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Alamo Colleges Education Services is a secure portal connecting Faculty, Staff & Students to Academic Resources, Email, and other Online Resources.

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Alamo Colleges' Library Information

St. Philip's College
• MLK Campus Library
• Southwest Campus Library

 Recycled Water

Northwest Vista and Northeast Lakeview Colleges use recycled water for irrigation, and in their cooling towers.


There are 4 types of water to know about:

  smaller water chart

Domestic water is the filtered and chlorinated water we get in all of our taps at home. This water is a finite resource that is pumped out of the Edward's Aquifer.

Grey water often goes straight down the drain, but it is safe to reuse, for example, in irrigation and to fill toilet bowls.

Black water is unsafe for reuse, so it always goes down the drain to be treated for pathogens and bacteria.

Purple is the industry color label for "treated wastewater effluent", or recycled water. Alamo Colleges receives recycled water piped directly from SAWS (San Antonio Water System). This water goes through extensive filtration and cleaning processes, but nutrients can stay in the water.

As an extra precaution, the water is NOT used for drinking or indoor use, it is used:

  • for 100% of irrigation
  • for NVC's air conditioning cooling towers
  • to fill the NVC lake
See the SAWS website for more information on how the recycled water process works!


Check out how much of our total water use is recycled on each campus:

 NLC RW Graph

NVC RW Graph

  • recycled water is a fraction of the cost of domestic water
  • its high-phosphate content of recycled water is used for fertilizing while irrigating
  • using recycled water reduces the amount of water we need to pump out of the Edward's Aquifer
  • recycled water use takes advantage of an existing resource that would have otherwise been discharged down river

Next time you see a purple irrigation head, you'll know what it means: Recycled water is in use!

 recycled water irrigation