Wednesday , May 29 2024

Sewage Water to Drinking Water?

New at six, as the drought lingers on some are turning to unique ways to save water. There’s one option that’s becoming more appealing – sort of. The process of turning "sewage" into drinking water has been around for years. CBS 47’s Janelle Bludau spoke with Fresno City Officials to see if it might happen here.

Janelle Bludau right now, the Fresno Clovis Wastewater reclamation plant is not equipped to create purified drinking water, but city officials say one day, maybe years from now, after the technology and regulations are passed, it may be a very real possibility.

To Tom Parker, the idea is unthinkable. Tom Parker / Fresno resident "it just doesn’t sound very healthy to me." But to Gene Buller, it makes sense. "We use it and dispose of it and after we dispose of it, we have to bring it back to its natural state."

The idea of turning sewage into drinking water has been around for years.. and one day, that idea may become a reality for many Californians. Tommy Esqueda / Director, Public Utilities "Right now, there is a lot of study going on, mostly on the west coast and in Arizona where people are looking at what’s characterized as direct potable reuse."

Esqueda says for fresno, it’s not in the plans but could be.. one day.
"I think we wouldnt want to be one of the early adopters, we’d probably want to just let the research, technology and public health studies progress through their normal cycles."

He says desalination plants are also an option.. but those won’t be easy for Fresno to come by.
"For us to build a desalination plant, you have to get out to the ocean, build a facility and then pump it back uphill." But Esqueda agrees, for many California cities, turning sewage into potable drinking water could be the future.

"Would absolutely be a value to the community here in Fresno, in terms of leveraging all the resources we have for water."

But parker says.. it’s a plan he could never sign off on.

"I’ll just buy bottled water."

Janelle: Esqueda says that technology and those regulations could be as far as ten years away. Reporting from West Fresno, Janelle Bludau, CBS 47, Eyewitness News.

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