Friday, January 25, 2008
Toilet to Tap
Did you know that most of the waste water (i.e. toilet and sink water) gets treated and then pumped out into the ocean? Once it's out there you can't reclaim it unless you have a desalinization plant (expensive) or wait for it to become rain. In Southern California you don't get a lot of rain, so Orange County has looked to short circuit Mother Nature. They take the treated sewage, run it through a system that uses a particle filter, reverse osmosis, and UV treatment and then pump it back underground into the aquifer, where 3-6 months later, you're drinking it! Apparently, the water is crystal clear and pure. Cool!
With low reservoirs and dry forecasts ahead, many California cities are being forced to consider new options for providing drinking water — options that may not be appetizing. Orange County has spent almost $500 million dollars on a new water-purification plant to turn wastewater into drinking water. The plant is scheduled to come online this week.