Water is the lifeblood of any city. With this is mind, its no wonder that sustainable water policies are a subject of contention in everywhere and one of the best ways to stretch every drop is by recycling water. Unfortunately, rumors and misinformation have arisen around the topic. The concern is understandable, as potable water isessential to good health, but these myths are dangerous intheir own right, because recycled water programs depend on public support. Have you fallen for one of these popular myths?
Myth 1: You may as well be drinking sewage water.
Most people have no problem with redistributing recycled water for irrigation and other non-potable uses, but arehesitant about direct consumption because the perception is that reused water isnt far off from sewage. The reality is that waste-water contains only one tablespoon of dirtper 53 gallons. Its then treated via reverse osmosis, whichremoves microorganisms and other particulates, making it cleaner even than rain water.
Myth 2: The treatment process creates chemically altered, unnatural Franken-water.
The water filtering process is often wrongly thought toinvolve chemical dousing, but reverse osmosis works on the same filtration principles found in nature. Nature filters water through sand, stone, and other porous materials which let the water through, but notparticulates. Reverse osmosis is identical, but uses much smaller holes, and higher water pressure.
Myth 3: Recycled water contains toxic levels of drugs and hormones.
Concerns about the presence hormones and otherchemicals arose from a study of sewage runoff in the U.K.which found the rivers fish were affected by chemicals in the water. But thats not the whole story. The sewage water in question was nowhere near the filter levels of municipal water.
Reverse osmosis removes almost 100 percent of these chemicals. Compare that to well water and that cancontain lead and other naturally occurring contaminants.
Myth 4: Reverse osmosis removes the beneficial minerals naturally found in water.
Reverse osmosis does remove almost all mineral traces from water, but the core of this myth is that people receive vital nutrients through water, which the World Health Organization has stated as patently false. Recentfindings actually suggest that the inorganic minerals found in untreated water may actually have a harmful effect, over a lifetime, in the form of hardening arteries, kidney and gallstones, and many other maladies. Its estimated that an average person may ingest up to 300 pounds of rock over the course of 60 years, some of which is absorbed and accumulates.
So, the next time you hear a most likely well meaning, but misinformed, person repeating these recycled water myths, do your part and set the record straight.