Here, Drink A Nice Glass Of Sparkling Clear Wastewater

Here, Drink A Nice Glass Of Sparkling Clear Wastewater
November 07, 2013
http://www.npr.org/2013/11/07/243711364/here-drink-a-nice-glass-of-sparkling-clean-wastewater

With freshwater becoming more scarce in many parts of the country, the public may have to overcome its aversion to water recycling.

Ah, The Stench Of Drinking Water

the brand-new $68 million Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center in San Jose.

Then, the water passes through filters that get rid of the tiniest of contaminants, like viruses or pharmaceuticals, by a process of reverse osmosis.

Finally, the water gets zapped by ultraviolet rays, which scramble the DNA of anything that might be living in it.

“The Department of Health has acknowledged that we are removing 99.99 percent of all pathogens,” Yezman says.

You have to break the memory, or the line of history, of the water,” explains Brent Haddad of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

This is not an engineering challenge, he says. It’s a psychological challenge.
Water managers, he says, need to rewrite the history of the water to help people forget the part about sewage.

One way to do this is to take recycled water and put it back into a natural setting, like a river.

Just look at the Mississippi River — it’s full of treated sewage water that people downstream clean and then drink.

The irony, of course, is that when you put recycled water back into the ecosystem, it actually gets dirtier and has to be treated again.
How does it feel to put that beautiful, clean water into a hole in the ground?
“Frustrated,” Markus says.

related:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/07/20/424571389/drought-stricken-california-farmers-look-to-tap-urban-wastewater