Recycling Wastewater and Saving Water in California

The state of California has a population of around 39 million and is present in a semi-arid region with a Mediterranean climate, which reduces the overall rainfall and also the humidity present in the atmosphere. Due to these factors the sources of water are scarce and hence the efficient recycling of existing water is the rational solution. The state produces approximately 15 billion gallons of wastewater each day, which can be sent to wastewater recycling plants through proper infrastructure for treatment and later used to tackle water deficit during droughts.

Direct Impacts that might occur is this scenario:

  • Solid waste disposal: The disposal of solid waste produced as a byproduct of the treatment process might produce environmental concerns.
  • Health Hazards: Improper treatment might cause health problems to the people who drink it.
  • Air pollution: Treatment process could result in the release of certain volatile chemicals into the air.
  • Energy generation: Methane produced can be used for electricity generation and help the recycling plant achieve energy sustainability.

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  • Psychological effects: People aware of the wastewater treatment, might avoid drinking the water. · Water supply: Steady supply of freshwater can be achieved even during significant droughts. ·
  • Overall cost: The cost of the overall maintenance can we managed by selling the excess electricity produced to the grid or by directly selling methane as energy source.

The solid wastes produced as byproduct of the treatment process creates either land pollution when disposed in landfills or air pollution during its disposal by incineration process. Air pollution Negative During the treatment process significant amount of volatile gases get released in the atmosphere, which creates climate change through global warming.

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Social Impacts Health Hazards Negative Improper treatment process could create detrimental health problems to the humans who live and consume the water in the locality as well as plants and animals which consume the treated water.

Psychological effects: Negative

People who are aware that the wastewater that is used is produced in their bathrooms and kitchens are reluctant to drink the recycled water as their mind infers it as dirty water. Supply of potable water Positive The water produced by recycling process can be stored in large closed tanks, so that it can used when there is drought. this creates ample supply of potable water whenever needed.

Economical Impacts Overall Cost: Positive

The overall cost of construction and maintenance can be recuperated in the longer run by selling the electricity produced by the help of methane produced as a byproduct of the treatment process.

Energy generation: Positive

The electricity that can produced can make the plant energy independent thus making the entire process more economical and the water cheap to treat.

Indirect Impacts that might occur in this scenario:

  • Job opportunities: New jobs will be created during both the constriction as well as maintenance of the wastewater recycling treatment plant.
  • Reduced dependencies: Due to this project the state can rely less on water from underground borewells, other states and desalination plants.

Mitigation for negative impacts: Solid waste disposal

The solid waste produced can be made to undergo a treatment process and later used has a composite for plants, rather than burying or incineration.

Air pollution

The treatment plant can be constructed at the outer limits of cities so that the gases produced can be kept away from human beings, so as to not cause any health hazard.

Health Hazards

The treatment plant can set up specific rules regarding the treatment plant’s operations, and also periodic inspection of water quality can reduce mismanagement that might prove hazardous to human’s health. Psychological effects Education about the overall treatment process and the safety precautions that are carried out, could help people understand and overcome the psychological blocks regarding wastewater recycling.

Feasibility of this solution: This solution is sustainable because the negative impacts that were assessed can be successfully mitigated and the benefits for undergoing this project far outweighs the problems. This process is also self-sustainable and causes the least problem to the environment.


  1. “Wastewater treatment process in California” [online]. Available: [Accessed: 12-Jun-2020].

Cite this page

Recycling Wastewater and Saving Water in California. (2022, May 30). Retrieved from

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