There are over 750 million people in the world living without access to clean water. Because of this, many people are prone to fecal and bacterial-related diseases. While much of the world has limited access to clean, drinkable water, many countries have implemented a way to recycle and reuse wastewater into safe drinking water. The method is called the “Toilet to Tap” concept.
Countries like Singapore, Namibia, India, Mexico, Europe and the United States have implemented Indirect Potable Reuse and Direct Potable Reuse methods, both of which are used to effectively purify water via the process of reverse osmosis.
Reverse osmosis is a common water purification process. First, the water filters through a dual membrane at least three times. After this, the water goes through a UV light as well as a sub-micron filter to clean out any remaining unwanted particles.
Singapore began the initiative in 1998, known as the NEWater Study, in order to determine how safe recycled wastewater is to drink. According to the Public Utilities Board (PUB), Singapore specifically uses “secondary sewage water that has undergone stringent purification and treatment processes using advanced dual-membrane and ultra-violet technologies.” Through this process, Singapore supplies at least 80 million liters of clean water per day from each of its three facilities.
Some countries – such as India and Mexico – are new to the Toilet to Tap concept, but they are beginning to integrate it into their infrastructures more. India, through its 2021 Master Plan, has laid the groundwork to begin the recycling of wastewater to be able to supply more to areas that do not have consistent access to clean water.
Access to clean water is vital to ensure public health and economic, social and environmental stability. While there are not currently many countries who reuse wastewater, there are several countries now seeking to implement these Toilet to Tap systems as a way to solve water crises around the world.
– Rebekah Covey