Home Blog Home and Wellness Toilet to Tap in California: Would You Like to Drink Reclaimed Water?

Toilet to Tap in California: Would You Like to Drink Reclaimed Water?

by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated December 28, 2023
The process of recovering water from various sources, treating it, and then utilizing it once more for beneficial purposes such as industrial operations, irrigation and agriculture, groundwater replenishment, and restoration of the environment is known as water reuse , sometimes known as reclamation or water recycling.
California has such precious water. It is essential that each of us utilize it multiple times. For many years, California has been using recycled wastewater. But would you like to sip on recycled toilet water? Toilet-to-tap water is permitted for human consumption in California .
The new regulations in California would allow water agencies to treat wastewater and then add it to the drinking water system. After Colorado , California would be the only other state to permit this.

Toilet-to-tap: What Does It Mean?

Recycled toilet water is already in your drink if you live in a city like Anaheim, California. Although most people find the idea of drinking treated sewage water repulsive, it’s becoming a common way to meet the country’s rising water needs.
toilet water
Even though the average person uses between 70 and 90 gallons of water daily, the United States Geological Survey estimates that more than 27 percent of that water is wasted in the toilet. Sewage water is recycled so that it is not wasted. This innovative, novel approach is extremely sustainable and contributes to the protection of our most valuable resource.

What Is the Process for Treating Sewage Water?

Sewage water treatment plants follow strict guidelines to ensure that the water they produce is of the highest caliber.
To guarantee that the sewage water is fit for the ocean, the water must first go through the standard water treatment procedure. Wastewater treatment plants, in contrast to conventional water treatment facilities, keep treating the water before discharging it into the ocean.
They employ micro-filters to extract solid waste from the water. After that, they employ reverse osmosis to filter out the tiny bacteria, viruses, and pesticides that the micro-filter was unable to capture.
discharging wastewater into the lake
After that, an ultraviolet light is used to zap the water to sanitize it. Pumping the water back into the closest aquifer is the last step in replenishing the beneficial minerals found in naturally occurring water. As a result, the water tastes better and has less acidity from the reverse osmosis process. After treatment, the water is safe, clean, and suitable for drinking.

Is It Safe to Drink Your Tap Water?

Typically sourced from municipal water supplies, tap water undergoes safety standards-based treatment. This is a great option because it’s easy to use and compatible with most taps in the house. However, its taste and quality may vary depending on the region.
The safety of tap water has drawn attention recently. In response to reports of contaminants in some water supplies, public awareness has grown. As a result, people are becoming more interested in water filtration systems and alternative water sources.
To check the quality of your tap water in the US, click here .
what’s in your tap water

What Is Potable Water?

Drinking water, or potable water, is obtained from both surface and subsurface sources and treated to levels that satisfy federal and state regulations for use.
Natural water sources undergo treatment to remove harmful chemicals, bacteria, viruses, microorganisms, and excrement. Raw, unclean water can cause vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal disorders.
The United States EPA establishes maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for a number of contaminants in the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. Waterdrop has cooperated with the EWG Tap Water Database to provide you with comprehensive data on your tap water quality, click the following button to see what’s in your water.

What Is the Source of California’s Water?

It is accurate to say that California is the world’s most hydrologically altered landmass. The state is quite different from what it was a decade ago. Reservoirs now hold water to transport it to the arid land where grasslands and deserts once dominated. Landfill has replaced marshy areas in favor of urban development.
water reuse
Water demand in California is 80% concentrated in two-thirds of the state in the south, while approximately 75% of the water supply of the state comes from sources north of Sacramento. About half of California’s total streamflow and 40% of its yearly precipitation fall in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
At the moment, California uses a large amount of its recycled water for purposes other than drinking, like landscape, golf course, and agricultural irrigation. Additionally, it refills underground reservoirs that provide drinkable water. Southern California has been replenishing its underground water resources using recycled wastewater since the 1960s.
However, the State Water Resources Control Board of California recently decided to permit water companies to pump treated wastewater into people’s taps in the densely populated, drought-prone state, according to the Washington Post. The board declared in a statement that California will now have “the most advanced standards in the nation for treating wastewater to such an extent that the finished product meets or exceeds current drinking water standards” because of the decision.
clean tap water

Is California Water Safe?

California has recognized the right to safe, affordable, and clean drinking water as a human right since 2012. Federal regulations mandate routine testing of community water systems for contaminants that pose a health risk to humans.
U.S. Geological Survey research indicates that tap water in urban areas in Southern and Central California is among the most exposed U.S. regions to pervasive flame-causing compounds, or “forever chemicals.” One or more PFAS are present in half of US tap water supplies, and the study indicated that elevated exposure to these compounds is associated with health problems such as cancer and infertility. In a state where over a million people already lack access to clean water, particularly in underprivileged and low-income areas, it is causing concerns about the quality of the water.
Furthermore, drinking water that may have elevated levels of arsenic, nitrate, or hexavalent chromium is a source of concern for about 370,000 Californians, as these substances can be extremely harmful to humans if ingested.

Water Levels in California Reservoirs

Many of the world’s largest dams, which provide vital functions like flood control, hydropower production, and water storage, are in the USA. Among them, the highest dam in the US is the Oroville Dam in northern California.
According to the state’s top water managers, California’s water storage and delivery systems are in good condition going into the rainy season because of last year’s almost historic amounts of precipitation and snowfall.
According to data from the California Department of Water Resources, last year was the sixth wettest on record after three years of punishing drought conditions. In April, the Sierra Nevada snowpack stood at over 200% of its historic average, which has only happened four times since 1950.
An interactive map showing the water levels in California’s twelve largest reservoirs is available from the Department of Water Resources in California . There is a historical average, total reservoir capacity, and the current water level for each reservoir.
found lead in testing

Why Is California Banning Berkey Water Filters?

Regulations that California has put in place immediately impact the selling of indoor water systems. According to these regulations, any water treatment system sold in the state must have a certification from a neutral third-party testing body, such as NSF. As of right now, Berkey water filters are not NSF/ANSI certified. Their lack of certification raises questions about whether they are adhering to California’s regulations.
To ensure that water filters effectively reduce contaminants related to health and appearance, NSF/ANSI certification is essential for compliance with California regulations. To reduce the levels of toxins such as lead, chlorine, taste, and odor Giardia (a microorganism), Cryptosporidium (another form of microorganism) volatile organic compounds VOCs or MTBE (found in gasoline). California also requires several certifications. Among them are NSF Standard 42 for aesthetics and Standard 53 for health effects.
Furthermore, California has implemented strict regulations to guarantee the use of lead-free products, prohibiting their sale in the community. In addition, California requires all products labeled "lead-free," including water filters, to receive certification from an accredited laboratory, such as NSF or an independent ANSI-accredited organization, attesting to the fact that the lead content does not exceed 0.25%.
Because Berkey refused to allow an independent, ANSI-accredited organization to test their filters, their product is illegal to sell or use in California. Because of the filtration system they use, Berkey filters are not NSF/ANSI certified. Although Berkey filters go through a rigorous independent testing process, they have decided against pursuing NSF/ANSI certification.


Contaminants Detected in  Fruitland Water Special Service District

30  Total Contaminants in Your Water

Water Provider

Fruitland Water Special Service District

Population Affected


Water Source

Ground water
Exceeds Guidelines

Others Detected

See What's in Your Tap Water
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