U.S. Water News Online
CARY, N.C. -- Vinay Jain knew his tap water tasted funny,
but he wouldn't have guessed his family had been drinking treated
wastewater used for watering lawns.
That turned out to be the case at his suburban-Raleigh home, the
discovery coming after workers shut off an irrigation pipe in Jain's
neighborhood. His neighbors had tap water but couldn't get their
sprinklers to work, while Jain's sprinklers worked fine -- but the
taps inside his house ran dry.
It's unclear how the piping got switched.
"We believe that this is a unique situation," Cary Public Works
head Mike Bajorek said.
About 500 homes in the town have irrigation systems served by
reclaimed water. As a precaution, Cary officials were going house to
house to check for similar problems.
Jain, meanwhile, isn't pleased his family had a reversed
connection for nearly five months.
"In a place like Cary, it never even occurred to me that this
might even be a possibility," said Jain, 37. "This gives the
impression of a Third World country."
State regulations ban water systems from using the treated
wastewater for drinking water. Cary officials said the risks are low,
and that someone must drink a lot of water in one sitting to get an
infectious dose of coliform bacteria.
Still, Jain and his wife, Priyanka, said they are second-guessing
their children's claims of stomach aches at dinner.
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