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While researching an answer to that last question, I stumbled across this recent Economist story that does a better job of answering it than I could.

The Economist says this of the Orange County sewage recycling plant — and why people aren’t on board with putting it straight into pipes:

[W]ater officials in Orange County recently opened a $480m recycling plant for recharging local aquifers and injecting the product into the littoral water table to prevent further incursion of seawater. Though the water that leaves the recycling plant is actually purer than tap water, local citizens are still far from ready to drink it directly.

But having been persuaded by a $4m promotion campaign, they are at least happy to see it used to replenish their aquifers. In short, they will cheerfully drink a dirtier version that’s been messed up by nature after being injected back into the ground.

ROB DAVIS

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