Why Reuse Water?
Recycling is not a radical idea. Many people regularly sort their newspapers from their glass bottles and plastic containers. These items and others go on to have a second life, sometimes more.
Milk jugs reappear as playground equipment. Handbags are repurposed from old license plates and candy bar wrappers. Glass bottles can be turned into anything from fleece to furniture.
So why not recycle water?
Viewed from space, our planet is mostly blue because more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. But what you see isn’t always what you get.
In spite of the illusion of plenty, water is a limited resource with less than 3 percent of the world’s freshwater available for drinking. Recycling water helps to conserve a precious resource by capturing, treating and redistributing water.
Properly treated, recycled water is safe for almost any use. In fact, in California where water is very scarce, it’s being recycled for drinking water!
Even with scarcity, there’s a lot of water going to waste right now. Four gallons of water is lost for every minute we let the faucet run. Taking a 10-minute shower sends 75 gallons of water down the drain. Six gallons of water are flushed away each time we push the toilet handle.
Of course there are new water-saving fixtures available, and many utilities offer rebates or give away water-conserving devices. But there’s still a lot of good water heading down a lot of drains.
You wouldn’t throw out a new pair of shoes after wearing them once. Why treat something as valuable as water any differently?
Reclaimed water has been used in Florida for nearly 50 years without a single, documented adverse impact to public health.