Purified wastewater as drinking water? Silicon Valley hopes to make it part of epic drought fight

San jose, california – The Santa Clara Valley Water District is embarking on an effort to revamp the image of purified wastewater and lay the groundwork for replenishing local aquifers, reports CBS San Francisco.

Speaking at a press conference at the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center, district CEO Rick Callender spoke about the need to continue to save while developing ways to increase water supply.

During the event, staff members distributed water bottles to elected officials and dignitaries with this message printed on the label: “It was wastewater #GetOverIt”.

“(Recycled water) may have an image problem, but I think once people are educated they will fully understand that if you look at the ecosystem all the water is recycled,” pointed out Callender.

The purification center receives water from the regional San José-Santa Clara treatment plant across the street, which is pumped through a microfiltration, reverse osmosis system and passed through UV lamps.

At this point, the water is cleaner than what can be achieved with home filtration systems, depending on the district. However, it cannot legally be considered “potable” (drinkable) until it undergoes “advanced oxidation”. The district is looking to modernize the treatment center and install the technology.

Currently, the purification center produces 8 million gallons per day. The vast majority are diverted for industrial use, landscape irrigation and agricultural crops.

Once the water is considered safe to drink, it will be up to the state’s Water Resources Control Board to approve the use of the millions of gallons of purified water to recharge Campbell’s aquifers.

Callender highlighted the district’s efforts to push the water resources council to act quickly.

“I think this is just the start of a conversation that we need to have. We need to have it now; we need to end and we need to be able to find ways to make sure we can use some. advanced treated water for water supply I think this is just the start of a very long conversation and hopefully the state will be able to step and step on the pedal of ‘regulatory accelerator and finding a way to make it happen quickly, ”Callender said.

“We are in the worst drought since the 1970s. Our reservoirs are empty if climate change don’t go away. Droughts are not going to go away, ”Callender said.

The district will decide to expand the current water purification center or build a new facility in Palo Alto. Callender said the district is exploring options to do both.

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