A plan to allow a wastewater treatment operator in Oregon to give its recycled sewer water to a group of home brewers who will then turn it into beer was approved by the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission earlier this week.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Clean Water Services, a utility that operates four wastewater treatment plants in the Portland area, has a treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water. It wants to showcase this technology by giving the recycled water to Oregon Brew Crew, which would use it in small batches of beer only sold at events, not at breweries.
This is the first time Oregon has considered allowing people to drink treated wastewater.
In California, as the drought worsens, opposition to using recycled wastewater has lessened, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Last year Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires state health and water officials to report by September 2016 on the feasibility of developing uniform standards for recycling wastewater for “direct potable reuse.” That means purified wastewater would flow straight to household faucets.