Would You Like a Cup of Pee?

In 2016 the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere will be up and running at Carlsbad in San Diego County. At a cost of $1 billion, estimates suggest 50 million gallons of drinking water flowing to drought stricken California every day. Consider that against the $142 million Orange County California designated to produce an additional 30 million gallons a day of drinking quality recycled water – translation – pee.

Recycled water is nothing new. San Fransisco built a reclaimed water plant in 1932 – removing solids from sewage, treating it for impurities and using it for irrigation. Since 2008 Orange County has operated a massive water treatment and reclamation facility – half the water pumped into a aquifer, the other half rests in filtration ponds for 6 months or so before ending up in drinking well intakes. At a fraction of desalination costs, Orange Country recycles 85 million gallons of water every day.

Desalination undoubtedly sells faster than recycled sewage water. Cost be damned – we demand clean cars, perfect golf courses and showers as long and often as we please. Never mind that over half the people on Earth have no access to clean drinking water, or scrape by each day on the amount of water we squander brushing our teeth.

I wonder how many of us would be willing to compromise, consuming no more than our fair share of daily global water supplies? A suggestion equally preposterous as cost effective reclamation over desalination. Nobody stops to think the well might run dry – water seen as an inexhaustible constant. Distasteful public perception regarding consumption of recycled pee, no match for prohibitively priced desalinization projects. Damn the cost, we’re far too civilized to drink pee. ( I can only assume treated excrement from millions of sea creatures is acceptable).

In April, Portland Oregon  surveillance cameras captured a teenage boy urinating through a fence into a reservoir.  Outraged officials took the reservoir offline, drained 38 million gallons of water, publicly assuring residents of purged pee in the interest of health and safety. Holy crap, are you kidding me? These same nincompoops drained the reservoir in 2011 after a similar urine scandal. Suck it up Portland and drink a little pee!

Dire warnings that water is the next oil, drought, climate change, drained aquifers resulting from increased population and  environmental indifference are genuine concerns. Reclaimed water will be a reality one day. Pondering a future dependant on drinking a little pee is the least of our worries.




8 thoughts on “Would You Like a Cup of Pee?

    • A stellar example of complete and utter disregard,ignorance and dismissal of something taken for granted. The notion of absurdity in relation to their actions – sadly lost on an outraged few. 🙂

  1. That kid must be awfully proud of his 15 seconds of fame… Well at least it must have been the time he took for his little pee.

    By the way Notes…

    I just cancelled my cable TV subscription.

    My wife was angry yesteday about a program she had watched on Home and Garden the night before.

    It was about a man who was doing a renovation job the kind of buying an old house and then renovating it and selling it.

    Then all this became a story about his wife’s or some other woman’s private parts (okay I will say the word: vagina) and about this guy’s secretary and her breasts.

    He was willing to pay for her breast enlargement!!!


    At first I did not believe what my wife was telling me…

    It’s been two years I have wanted to cancel my Cable TV subscription.

    This was the right time to do it. I am saving $600 a year never to watch all that crap.

    I hope this comment is appropriate.

  2. Glad you stopped by my crazy blog. Political correctness, or I don´t know what these people are thinking but no wonder California is broke. Having lived in Frisco….San Fran-Cisco myself doesn´t came too much as a surprise though.

    I may start recycling my own pee, just add some flavour to it, and good to go.

    • Hey, astronauts do it, shipwrecked sailors survive on it.

      I work in hospitality and have encountered far too many people who only use ice cubes made from Evian water (a few who bathe in it) and countless nincompoops stubbornly refusing tap water to ever cross their lips. Hysterical bureaucrats draining an entire reservoir over a few ounces of pee is beyond reason 🙂

      • A few who bathe in Evian water….haha, that´s a good one. I too worked in hospitality a.k.a hotel as a bell boy, some weird taste some people had and guess they still have. My only guess as to why those nuts do it has to be the gained money, influence or something, but gained something for sure. And if not that, then the should stop by a shrink.

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