Report backs more use of reclaimed water
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A new report says the use of treated sewage water could safely increase the nation's drinking supplies.
The National Research Council released a report Tuesday on the feasibility of reclaiming some 12 billion gallons of wastewater that flow into coastal rivers and the ocean each day in the U.S. That figure is equivalent to 6 percent of daily U.S. water usage.
The study looked at the risk of exposure to microbes and 24 chemical contaminants in reclaimed drinking water compared to that from existing supplies that already contain a small amount of treated sewage.
The report concludes that the health risks are comparable or even lower.
The study was partly sponsored by Southern California water agencies, which are trying to safeguard tight water supplies for a growing population.