It doesn't take much to impress a water engineer. For Robert Mace, an administrator at the Texas Water Development Board, the highlight of the year was gulping down a tall glass of lukewarm water. "It could have used a couple of ice cubes," he says, but otherwise it was clean and refreshing.
To be fair, that was only the highlight of Mace's "water year"; he presumably has more interesting pursuits away from the office. And it probably wouldn't have been such a highlight if the drink was flavored with the human urine and feces it was so recently mixed with.
The water that so intrigued Mace came straight from the Colorado River Municipal Water District's newly opened, $14 million treatment plant in Big Spring that takes waste water, runs it through filters, and turns it into drinking water.
It's not the most mouth-watering process to think about, but reclaimed sewage is becoming an increasingly attractive option in Texas, much of which is still suffering from an epic drought. The reservoirs supplying the Colorado River Municipal Water District are ridiculously low, meaning an existing and readily available water source that can supply 10,000 people is attractive. Plus, residents now get to drink their beer twice.More »