Recycled toilet water is just as tasty as bottled water, according to a new study.
In the first ever 'blind' test of 'toilet to tap' water, volunteers even admitted they preferred it to drinking tap water.
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside, today called for marketing campaigns to make sewage water 'less scary'.
They claim people have to accept drinking water that comes directly from toilets amid fears of a global water shortage.
Recycled toilet water is safe to drink because it contains no harmful components, which are all flushed out before it enters the drinking supply.
In the first ever 'blind' taste test of 'toilet to tap' water, volunteers admitted they preferred it to drinking ordinary tap water
Evoking disgust reactions
Daniel Harmon, lead author, said: 'It seems that this term [wastewater], and the idea of recycled water in general, evokes disgust reactions.
'It is important to make recycled water less scary to people who are concerned about it, as it is an important source of water now and in the future.'
How was the study carried out?
The new study, published in the scientific journal Appetite, saw 143 volunteers take part in a 'blind' taste test involving indirect potable reuse (IDR) water.
Researchers placed IDR-treated water, tap water and commercially bottled water in three identical cups that weren't labelled.
Participants were then asked to rank the taste of each of the three different types of waters on a scale ranging from one to five.
What did the study find?
The researchers, who thought the waters would score equally, were baffled when tap water emerged as the least preferred option.
Volunteers who were branded as nervous or anxious were found to like the taste of the IDR-treated and bottled water more.
However, participants defined as being more open to new experiences were found to find little difference in taste between the three samples.