Public perceptions of direct potable reuse in four US cities

Stephanie K.L. Ishii, Treavor H. Boyer, David A. Cornwell, Steve H. Via

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This work is motivated by technical advancements related to direct potable reuse (DPR) and the importance of public values when considering alternative water resources. This study involved the distribution of an online survey to residents in four US cities about existing tap water supplies and "purified water," defined as "municipal wastewater that has undergone advanced water treatment processes, thus resulting in water quality that, at a minimum, complies with drinking water regulations." Overall, 50-60% of respondents were in support of using purified water as potable water. Contaminant concerns were highest for taste/smell and microbial contaminants in both current tap water and purified water. Survey results highlight the importance of addressing certain areas when communicating about DPR to the public, such as barriers against microbial contamination, the trustworthiness of utilities, potential improvements over the status quo, and community-specific drivers that necessitate the use of purified water in a given setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E559-E570
JournalJournal - American Water Works Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acceptance
  • Alternative water resources
  • Direct potable reuse
  • Toilet to tap
  • Water stress
  • Yuck factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology


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