Jan. 30, 2008 Amid growing water shortages in parts of the United States, more communities are considering tapping their sewage treatment plants as a new source of drinking water.
The conversion of wastewater into tap water could help meet increased demand for one of life's most essential resources, according to the article "Treating Sewage For Drinking Water" scheduled for the Jan. 28 issue of Chemical & Engineering News.
C&EN Associate Editor Jyllian Kemsley notes in the article that some communities have used recycled wastewater for decades to replenish their drinking water supplies and wastewater often finds agricultural use for irrigation. Droughts, environmental concerns, and population growth now are forcing water utilities to consider adapting or expanding the practice, Kemsley explains.
Earlier in January, for instance, California approved operation of the Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF), the largest water reclamation plant in the nation. It will yield 70 million gallons per day of drinkable water from sewage. That's about 10 percent of the district's daily water demand for its 2.3 million residents. Although AWPF's purification process is complex, it produces clean, pure water that meets or exceeds all drinking water standards, the article notes.
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