Tampa looks to alleviate water usage woes
City council members will soon be voting on IPR -- a way to reuse wastewater. Here's a brief rundown of what you need to know about the process.
Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 11:37
Just ask your dog and he'll tell you the water in your toilet is perfectly fine for consumption. While an endorsement by a pet may not get people excited about the idea, the concept is being worked into politics.
Indirect potable reuse (IPR) is the process of taking treated sewage, treating it again so it's fit for direct consumption, and then sending it off to people's taps.
Why would we do that? You may ask. Well the answer takes shape of the impending water crisis in our future. According to a Creative Loafing article, 25 percent of Tampa's water is used for lawn irrigation. This amazes me considering we are by no means an agricultural area. This water went for lawns.
In a prior blog, I posted that Plant City was having some water issues and wells were running dry. While a lot of people were blaming the strawberry farmers for this, I think they were missing the point.
The point is that water is very precious and we are misusing it. Without clean fresh water, we cannot survive, and that is why I am for IPR. The process takes treated sewage water that would otherwise be dumped into our Hillsborough River and puts it through two more treatments — reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfecting. After going through these processes, the water goes through normal drinking water treatments. The water is more than fit for human consumption. However, some Tampa City Council Members are not convinced and plan to vote IPR down, unless they are given proof that it's safe for the public.
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