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Toilet water, anyone?

The idea of drinking toilet water might make you want to gag But the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, recently began treating wastewater (water that's gone through the toilet or shower drain) and piping it back to the tap. Why? The city is facing one of its worst droughts. The toilet water is safe to drink, experts say, because it's filtered and treated with chemicals to kill germs--a technique also used by astronauts in space to turn urine into drinking water. Other drought-stricken cities in California, Florida, and New Mexico are considering the toilet-to-tap idea, and several Oregon brewers may soon use recycled wastewater for their beer. In Wichita Falls, some residents vowed to switch to bottled water, but so far, according to Russell Schreiber, director of public works, the toilet water seems to be passing the taste test. "I can't tell the difference," says Schreiber, "but a lot of people say the water actually tastes better."

News & Trends was reported by The Associated Press, and by Alessandra Potenza and Gabriel Tyler.

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Title Annotation:ENVIRONMENT
Author:Potenza, Alessandra; Tyler, Gabriel
Publication:New York Times Upfront
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Mar 30, 2015
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