Flush twice, residents. Castle Rock wants the water.
Does anybody want a big, tall, refreshing glass of recycled toilet water? It's not as epic as turning water to wine, but turning what we flush into what we drink is actually pretty cool, and Castle Rock is set to make it happen.
Water resources in this state are a highly valued commodity. Though water is often recycled, a growing number of communities across the nation are changing the face of water treatment. Castle Rock is one of 26 other communities in seven states that are addressing water that is literally going down the drain. Most of the time, water used in homes and businesses flows through the pipes and is sent to a treatment plant. From there, the treated water is often released back into a local, moving water supply, and it will head downstream to other communities.
In Castle Rock's case, treated water is released into the East Plum Creek, and at that point, the town loses that resource to other communities. The town wants to recapture that water, purify it, and reuse it locally, closing the loop from toilet to tap. The town has been planning for this process since 2007, and it is set to begin in 2020.
Castle Rock Plum Creek Water Purification Facility. Courtesy of crgov.com.
Castle Rock officials relate that this plan will help the town use the water it has rights to more efficiently. It expects this reuse to account for up to a third of the town's water supply, helping prevent the community from having to use water from a long distance away.
"Today, a large quantity (approximately 85 percent) of the Town's annual water supply comes from nonrenewable Denver Basin groundwater while only a small portion (approximately 15 percent) comes from renewable supplies along Plum Creek. The nonrenewable Denver Basin groundwater won’t last forever, so it’s important that we continue moving to a renewable water supply that will provide up to 75 percent of the annual demand for water in Castle Rock," says the town's website crgov.com.
Castle Rock is planning to host an open house at its treatment plant to answer questions the public has and provide a tour (the original date of Feb. 23 was postponed due to weather -- check out its Facebook page to stay informed). The open house will also offer wine made out of, what else, re-purified water.
Are you on board for toilet-to-tap water? Let us know in comments.