San Diego Toilet-to-Tap: Unsafe to drink by Life Water Ionizers
You might be surprised. San Diego county is thirsty. The ongoing, severe California drought is taking a heavy toll on water supplies, most of which comes from LA. San Diego is responding to the challenges that drought brings in a number of ways, one of which is to recycle the water from sewage and reuse it as potable water in a process that’s been called “Toilet-to-tap”. Many people in San Diego have expressed concern that the recycled water is unsafe, but is it?
Reverse Osmosis: How Toilet-to-tap is done
The process used to make recycled water in San Diego is far more extensive than the process that San Diego uses to treat its water supply from LA: Once the solids are filtered out, the reclaimed water is filtered by reverse osmosis, which removes over 99+% of everything in the water, leaving literally pure water. In fact, the pure water produced by reverse osmosis is much cleaner than the water San Diego currently imports from Los Angeles.
Reality Check: If you live in San Diego, and are concerned about unsafe water. You have more to fear from the water imported from LA, then you do from recycled water.
Where the rest of San Diego water comes from, and why you should be concerned
The rest of San Diego’s water is imported from LA . It is filtered using activated Carbon filters, but carbon filtration does not remove some potentially very dangerous contaminants – pharmaceutical drug residues. The fact is, the recycled water – treated by reverse osmosis – is actually of better quality than the water that comes from LA. The reason the water that San Diego gets from LA has pharmaceutical residues in it is that ALL of the water supplied to San Diego ultimately contains residues from other cities sewage. Which means nearly all of San Diego’s water is already toilet to tap, and it has been for decades.
Why all of San Diego’s water supply is already toilet-to-tap
Los Angeles imports its water from the Colorado river, via the California Aqueduct. Many cities along the Colorado river treat their sewage, and then discharge the treated water into the Colorado river. Thanks to lax treatment standards, and weak EPA enforcement, the pharmaceutical drug residues in Colorado river water come from other those cities’ waste water. Essentially, San Diego’s water supply is already toilet-to-tap water that has not been treated by reverse osmosis. There are many other toxins in San Diego’s water as well. San Diego made #9 in Life Ionizers 10 worst cites for tap water quality.
Pharmaceuticals in your water: What you can do
You can use the same process that San Diego is using to recycle waste water: Reverse Osmosis (RO). Home RO systems are just as effective as municipal RO systems, so you can make your tap water 99%+ pure by filtering it with RO. There are, however some limitations:
- Amount of water you get is limited
- 30% of the water treated by RO is lost
- RO water must be remineralized to make it good for drinking
50 Gallons: Because of these limitations, an RO system is only a practical solution for your drinking water needs. Reverse osmosis is a very slow process, home systems filter almost continuously and then store the filtered water in a tank, so it’s ready for you when you need it. A typical home RO system can produce about 50 gallons of water per day.
Water loss: Reverse osmosis systems continuously flush themselves when in operation. This creates a waste stream of water. The water can be captured, and used for watering plants and other non-potable uses.
Remineralization: The World Health Organization recommends you get 10 – 20% of your daily needs for calcium and magnesium from drinking water. Reverse osmosis removes all minerals from water, so you need to add the calcium and magnesium back in to RO water to make it healthy to drink. This is done using a remineralization cartridge.
You must remineralize it To use RO water with a water ionizer: If you filter your water with reverse osmosis, and want to turn it into alkaline water with a water ionizer, you must remineralize it. Water ionizers work on the minerals in water, not on the water molecules themselves. So pure, reverse osmosis water won’t work in an ionizer until you add minerals to it with a reminerailization cartridge.
Toilet-to-tap is safe, it’s the imported water that’s unsafe
Toilet-to-tap water, treated by Reverse Osmosis as San Diego is doing, is perfectly safe to drink. It’s the imported water from LA that contains drug residues and other toxins! The worst thing about drug residues in tap water is that their effects haven’t been adequately studied, so nobody really knows what those residues may be doing to us. If you are concerned about the quality of your water, there are home water filtration options that can help.