Wichita Falls, Tex. (CNN) — What would it take for you to drink tap water that had been recycled straight from the sewer?
Well, it could soon happen in Wichita Falls — a Texas city about two hours from Dallas.
It’s facing severe water shortage and is looking for solutions.
“This reuse project will put 5 million gallons a day back in the distribution steam so it saves us taking 5 million gallons out of the lake,” Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham said.
Lake Arrowhead is the city’s main water source, but it started looking more like a dust bowl two years ago.
City leaders reached out to the state about the possibility of recycling sewer water straight to the tap.
Turns out the treated wastewater wasn’t all that bad, and it wouldn’t take much to turn it into drinking water.
The only missing piece of that puzzle was the pipeline connecting the wastewater plant to the water treatment plant.
With that pipe now in place the city is doing tests so the state will sign off on the project.
“We’re all living downstream from somebody. So we in essence are all already doing reuse,” Wichita Falls Public Utilities Operations Manager Daniel Nix said.
And city leaders say after years of higher water bills and increasing water restriction, most resident understand.
“I’m happy about it because we’re concerned here about our water levels and whether or not we’re going to have water,” Nix said.