Turning Toilet Water into Drinking Water

Facing extreme drought, municipalities in west Texas are beginning to recycle wastewater.
by | August 15, 2011 AT 3:30 AM
Photo: Caroline Cournoyer iStockphoto

With a meager tenth of an inch of rain falling on west Texas this summer and much of the state in extreme drought, some municipalities have resorted to turning toilet water into drinking water, according to Discovery News.The Colorado River Municipal Water District, which provides water for three cities in west Texas, has recently broken ground on a plant to recycle treated wastewater that normally would have flowed into natural bodies of water. Instead of sitting in creeks, the treated wastewater will get mixed with potable water. This should help the district alleviate some of the pain caused by its 20 percent cutback in water that was instituted last month. To the west, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders had previously rejected a pilot program to test the "toilet-to-tap" method of recycling water in late 2007, according to voiceofsandiego.org. But he and the city council later approved and are now running a pilot project to ensure that this method meets all safe drinking water standards before it's served to residents. San Diego and west Texas join Orange County, Calif., (which currently recycles wastewater) in exploring another way to hydrate the populations in the southwestern U.S.