California to Recycle Toilet Water

April 21, 2000

California officials want to turn toilet water into drinking water, which has many residents queasy. According to officials, the $55 million "East Valley Water Reclamation Project," or "toilet-to-tap" program is feasible, safe and a solution to the water shortage problem.

The three-year pilot program is in its beginning stages and won’t have recycled water available for at least five years after undergoing a five-year purification process under close supervision. The recycled water would then be mixed with groundwater, making only 20 percent or less of tap water having come from toilet water.

Although this project could mean a solution to the state’s water shortage, residents are still concerned about having to use this recycled water.

The project calls for 3.2 billion gallons of wastewater to be sent each year to the Hansen Dam spreading grounds. If the system works, it will be expanded to 11.4 billion gallons a year, enough to supply about 70,000 families.

The wastewater would be filtered naturally as it seeps through the ground. After further preparation, it would be sent to homes in the North Hollywood area, Studio City, Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks and Pacoima.

(Source: The Associated Press)

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