Family drinks wastewater for months

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Nutrition: Health

They say that what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. Somehow I doubt that is any consolation to the Jain family, who recently discovered that the tap water they have been drinking for the past five months was actually treated waste water.

Vinay Jain said he knew that the water flowing from his tap water tasted a little funny, but otherwise didn't give it much thought. The first clue that something might be actually be wrong with his drinking water was when workers shut off the irrigation pipe in his suburban Raleigh, North Carolina neighborhood and his tap water quit flowing. While his neighbors could no longer water their lawns, his sprinkler system kept working fine.

Somehow, the pipes had been switched and the water coming from the faucet was actually treated waste water intended for watering lawns, not human consumption. Officials say they don't know how the mix-up happened, but that one would have to drink a lot of the waste water in one sitting to get an infectious dose of coliform bacteria. But clearly drinking treated waste water isn't good for you - state regulations ban water systems from using it for drinking water.

My house has an in-ground sprinkler system that uses what we call 'carcass water' because it makes its way to my neighborhood in open canals that wind through farmlands in the area. We assume that there will be the occasional dead animal in the canal and you could not pay me to drink that stuff.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.