San Francisco-based startup Epic Cleantec is helping buildings recover and reuse wastewater on site. The company's system removes solids from wastewater and turns them into soil. It then treats the water to be clean enough for uses like toilet flushing, irrigation, cooling towers or laundry.

"We are capturing all the dirty water that you would normally send into the sewer, and we're turning that into clean water, into soil, and into recovered wastewater heat," said CEO Aaron Tartakovsky. "flush and forget" society needs an overhaul, as climate change produces more severe and prolonged droughts.

The American West is in the midst of the worst drought in 1,200 years. San Francisco recently passed a law requiring every new building over 100,000 square feet to have a water-recycling system. Programs like it are cropping up in Denver, Austin, Texas, and New York City.

1550 Mission is a 39-story, 550-unit apartment building in San Francisco. The building can now reuse over 2.5 million gallons of water every year, according to Related. Its water-recycling system was installed at 1550 Mission, a 39th-floor apartment building.
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