water faucetBy Riamy Beuscher, communications intern

California’s long lasting drought has generated interest in treating wastewater for drinking. Some areas of the state, notably Orange County, have been drinking indirect potable reuse wastewater for decades.

The California Legislature has prompted the State Water Resources Control Board to determine whether it is feasible to develop criteria and regulations for direct potable reuse (DPR), a process where wastewater is treated for drinking and then piped directly to consumers without first being mixed in a reservoir or groundwater aquifer.

One key benefit of DPR is availability. DPR provides a local solution; water does not have to be brought in through a long pipeline or aqueduct. DPR also decreases dependency on unreliable water sources such as rivers.

As with traditional drinking water, there are risks associated with DPR. In an interview with Water Deeply executive director of the National Water Research Institute, Jeffrey Mosher, claims, “We still have pathogens in surface water, but with DPR they will be a lot higher, so we have to have appropriate treatment to address higher levels of pathogens, which we know how to do.”

To read more, go here: https://ww2.kqed.org/science/2016/07/15/california-eyes-recycling-wastewater-for-drinking/