You might soon be drinking your own purified urine. And loving it. We’re programmed by excellent marketing to instinctively view water sources like “natural lakes and rivers” as “healthy,” but Stanford researchers just published a study to shake things up a bit.
They compared different types of tap water with water from potable reuse facilities, where they essentially process sewage back into clean water. They applied the waters to hamster ovary cells and measured how toxic they were, slowing or stopping their growth.
They found that potable reuse water was almost always better than surface tap water from lakes and rivers, and sometimes even better than groundwater-which is typically considered the highest quality.
And what’s making the water bad? A lot of it is disinfectants and their byproducts, many of which we barely understand. Necessary to prevent disease, but still not great.
Because the potable reuse facilities have much stricter cleaning requirements than normal water treatment, they often end up getting rid of more of these harmful chemicals.
Right now there are only a handful of these facilities in the United States, but more are coming. LA plans to recycle all of its wastewater by 2035.
In the meantime? You might want to invest in a good water filter.