You might already be and not know it. Don’t worry, it’s highly filtered and treated. What many people may not realize is that water is a finite resource … meaning we could run out of it. Scary. So in some places like Orange County where fresh water is lacking due to a drought, they began to recycle the waste water. Yep, the same stuff that is flushed down your toilet.

Now before you head out and stock up on bottled or boxed water, here us out. It’s not as gross as you think … it’s not sewer water being pumped directly to your tap. It’s kind of like a greywater system. The water comes from highly treated sewer water and is sent through various filtration and purification processes before it reaches your home. The three-step process starts with a microfiltration system then reverse osmosis, and finally ultraviolet and hydrogen peroxide treatments techniques. The water is then seeped back into an aquifer where it is blended with natural water.

The whole process takes about 45 minutes and the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) turns 96 million gallons of wastewater into 70 million gallons of recycled water daily, for an efficiency rate of nearly 75 percent. There is talk of expanding GWRS output to 100 million gallons per day, or enough water to supply 850,000 residents for a year.

The fact is Orange County is helping save the planet. Instead of letting the waste water flood out into the ocean, they are recycling it. Southern California alone dumps 1.3 billion gallons of waste water into the Pacific Ocean each day. That’s water that could be reused. The GWRS is thinking of expanding to other cities like Phoenix which currently gets its fresh water from Lake Mead 230 miles away.

What do you think of this idea? Gross or genius?