A new study now finds that recycled toilet water is just as tasty as bottled water. In a 'blind' test of 'toilet to tap' water, volunteers even admitted they preferred it to drinking tap water.
The study, conducted by the University of California, Riverside called for marketing campaigns to make sewage water 'less scary'.
They researchers say 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.
While the mere thought of drinking toilte water may evoke disgusting reactions, Daniel Harmon, lead author, says that the term wastewater, and the idea of recycled water in general, evokes disgust reactions.
The 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 labeled and participants were asked to rank the taste of each of the three different types of waters on a scale ranging from one to five.
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.
Professor Mary Gauvain, co-author of the study, said: 'The groundwater-based water was not as well liked as IDR or bottled water.
'We think that happened because IDR and bottled water go through remarkably similar treatment processes.'
Professor Gauvain added this means they tend to have 'low levels of the types of tastes' that people tend to dislike.