Complete coverage of Texas' record heat wave of 2011

Tapping Toilet Water? Yes. It's True.

Scarce water supplies have towns resorting to the unthinkable

Thursday, Aug 11, 2011  |  Updated 3:09 PM CDT
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Weatherford Without Water

Ian Waldie/Getty

For years, communities have been dealing with a diminishing water supply. And water has become even more scarce during this year's drought. Now some towns are resorting to a plan that once seemed unthinkable: treating sewage and sending it back into the tap.

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Water Restored in Kemp

The water is back on in Kemp, much to pleasure of residents.

Weatherford Without Water

There's no water in the entire city of Weatherford after the city's 24 inch main water pipe broke, residents are coping on one of the hottest days so far this year.
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In parched West Texas, drilling for oil has often been easier than finding new sources of water.

For years, communities have been dealing with a diminishing water supply. And water has become even more scarce during this year's drought. Now some towns are resorting to a plan that once seemed unthinkable: treating sewage and sending it back into the tap.

Construction recently began on a $13 million water-reclamation plant believed to be the first in Texas. And officials have worked to dispel any fears that people will be drinking their neighbors' urine.

They say the system will yield clean, safe drinking water. It's similar to a process that has been used for years in California and other countries.

Some residents are willing to put aside their squeamishness if it means having more water.

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