When it comes to looking for sources of drinking water, the toilet is certainly the last place we look towards.
Our instinct will usually be some sort of faucet or tap, even if said tap is outdoors.
The immediate assumption when it comes to toilet water is that it is filthy, and should not be touched.
The sentiment is understandable – it is, after all, the water we use to flush away our urine and excrement.
These things just happen to not exactly be the most hygienic substances for our drinking water to come in contact with.
According to scientists, however, we might want to start changing our mindset and opinion.
In a recent article by the Daily Mail, researchers have explained that drinking water out of the porcelain throne may be in our near future, and is certainly an idea we ought to start acclimatizing to soon.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that we are supposed to drink straight out of the white bowl itself!
Rather, it simply means that instead of drinking groundwater straight from the tap or drinking it as bottled water, we may have to consider the idea of drinking filtered and treated recycled sewage water.
This may sound like a disgusting idea off the bat, but this is already a system implemented in several countries that struggle with obtaining fresh water from readily-available resources.
The most prominent example of this is the city nation of Singapore, an island that has basically little to no easily accessible sources of freshwater.
The country does have plenty of desalination plants, but this certainly isn’t the most efficient way of obtaining fresh drinking water.
Instead, what Singapore does is to recycle its filtered sewage into drinking water for its citizens.
The immediate concern one would have is, of course, is as to the actual taste of the water. Surprisingly, it may not be so bad!
According to research conducted by the University of California with a small sample size of 150 people, volunteers voted recycled filtered wastewater and bottled water as tastier than groundwater sourced from a tap.
It is easy to scoff and disbelieve these results, but considering that bottled water and recycled filtered wastewater undergo incredibly similar treatment processes, it is likely that they exit the plant tasting about the same.
In other words, research has proven that wastewater is just as hygienic and tastes just as good as its bottled water counterpart.
In a world where freshwater resources are becoming increasingly scarce due to events such as climate change and factories consuming groundwater faster than it can replenish itself, examining and transitioning to options such as these may prove to be necessary.
This is, of course, not an easy transition to make. Although it will be necessary, not everyone is immediately open to the idea.
Thus, we will have to undergo smaller steps, such as firstly selling bottled recycled filtered wastewater until people are adjusted to the idea and taste.
Hopefully, this will help us avoid a water shortage crisis in the future!