Water filtration technology has advanced to the point where wastewater can be rendered safe for drinking, according to a new report, but legislative and psychological hurdles will need to be overcome before widespread adoption can happen.
“Expanding water reuse could significantly increase the nation’s water resource, particularly in coastal communities,” said Rhodes Trussell, president of Trussell Technologies in Pasadena, California, and chair of the committee that wrote the report.
Treated wastewater, also known as reclaimed water, is commonly used for irrigation and industry. And many towns already rely on reused water simply because they draw water downstream from other municipalities’ wastewater release pipes.
“De facto reuse takes place throughout the country,” Trussell said.
But getting the public to knowingly drink treated wastewater has been a tough sell.