Gallery: Drought-Stricken Texas Town Turns Urine Into Tap Water


Texas is in the midst of a drought so severe that local water management teams have decided to distribute reclaimed wastewater (aka urine). From toilet to tap, the treated wastewater will be mixed with reservoir remains for a refreshing and clean H2O cocktail.

The Colorado River Municipal Water District in West Texas has broken ground on a $13 million plant that will capture treated wastewater and ready it for redistribution. After being run through microfilters and undergoing reverse osmosis, slimy sewage is cleansed with peroxide and ultraviolet light. This intense process ensures that any pharmaceuticals and carcinogens are removed, and that the H20 stands up to drinking water regulations.

Will the public accept the wastewater upgrade?

If Colorado River Municipal Water District can educate their public about the new toilet to tap system — and the introduction of potable water coincides with less demand for conservation (cutbacks are currently at 20%), there should be little to complain about.

Less than 0.1 inches of rain has fallen on West Texas in the last few months — a time when the region can usually expect up to 7 inches of rain. As predicted water shortages and projected population growth continue to make clean water a commodity, the residents don’t really have a choice but to accept the new wastewater management efforts and drink up.

Orange County has already embraced the advanced treatment technologies and processes 70 million gallons of waste water a day. The Southern California region’s taps are flowing with water that is said to be of exceptional quality on account of the advanced (and expensive) filtering, cleaning, and sanitizing systems.

Via Discovery News

Images © Colorado River Municipal Water District and Allison Leahy


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1 Comment

  1. harveen August 22, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Singapore’s been doing this for years. Public education (through publicity and introducing people to the technology) was key to widespread acceptability. It’s moved Singapore closer to self-sufficiency in water – a key strategic issue.

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