Californians, how'd you like to chug a nice big glass of ice cold recycled wastewater?
The state's historic drought has water experts turning to a unique solution — toilet-to-tap water purification, which they say can provide a cost-effective, simple and yes, healthy, solution to the Golden State's ongoing water shortage, CBS News
A state panel of experts is expected to complete a report by next year to set up a framework for allowing treated wastewater to be pumped directly to homes. But meanwhile, in Orange County and elsewhere, plans are going full steam ahead to construct plants which can turn wastewater into drinking water, Fox News
CBS reports that the Orange County plant, built in 2008, plans to expand production from 70 million to 100 million gallons of treated wastewater per day.
"It is the cleanest water we have in the state of California," Mike Markus, Orange County Water District (OCWD) general manager, told CBS News.
"We're able to provide enough water for nearly 850,000 people a year."
Wastewater, which normally would drain directly into the Pacific Ocean, goes through a three-step process involving microfiltration, reverse osmosis, hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet treatment and emerges as drinkable water, Fox reported.
Markus told WND
, "We can produce the water for less than the cost of imported water and probably about half the cost of what it would take to desalinate seawater."
Denis Bilodeau of the OCWD told Fox that the concept is gaining ground.
"In Los Angeles, there's a small plant they've constructed, but in Los Angeles and San Diego, they are planning to build mega plants such as ours," a 40-acre plant which already provides one-third of the county's needed water.
Officials acknowledge that they must overcome a significant marketing "yuck factor" before the system becomes widely acceptable.
Yoram Cohen, a UCLA engineering professor, told CBS, "The term that has been coined, 'from the toilet to the tap,' is omitting the fact that there is a lot of treatment in between, so it gives the wrong perception."
California's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo both are backing the idea
Brown told CBS News, "Don't worry. It's not going to happen overnight, and we're going to test."
Watch the video here.
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