Know Your H20, Wastewater, Water Recycling
January 12 2012

Don’t Waste Water: Recycle Wastewater

by Mara Dias

Purifying and re-using wastewater before it is discharged to the ocean or coastal streams is a critical tool in creating a closed loop”in our local water supply  and a critical piece of the puzzle in Surfrider’s vision of integrated water management.


Yesterday’s wastewater systems, whether separate sewer systems or sewage and rainwater combined, often relied on gravity to transport the water and waste to a large treatment plant on the beach. From there, the water is treated and discharged,  wasting energy and resources in treating the water, as well as wasting the water itself. Our vision is to capture that water farther up in the watershed, purify it for re-use, and find beneficial re-use of the concentrated effluent.


The National Research Council has just released a report that clarifies what we already knew, using marginally more energy in the treatment process can purify our wastewater so that it’s safe to drink, and do it at a fraction of the cost of ocean desalination or freshwater imported from long distances to our community.


News articles summarizing the NRC Report can be found here and here. Then see how this report supports the vision of Surfrider’s “Know Your H2O” program by watching the video: “The Cycle of Insanity: the Real Story of Water”.