California Plant Turns Wastewater into Safe Drinking Water

In this video, learn how Californians are combatting their drought problems by recycling wastewater into drinking water.

Every year, Southern California cities like Los Angeles dump millions of gallons of wastewater back into the ocean. A new initiative, however, is attempting to capture as much of that wasterwater as possible and turn it into clean drinking water to combat the constant drought in Southern California.

A $621 million water recycling plant uses a process called “toilet to tap”. The system captures every single drop of water from every household and business’s toilets, sinks, faucets, and more.

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The water then gets sent to the facility where it undergoes several water recycling processes in a three-step filtration process. The first step is to pass the water through a microfilter system that captures and removes heavy metals and larger particles. Second, the water undergoes a long-time used filtration method called reverse osmosis, where water undergoes several stages of filtration and evaporation to produce purified water. Finally, high-powered ultraviolet light is shot into the water to kill any remaining foreign materials. The plant operators also say this water is likely cleaner than most if not all bottled water in the country. The plant also says they supply at least 1/4 of the Orange County water supply, all from recycled toilet water.

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