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Texas town recycling urine due to drought

Last Updated: Sunday, August 7, 2011 - 19:06

London: A town in Texas that is facing a massive drought is set to recycle urine into drinking water.

“When you talk about toilet-to-(water) tank it makes a lot of people nervous and grossed out,” Discovery News quoted Terri Telchik, who works in the city manager’s office in Big Spring, Texas, as saying.

Water for the town’s 27,000 residents comes through the Colorado River Municipal Water District, which has broken ground on a plant to capture treated wastewater for recycling.

“We’re taking treated effluent (wastewater), normally discharged into a creek, and blending it with (traditionally supplied potable) water,” district manager John Grant said.

In essence, the system speeds up what would naturally occur with the flow of discharged water through wetlands, with more pristine results, Grant added.

Less than 0.1 inches of rain has fallen on West Texas for months. Normally, the region gets more than 7 inches of rain this time of year. This week’s Department of Agriculture Drought Monitor map shows 75 percent of Texas is in “exceptional” drought stages.

Coupled with exceptionally hot weather, water levels in reservoirs have plummeted. Lakes are drying up. Last month, the district imposed a 20 percent cutback in water for its customers.

“We’re going through a really bad drought,” Telchik said.


First Published: Sunday, August 7, 2011 - 19:06
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