Have a drink?
Water reuse — the introduction of treated wastewater back into the environment for use as drinking water — is becoming more popular. In January, Orange County, Calif., opened a “toilet-to-tap” system that injects highly filtered wastewater back into the county’s groundwater aquifer.
American City & County asked the readers of its weekly e-newsletter if they would encourage their communities to recycle wastewater in a similar way. Below are some of the responses.
“This sounds like a giant septic tank system. I live in a suburban area that gets its water from an aquifer. Our septic tanks remove the solids and let the wastewater go back into the ground. The ground filters the water as it goes back into the groundwater aquifer. As long as the quantities aren’t too big for the land area, the system works.”
— Vince Rusch, salesman, Adirondack Fire Equipment, Rotterdam, N.Y.
“The treatment technology available today can produce wastewater that meets primary and secondary drinking water standards. As the availability of groundwater becomes limited, I firmly believe that availability of highly treated wastewater is an excellent opportunity for groundwater augmentation. Of course wastewater reuse in many forms is beneficial, and the most cost-effective and efficient program should be selected based on the local circumstances.”
— David Zusi, water & wastewater utility director, Winter Park, Fla.
“I believe that discharging effluent back into the aquifer is a cost-efficient way to help recharge the aquifer and lessen the impact of water withdrawals. In the Indianapolis Water system, our largest treatment plant is served by the White River. Most of the flow coming down that river is treated effluent from communities to our north who discharge to the river. I do not see any real concern with the use of such discharges because water quality standards must be obtained no matter the source of supply.”
— Robert Erney, financial manager, Indianapolis Department of Waterworks