No, this isn't the opening scene of Waterworld. One of the biggest cities in America could soon source drinkable water from sewage.
The Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center, a $68 million facility that will service San Jose and the surrounding area, is set to open in October. And, though the center will source all of its water from treated sewage, it will reportedly produce water that's six times cleaner than what comes out of the tap.
"To give you an idea, this facility should be able to produce water that has a TDS (total dissolved solids) content of 40 parts per million," Marty Grimes of the Santa Clara Valley Water District said to The Huffington Post. "Now compare that to drinking water, which typically has about 250 parts per million."
But though the water might be clean, it won't be coming out of your tap anytime soon. Instead, it will be used for irrigation, landscaping, industrial processes and other uses typically reserved for recycled water. The reason? Public perception.
"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 Grimes to CBS.
Grimes hopes that, eventually, the public will be ready to make the switch.
"We'll have a lot of work to do before that time," he told HuffPost. "But through outreach and tours of the facility, we hope to show the public lab results proving this water is virtually free of impurities."
Such a toilet-to-tap system is already alive and well in Orange County, where water is scarcer than it is in the north. But will San Jose eventually do the same?
"In 20 years," said Grimes, "It may be our best choice."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the TDS levels of water in parts per billion instead of parts per million.