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What Is Water Reclamation: What It Is, How It Works, & Does Your State Require It?

Wise cannabis cultivation facility owners are always looking for creative ways to boost profit by increasing value output, reducing costs, and optimizing current workflow procedures.

Depending on your location, investing in optimizing water usage through water reclaim systems can add significant value to your operations by reusing the water you’ve harvested, purified, and added nutrients for feeding your cannabis plants. In addition, it can help growers play their part in water conservation. Some jurisdictions are in severe droughts, while others require by law for commercial grows to recycle (reclaim) the water they use.

Today, we’ll explore some of the common technical elements of water reclaims and various solutions to maintain compliance, reduce costs, and optimize your day-to-day operations. 

If you’re ready to get started or if you have any questions about any stage of the water reclamation system, contact the CSS team today.

What Are The Fundamentals Of Water Reclaim?

According to the EPA, water reclaim is the process of recovering and treating wastewater for reuse. 

When designed properly, they’re essentially a closed-loop system that allows you to keep using the same water.

By recycling, purifying, and formulating proper nutrient mixtures, you can take advantage of reducing water costs with an all-in-one system.

Reclaimed water has many benefits over other common sources you obtain your water from including cost-effectiveness, keeping you drought-ready, and avoiding fines if it’s required in your location.

How Exactly Does Water Reclaim Work?

Reclaiming water for your cannabis grow has two primary parts; a water treatment system and then your water reclamation system.

Water Treatment System

Before you’re able to take advantage of the water you’ve just reclaimed, it needs to be properly treated.

Water treatment systems are a practical investment for cultivators because, no matter the source of the water that’s coming into your facility, it’s sometimes not suitable to use directly on your plants without first removing chemicals or contaminants that may harm the plant.

Potential toxic elements in untreated water can include bacteria, chlorine, and any other chemicals that are left over from municipal water treatment facilities.

Once the water is purified to your standards, you can also further optimize your process with fertigation which allows you to fertilize your plants while you water them.

Learn more: What Is Fertigation? What You Need To Know

Water Reclamation System

Today’s market offers an extensive set of water reclamation technology solution systems, no matter where you’re located, how large or small your facility is, or what state law requires to maintain compliance.

A few technical equipment components of the system can include:

  • Discharge tempering systems
  • Leachate remediation
  • Ozone
  • Pumps
  • Tanks
  • Sensors
  • Reverse osmosis
  • UV Sterilization

After you’ve finalized the design for your water reclamation system, the next step is planning the installation of the equipment and integrating it into your operations.

Solutions To Maximize Opportunity For Complex Water Management Situations

Before you get started on building out your water reclamation system, you may need to contact an expert to help you design a system that will bring you maximum return.

What you need to consider in designing your water reclaim system includes:

  • Source of water
  • Size of your grow facility
  • Grow mediums
  • Environment
  • State law

Source Of Water

Depending on how far you want to push the limits of a hyper-efficient water reclamation system, you can utilize numerous things to harvest water.

Common areas to harvest water from include:

  • Humidifier
  • Runoff plant water
  • A/C condensate 
  • Refrigeration compressor pumps
  • Rainwater
  • And much more

While this is a small potential list of avenues to explore to fully maximize how much water you can recycle from your facilities, hiring a team of experts can further help you identify and construct methods to push the envelope.

Size Of Your Grow Facility

Depending on the size of your facility, there may be different equipment required for optimal performance.

Grow Mediums

Your soil mixture can influence how much water is able to optimally flow through and drain for you to capture into your water reclamation system.


Environmental conditions both inside and outside of your building can have a significant impact on which water source you can harvest, the specific contaminants you need to consider, temperature, humidity, drought conditions, etc.

State Law

As cannabis legalization grows nationwide, legislation is being written into state law requiring growers to have systems for recycling water.

More legislatures are writing into the law to have a system for recycling water.

Final Thoughts On Water Reclamation Systems

Depending on your budget, vision, and state law requirements, water reclamation systems can be simple, functional, and straightforward.

Learn more: The Science Behind Watering Cannabis and How Not to Mess It Up 

Other more advanced complex systems can take advantage of numerous factors that our team can explore and recommend.

For example, some locations can use their environment to make a type of modified geothermal / ground source-based heat pump system and a complete cooling, heating, and dehumidification solution.

No matter the reason, investing in a water reclamation system can save you time and money in the long run.