From waste to water: West Texans' last resort - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

From waste to water: West Texans' last resort

WEST TEXAS (KLTV/CNN) - Severe drought conditions in West Texas have led to a unique plan to get water to the faucets.

They are building a wastewater recycle plant---Yes, that kind of water.

West Texas residents may be sticking out their tongues, but supporters say the water is pure and tasty.

In the withering West Texas terrain, oil still flows. Problem is you can't drink oil, and finding water is getting tougher.

Which brings us to the town of Big Spring.

Crews are now building a $13 million water treatment plant that will turn sewage waste water into drinking water by the end of next year.  

The treated raw sewage water will be mixed with lake water and treated again... Three times in all.

But the idea still doesn't taste right to a lot of people, like Benito Lara, "I'll never drink it..."

John Grant directs the Colorado River Municipal Water District. It's his job to find drinking water for half-a-million people in the area around Midland-Odessa. He's got to get people past one big hurdle.

"There was a fella over in Midland that I heard made a comment that said at least he gets to drink his beer twice now!"

This part of West Texas has only seen three inches of rain in the last year.

The drought is drying out the areas three reservoirs.

Robert Lee Mayor John Jacobs says the water situation is so dire, his town could run out of water in six months.

An emergency pipeline is in the works but he thinks turning waste water into drinking water is the future.

"Not appealing, but then again, going thirsty isn't either," says Jacobs, "This is the water we're going to be taking back through the new water treatment plant we're building."

This new water treatment plant will provide 2-million gallons of water everyday... And actually john grant predicts people will really like it.
And maybe even taste better!

"It could. It'll be as good quality water with less salt as you could find anywhere."

Grant says he'll be first in line to pour himself a glass.

Rest assured, the reverse osmosis process is completely safe. It stops virtually all non-water molecules -- bacteria, viruses, pharmaceuticals -- from ever making it to our faucets.

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