Yes, You’ve Been Sipping What Dallas Has Been Flushing

YES, YOU’VE BEEN SIPPING WHAT DALLAS HAS BEEN FLUSHING Diagram Showing Flow of Treated Sewage from Dallas and Fort Worth to Houston“For the large chunk of population that lives downstream from a big city and whose water supply flows through a river, more than a few drops of the water in their glasses was probably once in someone else’s toilet,” Neena Satija drily notes in her reassuring survey for the Texas Tribune of sewage-treatment projects throughout the state. Her story is worth checking out for the animated image diagramming the flow from a Fort Worth-area toilet to a Houston highball glass alone (excerpted screenshot shown at left, above), but she does stir up some oft-repeated local poop: “Let’s start with Houston, which, as Texas State University professor Andy Sansom says, ‘has been drinking Dallas’ crap for decades,’” she writes. “Wastewater from Dallas and Fort Worth is deposited into the Trinity River, where it flows down into the lakes that supply Houston residents. The wastewater is so clean that it’s credited with helping the Trinity River stay strong during recent years of severe drought.” [Texas Tribune; previously on Swamplot] Illustration: Todd Wiseman/Alessandro Suraci/Luis Prado

12 Comment

  • i’m not thirsty now.

  • Not news. Houston’s been taking shit from Dallas for as long as I can remember.

  • Now I know who peed in my Cheerios……

  • A hardy & steady stream from Dallas residents = a steady stream for us Houstonians

  • Alas, I shall start using the colloquialism correctly….
    Jim: Did you hear about Jerry?
    Me: No.
    Jim: He was with his mistress and his wife came home!
    Me Oh man he’s in Dallas w/out a paddle!

  • More and more cities (recently, San Antonio) are applying for permits to close the loop, and reuse their own treated effluent that their wastewater treatment plants previously discharged into rivers. With most cities in Texas scrambling to find more water sources, and at higher costs, this is the future. The problem is, all of the downstream cities depend on those effluent return flows for their own water systems. In the future, Houston could be going to court to try to force Dallas to keep sending its poop water down the Trinity!

  • Meh, that’s what water treatment facilities are for. The water in Houston does taste terrible compared to other parts of the country, but I don’t blame in what the toilets of Dallas. After all, couldn’t you say the same thing about our food? A lot of people don’t see to mind that we use fertilizer…I use a water filter for drinking at the house. Tastes much better.

  • Soon, someone will tell us that Soylent Green is people! (tongue in cheek)

  • Just wait for net zero water buildings. They are coming. And when they arrive, you’ll be drinking water (almost) directly from your own toilet.

  • In some areas even when the municipality has clean drinking water coming out (with waste water going in), that the municipality discharges into the aquifer to be draw up for drinking water. In most cases the water going into the aquifer is cleaner than the water in the aquifer. But public perception is that something magical happens and they perfect to drink the mostly clean groundwater as appose to the crystal clean water from the treatment plant.

  • Hardly worthy of a news story. Dallas themselves have been “sipping what they have been flushing” for a long time as well. The City of Dallas makes no secret that their water supply comes from treated wastewater found in Lewisville Lake, Grapevine Lake, Ray Hubbard Lake, Tawakoni Lake, Ray Roberts Lake, and Fork Lake from flowing tributaries.