L.A. to serve toilet water

Endorsed by environmentalists, the proposed solution to Southern California's chronic water shortage has some residents feeling queasy.

Published May 2, 2000 4:00PM (EDT)

Swimming pools, movie stars and toilet water -- that's what you'll get if you move to Hollywood these days. According to the Associated Press, officials in Southern California have come up with yet another brilliant idea: recycling toilet water. I'm talking about the stuff you find in the loo, not in your perfume bottle.

The scheme, dubbed the "Toilet to Tap" program, would take water from toilets and run it through a five-year purification process -- to be closely monitored, of course. That water would then be combined with regular groundwater, and eventually would end up in residents' taps.

Officials assert that the $55 million program, which could begin soon, is a cost-effective, safe solution to California's water shortages, and environmentalists back the plan.

David Czamanske of the Sierra Club told Los Angeles' Daily News, "The water that we drink every day has been around for millions of years and circulated through who knows what -- dinosaurs, black bears and panthers. The water becomes purified through natural processes or it can be purified through reclamation processes." But Lori Dinkin, president of the Valley Village Homeowners Association, said, "This is human waste. I'm very uneasy about that."

Bottoms up.

By J.A. Getzlaff

J.A. Getzlaff's Daily Planet appears every weekday. Do you have a tip or tale for J.A.? Send it to DailyPlanet@salon.com.

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