November 16, 2023 –– Earlier this month, Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality released its “road map” for Advanced Water Purification — AWP for short. AWP is expected to contribute millions of gallons of clean drinking water to people living in the Phoenix area.
When it comes to recycling wastewater, some are skeptical about drinking what’s been flushed down the toilet.
Yesterday, the state’s Department of Water Resources assured its readers that the “liquid gold” of reclaimed water will go through a rigid treatment process that will result in clean and safe drinking water.
“You can guess what was emphasized: ‘Technology, toilets could make Arizona flush with drinking water.’ There were a lot of those. In the often-prosaic world of headline writing, the ADEQ plan to enhance Arizona’s water supply provided some pure potty-humor gold,” ADWR jested on its news page, adding that “In fact, this well-developed plan to enhance the state’s water supply – the Advanced Water Purification program – has the potential to provide a reliable source of purified water that can help alleviate water scarcity issues faced by Arizona.”
ADWR noted, “According to the Environmental Protection Agency, AWP has been shown to be a safe and effective source of potable water over decades of implementation. Projects have been installed worldwide at facilities in Big Spring, Texas (2013); Wichita Falls, Texas (2014); Namibia (1968 and 2002); Singapore (2019); and in South Africa (2011).”
The Department assured its readers that purifying water treatment and the removal of pathogens and chemicals identified in the AWP road map will result in water that meets or exceeds the standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act for conventional drinking water treatment facilities.