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So fresh and so clean...

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EDITORIAL: Most natural thing to do: Recycle water
OUR VIEW: Colorado River water far from pristine

By North County Times Opinion staff | Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Recycling water may well serve Escondido residents for decades to come.

Thus, we support city officials in their efforts to explore the feasibility of transforming sewage water into a reliable secondary source for Escondido's drinking water needs. Indeed, we encourage all regional water agencies to do the same.

(However, we also believe the region has yet to fully exploit cheaper ways to meet the growing need for water, including strong, serious attempts to improve conservation of our existing supply.)

Californians have led the nation in various recycling areas. It just clearly makes sense for us to lead in being more aggressive about recycling one of the key essentials for life.

Those squeamish about the prospects of recycling water (often referred to derisively as "toilet to tap") ought to reconsider the reality of what now flows from their taps.

Approximately 90 percent of all San Diego County's water is imported, most of it from the Colorado River. Think that river water is fresh from the proverbial mountain spring? Think again.

Space does not permit us to list all that is routinely dumped directly into the Colorado or indirectly into its watershed. However, that list does include water from sewage wastewater plants and toxic, heavy-metal and chemical waste that has leached into the Colorado's watershed. And yet for decades, we have been cleaning that water up for "recycling."

An extensive review of the expenses involved with recycling sewage water may show that the process, using current technology, is cost-prohibitive at this time.

But the facts remain that for generation upon untold generation, life on this planet has been thriving on water that has been "recycled" in one form or another, over and over again: It is the natural thing to do.

Additional information:

ESCONDIDO: City ponders converting sewage to drinking water