Toilet-to-tap could account for almost half of San Diego's drinking water

SAN DIEGO - The concept dubbed "toilet-to-tap" by some is gaining momentum in San Diego, according to new numbers obtained by 10News.

Tests from a yearlong pilot project showed that water is more pure than standard tap water.

According to the city of San Diego's recycled water study, the concept could greatly lessen our dependence on expensive imported water, producing up to 40 percent of San Diego's water supply.

"It's environmentally friendly, sustainable, reliable and locally controlled," said Lani Lutar, executive director of the Equinox Center.

In the program, wastewater from your home would go through membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and UV irradiation for disinfection.

The water then goes through more traditional treatment before heading back to your tap.

Funding for the $369 million system still needs to be found, but city leaders say it could save taxpayers $1 billion by eliminating the need to upgrade the Point Loma wastewater plant.

According to a scientific 10News poll, 39 percent of San Diegans support the concept, while 51 percent oppose it.

Supporters of the project say their surveys show support is much higher and growing.

City officials told 10News though we could be a decade away from our first treated water from a new system, the 40 percent scenario is likely several decades away.

Meanwhile, city staffers are expected to come back within two months with a closer look at possible sites for a treatment system.  

Orange County has been treating wastewater for years, 10News learned.

Read more about the water reuse project here. The project even has a Facebook page, which you can see here.



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