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Citizens in Toowoomba, Australia, a small town about 90 miles outside of Brisbane, rejected a plan yesterday to produce drinking water by augmenting their existing reservoirs with wastewater, Reuters reported.

Toowoomba could not, according to the article, come to grips with the “yuck factor,” which hampered a similar proposal in San Diego in 1999 and is resurfacing as the city begins to examine the program again.

“The majority of the Toowoomba community does not support the indirect potable reuse of recycled water,” Australia’s parliamentary secretary for water, Malcolm Turnbull told Reuters. “I respect that decision. Reuse of recycled water for drinking purposes in the manner proposed is sustainable and it is safe. But, as I have said many times, it is not compulsory.”

About 60 percent of voters rejected the proposal, according to a separate report on ABC Australia’s website. Check out the Reuters article here. And take a gander at ABC’s coverage of the issue here.

SAM HODGSON

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