The Coastal Star

Delray Beach: Reclaimed water system unavailable after heavy rains

By Jane Smith

Delray Beach told its reclaimed water customers living east of Interstate 95 that reclaimed water was not available starting Oct. 1.

The reason: heavy rains overnight on Sept. 30 forced the South Central Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant to use the city’s 36-inch outfall pipe to the Atlantic Ocean.

“We apologize for the inconvenience,” the city posted on Instagram.

Rains continued through the weekend, giving Delray Beach more than 5 inches of rain, according to South Florida Water Management District records.

“We will update this notice once the wastewater plant no longer has need of the outfall pipe and the reclaimed water becomes available again,” the city’s Instagram post read.

As of midday on Oct. 4, Delray Beach did not issue any updates.

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 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.

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