Two treatment plants in El Dorado Hill treat, millions of gallons of brown wastewater every week, and millions of gallons of clean water pour out to irrigate the lawns of 4,000 homes.
Sources like that are expected to be a significant source of landscaping and drinking water for many Californians in years to come, even though critics may call the source “toilet-to-tap.”
As part of recent drought relief measures, the state allocated $200 million in grants to jump-start those efforts and slashed interest rates on $800 million more in loans.
More than a billion gallons of treated wastewater are pumped into the Pacific Ocean each year, which the state wants to reduce.
In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires state health and water officials to report by September 2016 on the feasibility of developing uniform standards for recycling wastewater for “direct potable reuse.” That means purified wastewater would flow straight to household faucets.