Parched Texas Town Turns to Treated Sewage as Emergency Drinking Water Source
From scientificamerican.com Jul 11, 2014
by By Mike Lee and ClimateWire
WICHITA FALLS, Texas—City officials began blending 5 million gallons a day of treated wastewater into their municipal water system this week, launching one of the biggest so-called direct reuse programs in the country.
While some residents in this city of about 105,000 are concerned about drinking water from a sewage treatment plant, city officials and business leaders say it was the only way to adapt to an unprecedented dry spell. The lakes that supply the city have dropped below 25 percent of their capacity.
It’s just one of the hard choices facing the second-biggest U.S. state as it confronts a tightening drought, a population boom and the long-term effects of climate change. Voters approved $2 billion in a November election to fund water projects around the state, and other cities are considering the same direct reuse of wastewater as Wichita Falls. read more>