FRESNO, Calif. — Fresno Public Utilities customers can obtain free wastewater for certain uses through the city’s first extracted water fill station, according to

While the water can’t be consumed as drinking water, it can be used for irrigation and washing cars, noted the article. Customers will not pay anything for the water, but they must transport it themselves.

The program began for commercial customers at the end of June, and it started for residential customers July 8, stated the article. The service will aid in the city’s goal to cut drinking water consumption by 28 percent.

“We hope this provides another source of water to help our residents meet their demand without using our precious potable water,” wastewater treatment plant supervisor Steve Hogg said in the article.

Officials have also proposed upgrades to the city’s water system, and the city council approved rate hikes to support it financially, shared the article. Hogg and his team designed a system capable of providing recycled water to almost the entire city, but rain needs to increase before the benefits are truly felt.

Until the rain falls more often, the new recycled water program can help the city reuse its water responsibly, reported the article. Customers access water with a key card after sending in an application to the treatment plant. Residential customers can take up to 300 gallons per day.

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