Recently, a story on NPR reminded us about a big idea I had a while back…
Silicon Valley is using treated wastewater for landscaping and other non-potable uses.
Failing Infrastructure of water systems around the world, bursting pipes, sink holes, loss of revenue from leaks in existing water mains, I say- “Let’s just give up on the concept of public water supply supplying potable water.”
If we allowed homeowners, subdivisions, contractors to provide their own potable water sources and drill private wells for 1 to 10 end users per well, the cost of installation would be small, the cost of ownership reduced, and the risk from terrorists, industrial, and climatic threats would be eliminated.
Health departments could hire water operators to test all the private wells to keep the public safe and create jobs at the same time. Naturally clean well water would go directly to homes for consumption and household uses like drinking and bathing. All waste water from the homes would then head to the treatment plants via existing sewer lines. Once treated this water would be returned to the areas from which it originated via the existing water supply lines for use in geothermal heat pumps (reducing energy consumption in metropolitan areas) and then out to the landscape for irrigation purposes. Homeowners and business users would be charged at a reduced rate for their consumption of treated “reclaimed” water (since it is not technically potable water.)
This cycle more accurately reflects a natural life cycle for water, provides a higher quality raw water source for drinking water, reduces testing and treatment requirements of potable water supply sources, reduces human consumption of carcinogenic treatment methods currently employed by potable water suppliers, eliminates the threat from terrorist attacks on water supplies, reduces energy consumption via the implementation of water source heat pumps, reduces the cost of irrigation water, and returns water to the groundwater reserves from which they originate.
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