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The Key to San Diego's Water Independence: Sewage

The city’s ambitious Pure Water project aims to combat drought and harsh economics with reclaimed wastewater. But first, the public will have to get used to the idea.
Reverse-osmosis canisters like these at San Diego's Pure Water plant have the ability to detoxify former sewage.
Reverse-osmosis canisters like these at San Diego's Pure Water plant have the ability to detoxify former sewage.City of San Diego

What does water that once came from a toilet taste like?

Pretty bland, actually. “Our water goes through five different treatment steps, so it essentially purifies it,” says Brent Eidson, deputy director of external affairs at San Diego’s Public Utilities Department. “It almost strips the water of everything, so there’s not a whole lot of taste or anything left in it.”