A new treatment plant in Orange County, Calif., is one of about 15 in the country to recycle wastewater back into the groundwater drinking water supply -- a plan called indirect potable reuse. Two experts answer your questions on water recycling.
Why hasn't the composting toilet been considered? Eliminate fecal material and the rest of household waste water can be cleaned on site for reuse. The flush toilet works if there is an abundance of water but that is no longer the case in many places.
Cheryl McGovern responds:
Composting toilets are an option for many people who are willing to operate and maintain them. They are typically not chosen as the best option for use in a community-wide application because they are impractical for many users. In community service areas, residents include elderly, disabled and small children who would be challenged by their required maintenance.
There may be state and/or local laws that restrict or condition the use of composting toilets. As you suggest, composting toilets are an option that are being used under a wide variety of circumstances. We can't recommend specific products, manufacturers, distributors or stores, but you can even buy composting toilets -- such as the BioLet 60 XL Electric Composting Toilet, Automatic Mixer or the BioLet 30 NE Non-electric composting toilet -- at places such as Home Depot.