Denver zoo animals no longer drinking recycled water

DENVER (AP) – Denver Zoo officials have changed the drinking water for animals in the Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit after consulting with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on their use of recycled water.

The Denver Post reports ( ) the zoo made the $20,000 switch to potable drinking water for the habitat, which includes elephants, leopards and rhinos, in December. Recycled water had been used in the exhibit since it opened in 2012 for irrigation, cleaning and drinking.

Zoo officials say recycled water has been deemed a safe source for drinking for the animals. But they decided to review its use over concerns that recycled water could be causing the evergreen tree decline in some Denver parks.

The zoo reached out to the USDA and determined that potable drinking water was the best choice.