Recycled Waste Water

(Denver-AP) -- Metro-area residents may be closer than they would like to think to drinking treated sewage water.

The city of Denver is building plants to recycle millions of gallons of dirty water for golf courses, park lawns and nondrinkable industrial uses, as the state's worst drought in a century continues. The next step of turning that ``reclaimed'' water into tap water is simply a matter of a few more filters and chemicals.

Denver Water has taken polls on the issue, and says two-thirds to three-fourths of the public is willing to try the treated tap water. But officials admit those answers could change.

The city is at least a few years from trying it, if it ever does. When portions of a new Denver reclamation plant go online in 2004 and 2011, irrigation and industry likely will use much of the reclaimed water. Officials say that might also be a good time to reconsider putting treated wastewater back into Denver's drinking-water system.

Colorado Springs Utilities officials say treating waste water to be used as tap water is in their long range plans, but would not be able to happen until 2040.