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Still Waters

Used toilet water turned into drinking water

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Next time you see a dog lapping thirstily at a toilet bowl, pause for thought - next time, it could be you.

A new invention - funded by Bill Gates - aims to turn used toilet water into drinking water.

Manchester University’s Sarah Haigh is an expert in nanotechnology - the science of manipulating atoms in matter - and says, it could make waste water from toilets safe to drink.

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Not really new. I believe the Russians did something similar in their long term space missions.

Having said that: Water is water, no matter if filtered by dirt or by chemicals.

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Water maybe "water" to you but I still am not going to go and drink out of a toilet bowl or a turbid swamp.

"Safe" and "clean" are two different terms. Cyanide can be "safe" if only a tiny bit was consumed.

Unfortunately I think we all are doing this to some degree already which is why our public water is being so heavily treated with chemicals, to suppress the bacteria and such.

Like Questionmark said, the Russians have been doing this for quite some time already so I do not see why this is something new.

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The Brits were using "Big Berky" in India a hundred years ago so they could drink swamp water safely. I bought one just in case of emergencies from hurricanes or such. The thing can take rancid, muddy water and filter it to a safe level to drink.

I really admire Gates for his philanthropy. It's true that he couldn't possibly spend it all in his lifetime but still, some people wouldn't try to help even if they were so rich. God bless him.

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Having said that: Water is water, no matter if filtered by dirt or by chemicals.

Not really. Chemicals do not filter water per say. It helps in removing them particles. But the thing is a lot of them (chemicals) stay in the water we drink and hundreads of them (very dilluted though) pass right through the treatment untouched. I have studied water treatment and worked in both types of plants (used water and fresh water).

Usually we add a coagulant that will neutralise colloidal particles and inject a polymer so they form "clumps" that will then be removed by gravity. After than we filter it to remove the remaining turbidity and we disinfect it.

In residential sewage treatment plants, we usually process the water into biological reactors in which bacterias degrade the organic matter, ammonia compounds (urine) and also phosphorus compounds if needed. Then, the sludge is removed, can be further digested to remove the most organic matter possible and will then be dehydrated with a polymer to be either recycled or disposed. A disinfection can also be done but never with a chlorinated compound as it can react with organic matter to form dangerous halocarbons.

So in all, usual city plants do not remove everything from water. Not even close. They will make it clear, odourless/tastsless (as much as possible) and disinfected. So basicly it won't get you sick but you will inevitably drink very dilluted chemicals that aren't necessarly inoffensive, especially on the long run.

There are ways to fully purify it but it's quite expensive. Invert osmosis is one way but it removes everything from it, even good stuff.

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I trust nothing this guy funds anymore.

He is on my list,and I dont mean my Christmas list.

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