California to Consider ‘Toilet to Tap’ Water Reuse Regulations Next Week

Carlos Ciudad Photography
Getty Images/Carlos Ciudad Photography

The California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) will consider regulations next week that would allow “toilet to tap” reuse of water supplies, treating sewage water and sending it back into ordinary drinking water systems in select municipalities.

As Breitbart News noted back in 2019, new technology, similar to that used for desalination, was being tested on sewage water with a view to recycling that water, expanding the supply of available water in a state that is beset by periodic severe droughts.

Earlier this year, as Breitbart News noted, the SWRCB announced that it would consider such regulations, saying in a statement:

[T]he State Water Resources Control Board announced today proposed regulations that would allow for water systems to add wastewater that has been treated to levels meeting or exceeding all drinking water standards to their potable supplies. The process, known as direct potable reuse, will enable systems to generate a climate-resilient water source while reducing the amount of wastewater they release to rivers and the ocean.

Direct potable reuse relies entirely on immediate, multi-barrier treatment that can recycle wastewater to drinking water standards in a matter of hours. This contrasts to the method currently being deployed in major projects launched throughout the state, called indirect potable reuse, which further improves treated wastewater over time through groundwater recharge or dilution with surface water. While no formal direct potable reuse projects can be initiated in California until the regulations are adopted, water agencies in Santa Clara, San Diego and the city of Los Angeles have launched pilot projects in recent years.

Now, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the SWRCB is set to hear testimony on the regulations before a decision next week: “The landmark regulations will go before the State Water Resources Control Board for consideration next week. If approved, they would enable projects sometimes dubbed ‘toilet to tap’ to move forward in numerous communities, including Santa Clara County, Los Angeles and San Diego.”

Several other countries are also experimenting with the idea, notably Israel, where researchers have also studied the potential for pharmaceutical byproducts to survive the water treatment process and reenter the public supply.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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