Would you drink reclaimed sewage water?
Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:33 PM
My first reaction is "Ewwwww". There is something about this whole idea that is gross. Then, again, this might be the right solution for many places where drinking water is hard to come by.
My concern is what do they put into the water to make it drinkable? Sewage would have to have quite a lot of bacteria and, um, other stuff, in it. How safe would this reclaimed water be? Would the chemicals used to make it drinkable be more hazard than they are worth? I know we already add quite a few things like fluoride to our water.
What do you think of this idea?
Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:13 PM
But of course they shld be first laboratory proves that for sure the water has been really cleansed.
Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:51 PM
I know they currently have standards for certain things like feces, bacteria, arsenic, etc. It's usually parts per million or parts per billion. So, how clean can they get the water?
I do worry about the chemicals that they would be using. Are they safe for humans to drink? What about the environment, would there be problems with disposing of the chemicals after they've been used to clean up the water?
Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:48 PM
Looks like they do really good filtration, plus ultraviolet exposure. Not so much adding stuff. See http://abclocal.go.c..._bay&id=8903117
In principle, with modern methods, should be able to make the reclaimed water perfectly safe to drink. In principle.
You know though that diluted sewage has long been recycled into drinking water? It's common in some areas for one city to dump sewage effluent into a river that a downstream city gets it's drinking water from. For instance, Omaha dumps treated sewage into the Missouri River that downstream Kansas City draws from. http://www.cityofomaha.org/pw/ http://www.h2oc.com/pdfs/KC.pdf
Apparently Dallas and Houston too. Others. Sewage effluent gets diluted a lot by the river, but still... At least nowadays sewage is treated. A century ago it woildn't have been.
Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:51 PM
But when all was said and done and they tested it, it was cleaner than bottled water the guy had bought
at a quick stop.
As long as the testing, and the results are transparent, sure. If they don't disclose their findings, no thanks.
Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:17 PM
I did not know that some places were already allowing the treatment of sewage water for drinking purposes. The news report stated this was not the case in California and that the water this county was working with hasn't yet met state standards (though they were getting close). In some ways, that makes me wonder how high or low the standards can vary from each state or even each city?
Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:43 PM
That pain and loss was a legacy that my grandfather would carry for the rest of his life and it would subconsciously shape every decision he would make for the rest of his life. When he began buying land for the ranch in the early 1920’s water was central to his plan and would prove to be the most important aspect during the great depression and dust bowls to come in later years. Growing up I vividly remember the care and maintenance put into our water resources that included our wells, cisterns, and fresh water sources. So you can understand why insuring the future of clean, potable water is ingrained in my nature and why we made it an integral part of our company, Environmental Power & Water Generation. All this means that I am constantly reading, attending classes and seminars and staying up to date with the latest water treatment resources.
In Charles Fishman’s The Big Thirst (2011), Simon & Schuster the author goes into great detail regarding our everyday ties and many times casual relationship with water. He points out that all water is reclaimed water. Meaning that because all the water we have today has existed on this planet for hundreds of millions of years, there is a good chance that the water you drink today, may have been in the long past the result of prehistoric dinosaur pee. So the yuck factor is all about how you think of water. Just because it comes from an underground aquifer, or some other hidden source does not mean it does not have a hidden past.
In talking about water treatment and water reclamation he goes on to point out several wasteful practices modern human all participate in. One is the use of clean potable water for use in toilets and bathrooms, another is the use of potable water for things like watering lawns or washing cars, with little thought of how precious and scarce water resources are. A great example being the droughts over the last two years here in many parts of the central United States.
Today here in the United States the water you drink has been treated, filtered and purified, as long as you do not know too much about the process, the average person has no idea of all the processes used to bring that clean water to your tap, and in almost all cases that water is no more or less pure than the bottled water being bought by Americans in record numbers. In fact many of the biggest producers of bottles water simply bottle the municipal water one more time and then package it and sell it to consumers at a greatly increased cost. Also today the average water coming to your home is relatively cheap in cost, many times being ½ or less than the average person’s cable bill. Finally in most municipal areas and cities, after the water we use is flushed down our toilets or runs down the drain it is recaptured, purified and set back on its way down river to the next water area where the process begins all over again. Understanding this process goes a long way in bridging the gap between what we normally think about water and its true nature and use in our society. Today Cholera, Typhoid and many other water born diseases are almost unknown factors here in the United States, showing just how ingrained clean water has become in our everyday lives.
My point is that with all the quality standards, purification and treating that goes on with modern water management today the only thing that holds back the widespread adoption of water reclamation is cost and the yuk factor. As water becomes scarcer due to increases in population, farming and energy production, the reuse of water over and over again from wastewater is something that will become the norm in the next 100 years.
Today the water you drink has been around for hundreds of millions of years and has gone through many different users before it reaches your tap. Maybe it’s the stuff of past glaciers from the last ice age, or underground water left over from prehistoric times when it was the drinking water of dinosaurs or other animals. Billions of years old it has been reused over and over throughout time. What is different today is the painstaking and detailed process used to purify it for our use. There is a finite amount of water on this planet and if we as a civilization are going to continue to grow we will have to get used to the idea of water reuse and reclamation because without it all life ceases here on earth.
In closing I would like to say that I have toured and participated in several educational forums at water treatment facilities in California, Texas, Florida and New York. I have seen firsthand the processes used to treat water from things like sewage and other sources and invariable at the end of the tour the guide will fill a glass of treated water and ask if anyone wants a drink, with the usual looks of trepidation from the people around me, I always step right up and drink down a glass or two of the refreshing life giving elixir and smack my lips with a big smile and usually a comment like “Boy that’s good”, the reason is simply it is good, and safe, and because of the painstaking purification and technology used people don’t have to worry that their love ones will die from disease from infected water, which is probably the biggest factor to the health and long life spans we enjoy today in the United States.
Director of Technology Integration
Environmental Power & Water Generation & E3Wise
P.S. If you are interested water issues I would like to recommend the following books, all have great information are easy to understand and bring up critical issues and solutions to our water needs. I would also recommend you down load Kindle to your computer and use that reading resources, it easy, cost a lot less than regular books in print, and it’s good for the environment because no paper or fuel is used to bring it to you. Finally if you need to find a quote or passage for a presentation or discourse it really is so simple. For someone like myself, that is always traveling, having your library with you can be effortless, rewarding and a whole lot cheaper.
The Future of Water (2011) Steve Maxwell
The Big Thirst (2011) Charles Fishman
When the Rivers Run Dry: Water--The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century (2007) Fred Pearce
The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century (2011) ALEX PRUD’HOMME
Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization (2011) Steve Solomon
Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It (2010) Robert Glennon
Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water (2003) Maude Barlow & Tony Clark
Running Out of Water: The Looming Crisis and Solutions to Conserve Our Most Precious Resource (2010) Peter Rodger, Susan Leal, & Edward J. Markey
Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:43 AM
I suppose once we get over the "yuck" factor it won't seem as bad. You haven't turned green yet, have you? ;)
Let's face it, if you take bottled water companies at their word that they are bottling mountain spring water, wouldn't there be a certain amount of "debris" that has to be cleaned out? There must be fish and animal urine and feces in the water that has to be filtered out. After all, it is the mountains!
Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:14 PM
Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:31 PM
Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:34 AM
Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:47 AM
Most of us are already drinking treaded sewage anyway and then we have filters on the refrigerator at home as well.
Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:43 AM
Perhaps Europeans "trust" their tap water and water providers more?! I would not have a problem with drinking reclaimed sewage water ... (if it was filtrated in Germany at least) :)
Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:54 AM
I often am looked at by Americans as over touting Germany's achievements in renewable, biofuels, water treatment and hydrogen technologies. My response is this, when a country is leading the world in these vital areas and is doing so in a way that actually provides economic, social and environmental improvements at a staggering rate we all need to see how they are doing it and try to emulate and incorporate the same actions in our own countries.
Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:31 AM
ask them simply why they aren't just using a counter-top filter instead; if they are worried about the purity
of it? Huge money saver for one, and as mentioned, the transport of it and the emissions.
Even if they recycle the bottles, it's a waste.
And people also don't realize that city or county water filtration systems are under strict regulations while
bottled water is often not.
Posted 12 July 2014 - 02:42 PM
water use and using wastewater is one of them.)
Posted 12 July 2014 - 03:02 PM
One in particular supplies spring water for bottling and mains water for tap water. It's the same water.
Well, nearly the same.
A couple of differences.
The bottled water is hugely more expensive. Like 100 times.
And, in contrast to mains water, it can sit in the bottles for a very long time.
If any of you happen to buy bottled water, check the expiry date.
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