NEWPORT BEACH ( — Strict water-quality rules regulating new developments in Newport Beach have an unintended benefit: water conservation.

The conservation comes in the form of recycling, like in Newport Bay, where a home is being built from the ground up.

Soon to be buried deep in the back yard is a large, durable plastic tank, which will help serve the homeowner’s outside water needs while complying with urban-runoff rules.

“As the clients hose down the back yard or use water on their irrigation system, basically this will retain the runoff,” said Randy Beard, the CEO of Pure Water Pools, referring to the tank. “That allows a secondary pump to re-grab that water, re-irrigate and restore it.”

While the reclamation tank holds 2,500 gallons of water, a few miles south at the Resort at Pelican Hill, more than 50 million gallons of water are saved each year.

That’s because of several underground reservoirs that capture runoff and rain. The water is then used to irrigate the landscape, including two golf courses.

“The old rule, if that makes sense, was to capture the water, treat it, remove the pollution, then you could release that water.

“Now with the drought situation, it’s capture the water, treat it and reuse it. Reuse it for your irrigation. Reuse it for indoor plumbing. There’s lots of uses for this water,” said John Kappeler of Newport Beach Public Works.

Officials say the water used at Pelican Hill remains on site.

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