuse water for irrigation – Statement of Support for Water Reuse.

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What monitoring does reuse water undergo to ensure its safety?

OASIS water is tested continuously for quality, and undergoes testing determining bacterial levels daily. An analysis of the amount of metals, inorganics, and organics in the water is conducted each year.

All results are reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

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Will reuse water stain my walls and sidewalks?

Reuse water is colorless, and will not stain concrete.

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Will reuse water spot or stain my vehicles?

Everyone knows that water, including rainwater and reclaimed water, may leave spots on their vehicles if they are not properly dried. We also know that it is not always practical to dry your vehicle after it rains. However, you do have control over reuse water spotting your vehicle, and other impervious surfaces.

If overspray from reuse water is hitting your vehicles, home or sidewalk, then the solution is simple. Adjust your irrigation system so that it only sprays areas and things that should be irrigated.

Follow these three simple steps to ensure you irrigate efficiently:

1. Learn the spray patterns of your irrigation system

2. Position sprinklers to avoid hitting any impervious surface, such as your vehicles, driveway, sidewalk, or house.

3. And, and if you have the ability to do so, reduce the water pressure to avoid reclaimed water from reaching those impervious surfaces.

Sidewalks, driveways, and vehicles don’t need to be watered, so please don’t! Save water and money by keeping your reuse water on your lawn and landscape.

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Does reuse water smell?

It really depends on the person, and how sensitive their nose is. Many people detect no odors at all. But then, there are some who may detect a slight musky odor.

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What are improper applications of reuse water?

  • No body contact for recreation, such as pools or spas, hot tubs, wading pools, or children playing in sprinklers.
  • No connection to a dwelling or unit for any purpose, including air-conditioners.
  • No washing equipment, siding, roofs, driveways, or pets.
  • No indoor use at all, especially drinking or cooking.

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Is there an unlimited supply of reuse water?

Reuse water helps save drinking water, but it’s not limitless. OASIS water should be treated like any other resource, and used wisely.

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Where is OASIS available?

Click here to view our service area map.

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When will OASIS come to my neighborhood?

Pompano Beach’s reuse Master Plan calls for providing reuse water citywide over the course of many years. However, such an effort requires a network of pipes to be constructed to carry the water, which takes time and money to build.

Reuse is first being provided closest to the plant, and along the saltwater intrusion line, to help protect our drinking water source. It will eventually expand out into the rest of the city.

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When will you go to Barrier Island?

The Utility Department is looking for ways to combine piping under the intracoastal with other work, to help minimize the expansion costs. However, such an opportunity has not occurred yet.

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Will reuse water hurt my plants or lawn?

If your plants are highly sensitive to salt, they should be hand-watered since OASIS water has a slightly higher salt content than drinking water. Otherwise, OASIS water has low levels of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which could actually help your lawn by eliminating the need for additional fertilizers.

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Should reuse water be used for edible plants?

The quality of reuse water is so high, crops around the nation are irrigated with it. In fact, national reuse guidelines from the EPA fully support using reuse water for any type of edible crop.

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What happens if I get reuse on my skin, or if my pets get it on them?

There have never been any reports of harmful effects from exposure to reuse water. Still, wash the affected area with soap and water as a precaution.

Just to reassure you, however, the Florida Legislature has said that reuse water is “environmentally acceptable, and not a threat to public health and safety.”

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Is reuse water certified?

No, but neither is drinking water.

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Reuse water saves money, but won’t all of this cost us in the long run?

Public utility companies don’t make a profit, but at the same time, service cannot be provided for free. The connection cost and private property work is paid for through the new reuse rate.

This rate will still be cheaper than potable water, and those using OASIS will be able to water their lawns any day of the week.

OASIS rates start at 85 cents per 1,000 gallons, compared to $2.24 for potable water.

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What if I don’t want it?

Single-family residential customers in the OASIS service area aren’t required to sign up. However, watering regulations are becoming more and more strict, especially when it comes to using drinking water for lawn irrigation.

It is possible in the future that the only way to irrigate a lawn will be with reuse water.

Pompano Beach is offering OASIS with no upfront costs, but there’s no guarantee that this offer will always be available.

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Why have purple meter boxes?

Purple (Pantone 522C) is the national color standard symbolizing reuse/reclaimed water.

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How can I be sure that OASIS is helping the city to conserve drinking water?

Even before OASIS was offered to neighborhoods, Pompano Beach was providing reuse water to irrigate the city’s golf course, community park and traffic medians.

In 2004 alone, more than 546 million gallons of water was saved. That’s 10 percent of the city’s total drinking water.

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What is a backflow preventer, and why do I need one?

The backflow preventer is a mechanism that prevents a customer’s potable water from back-siphoning into the potable water mains.

A backflow preventer ensures that no reuse water is accidentally introduced into the drinking water supply in the event of a pipe connection mistake, or an illegal hookup. It makes sure that reuse water and drinking water are always completely separate and should never be interconnected.

They are required by the state law, and protect you and the rest of the city from possible cross-connections.

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Who owns and is responsible for testing and maintenance of the backflow prevention preventer?

For single-family residential reuse customers under the new program, the Utility Department owns and is responsible for ensuring the backflow prevention assembly is installed and in satisfactory operating condition at all times.

Customers who signed up for OASIS prior to 2011 and have not converted to a city-owned backflow prevention assembly should start the process here.

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How do I connect to OASIS reuse?

Click here, or call our customer service division at (954) 324-8434.

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If you are the owner of a multifamily or commercial property

Although multifamily and comrnercial  properties are required to connect to reuse, those properties are not eligible for connection through the ICanWater program. Multifamily   and commercial property owners are responsible for all connection cost. For over ten years, the City Ordinance has required that all multifamily and commercial customers connect to the reuse system when reuse becomes available to the property. Customer Service sends out a letter notifying customers when reuse becomes available and that connection within 3 months is required.

For multifamily and commercial properties, there are a few steps to keep in mind:

1) Hire a licensed plumber to pull the permit from the Building Inspections Division
2) Contact Customer Service to apply for a reuse meter
3) The plumber will do the connection for you (we advise you to get a quote from at least 3 different plumbers),
4) Call the Building Inspection Division for inspection after the work is done.

Specifications for the plumbing work are available at the Building Inspections Division phone number 954-786-4670 and also online by clicking this link:
Link

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Who maintains my reuse system?

You maintain your irrigation system (your pipes and sprinklers). For single-family residential reuse customers, the Utility Department maintains the backflow preventers, the meter and the distribution pipes network.

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How can I learn more about OASIS and reuse programs in our area?

To receive more information about OASIS, or other ways to conserve water, call (954) 324-8434, or use this convenient form.

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Do I need to disconnect my irrigation system from my well or canal when I connect to OASIS?

Yes; you must disconnect your irrigation system from your well or canal source when you connect it to the OASIS reuse water system. State regulations prohibit the use of groundwater or surface water when reuse is available to the property.

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What else do I need to do if I disconnect from my well water to hook up to reuse water?

If you are switching your irrigation water source from a well to reuse water, you will need to have a solenoid valve installed on your irrigation system at your expense, either before or at the same time that the reuse connection work is done. The solenoid valve is necessary because it opens and closes the line when prompted by your irrigation controller to allow reuse water to run through your sprinkler system instead of well water. The pump inside your well was doing this, but won’t be doing it after hookup to reuse water. The customer is responsible for paying for the solenoid valve and its installation, which can cost around $60 for the valve plus labor. You can have a plumber or an irrigation system installer do the work (irrigation installers are usually less expensive) or you can contract separately with the plumber that the city sends out to hook up your reuse to do this job for you at the same time.

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