Recycled Water From Sewers Coming To California Taps

California's recent five-year drought had officials looking for other potential sources of potable water and it seems they may have found one - but you may not like where it's been.

The California State Water Resources Control Board passed new regulations that will allow water that once passed through city sewers to be added to reservoirs - after it's properly treated of course. 

“Cities and counties around the state are looking to stretch their local water supplies in the face of an increasingly uncertain water future,” State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus wrote in a statement. “Water efficiency and reuse are the smartest ways to help our water resources go further. Today’s action is another important step in expanding the sensible use of recycled water in California.”

The treated recycled water is added directly into the drinking water system or into a raw water supply. Unofficially known as "toilet-to-tap," the regulations specify that the recycled water must be monitored and re-treated at a water treatment facility before it can be provided as drinking water. 

The new regulations streamline the process to allow drinking water providers in Southern California a diverse range of options to provide a relatively reliable, and more importantly, drought-resistant source of water for people in California. 

The new rules come after two bills (SB 918 and SB 322) passed the California legislature, which asked the water resources board to investigate the feasibility of programs like toilet-to-tap. More than $748 million worth of water projects were funded last year by the State Water Board, which are projected to add 44,980 acre-feet of recycled water per year to California's overall supply. 

The new rules are expected by 2023. 

Photo: Getty Images

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