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'Toilet-To-Tap' Water Purification Comes To South Bay

ALVISO (KPIX 5) -- The source for Santa Clara County's newest, cleanest and virtually limitless water is the new $68 million sewage treatment plant near Alviso, but the ultra clean water won't be going into homes due to the stigma regarding recycled water.

The new Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center will open this fall, but due to public perceptions, the water from the plant will be diverted for use in fire hydrants, landscaping and electrical fountains instead of homes.

"It takes a long time to educate folks and grasp this concept that this water can be purified to a level that's cleaner than what we are already drinking," said Marty Grimes of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. "The reality is that we are able to produce water that is cleaner than all of our other water sources."

The plant will produce 8 million gallons of water a day, using a three-step process of microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light – which zaps away impurities.

Fresh water is expensive and in short supply during drought years, so this water may some day be a resource that people want to tap.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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