The city of Tampa has some issues with water, and will continue to in the future. Some CL readers may recall the cover story we wrote back in January of 2010 on an idea by Tampa City Council man Charlie Miranda that would propose that the city adopt indirect potable reuse (IPR), which critics derisively marginalize by dubbing it "toilet to tap."
We revisit the issue today because of a Discovery News report that in Big Springs, Texas, ravaged by current drought conditions (the third worst in Lone Star history), is seriously considering doing IPR.
Actually, what Big Spring is doing is taking treated wastewater that would usually be discharged into a creek and blending it with potable water supplies. But it still freaks people out, as
It won't exactly be direct "toilet to tap"—rather, the planet will take treated wastewater that would usually be discharged into a creek or lake, and instead blend it with potable water supplies. The city's district manager says this system speeds up what would naturally occur with the flow of discharged water through wetlands.
But the concept still freaks people out, as city employee Terri Telchik says:
When you talk about toilet-to-(water) tank it makes a lot of people nervous and grossed out... [But] we're going through a really bad drought.