Do you think this is sanitary? Clearwater, FL is close to getting a state permit to use treated wastewater for "groundwater replenishment," while Tampa has a public hearing scheduled for what it calls the "Tampa Augmentation Project." The truth behind these pieces of legislation? Florida is trying to turn flushed water into drinkable water to help save resources.
The biggest concerns for this initiative, many of which were raised 20 years ago when the idea came about, was that the drinking water wouldn't be safe from bacteria and waste. Now, scientists say they've developed technology to make it possible. Joan Robes, an expert on microbes and a supporter of the water plans, says "Monitoring has changed, and the technology has changed...and acceptance from the public has changed." Supporters of the idea say that the water conservation that would occur far outweighs any problems that the public could face health wise. The opposition says otherwise.
Currently, flushed water is used for lawns and plants - not for drinking or for farmers who have goods that are sold for consumption. Those who oppose the bill say the regulations for drinking the water aren't strict enough. St. Petersburg environmental lawyer Tom Reese, who's battled this idea before, said "Do you want to drink water that has the liquid out of people’s organs in it?"
Despite the push back construction of Clearwater’s purification plant will begin soon. It will need environmental permits before it can pump the water, but this could be the future of water.