WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- More Americans are drinking recycled wastewater, whether they're aware of it or not, and more will have to do so as the U.S. population expands, research says.
A report by the National Research Council said treated wastewater poses no greater health risks than existing water supplies and in some instances may be even safer to drink, USA Today reported Wednesday.
Jorg Drewes, an engineering professor at the Colorado School of Mines who contributed to the report, said it's a waste not to reuse the nation's wastewater since almost all of it is treated before discharge.
"We believe water reuse is a viable option" to combat growing water scarcity, he said, citing advanced in wastewater treatment technologies.
"This can be done reliably without putting the public at risk."
The report said 12 billions gallons of the 32 billion gallons of wastewater discharged every day in the United States goes into an ocean or estuary and thus is a permanently lost resource.