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Texas city considers sewage recycling to fight drought

March 4, 2014

<photocredit>Stacey Newman/iStockphoto/Thinkstock</photocredit>

Wichita Falls, Texas, is considering a radical new approach to deal with drought and water management issues that have caused concerns among residents and businesses recently.  Authorities are considering recycling sewer wastewater into drinking water to meet demand, CBS News reports.

The drought is so severe that the city has already implemented strict restrictions on water use on several occasions. This action has resulted in a significant reduction of the daily use of water to barely 12 million gallons a day, down from between 45 million and 50 million. However, it is not enough and the amount of water available still continues to diminish.

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According to Mayor Glenn Barham, the reuse system that would turn sewage wastewater into potable water could provide 5 million gallons a day, thereby sparing that same amount of water from being taken from the city's main water source, Lake Arrowhead.

The system could start operating as early as next month and the local water utility believes the quality of the water will be "very high." The plan is to take water from the city's wastewater treatment facility to another treatment plant for an extra cleaning. When the water has been treated to an extent that it meets the state standards for potable water it will be sent to the city's water distribution system, CBS News explained.