Toilet to tap? Daytona Beach experiments with turning treated wastewater into drinking water

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The city of Daytona Beach is part of a new pilot program to experiment with turning treated wastewater into drinking water.

The city is working with Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the St. Johns River Water Management District on the project.

The city has built a treatment facility for the two-year pilot project, but the water isn't currently part of the city's drinking supply. The state said no reclaimed water is being used as drinking water in Florida.

The project aims to explore the feasibility of creating an alternative drinking supply to offset future demand.

Volusia County resident David Caplette said the idea of drinking treated wastewater is tough to stomach.

"I drink water whenever I take my medicine. I drink a lot of water," he said. "There's no way I'd want to drink recycled water."

Tom Meyers, who owns Rhokkoh's Frozen Yogurt, said he would want to invest in a filtration system if the program were to be implemented.

"I don’t even drink tap water now without it being filtered," he said. "So I can assure you I wouldn't be comfortable if I knew what was coming out of that faucet came from wastewater."

The state said reclaimed water is primarily used for irrigation and helps lessen the demand on the public drinking supply. The water must be disinfected, treated twice and meet certain pH control levels before it can be reused for irrigation.