Toilet on tap: Panel recommends Americans drink more waste water to combat future shortages
Next time you pour a glass of water from the tap try not to think about this – you might be about to drink what you once flushed away.
Rising numbers of Americans are consuming wastewater, or ‘toilet on tap’, without even realising it, according to an official report.
Even though it once contained human waste, food scraps and bath scum, the National Research Council claims that it could actually be better for you than fresh water.
It also says says that only wastewater that has been treated gets back into circulation, although the last industry-wide study was done was back in 1980.
Waste not, want not: Water flushed down the toilet, or emptied from sinks, bathtubs, washing machines and dishwashers heads to a treatment plant where materials like oils, soaps and chemicals is filtered out
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, wastewater is nothing more than ‘used water’.
It includes substances such as oils, soaps and chemicals and comes from sinks, bathtubs, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers.
Businesses and industries also contribute their share of used water that must be cleaned.
Wastewater is sent to a treatment plant where large material is filtered out before it is oxygenated to make it safe for human consumption.
The NRC looked at water drawn from a normal source that had five per cent wastewater and compared it to a sample which had been completely treated.