(STUDY FINDS) -- RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Recycled water is perfectly safe, tastes just as good as most drinking water, and can significantly help solve water scarcity problems all over the globe. However, a new study finds that even after people are educated on the safety and benefits of recycled water, they are still largely unwilling to use it in their homes and drink it. Why? It all comes down to one word: disgust.
A 2018 blind taste test study that asked participants to drink recycled waste water, tap water, and commercial bottled water actually found that people preferred the taste of recycled water over tap water. Of course, those results would have been quite different had the participants known what they were drinking. At the time, the research team found that just the idea of using recycled waste water evoked feelings of disgust among virtually all of the participants.
So, the same researchers from the University of California, Riverside who conducted that taste test study in 2018 decided to follow up on their work by researching how people’s perceptions of recycled water changed after becoming more educated on the topic. They focused on a number of factors that typically cause people to avoid recycled water, including disgust, misinformation, ignorance, and a need to conform to social norms.
Advertisement - story continues below