Though little more than an expanded, updated version of the author's 1967 Reader's Digest article on a small-scale water reclamation project, this upbeat report has its place as a supplement to more sober and general works on water conservation. Santee, California, is a small town that reclaims and reuses its sewage water to irrigate parks, golf courses, and agricultural land, and to provide its residents with eight clear, clean recreational lakes. Stevens' non-technical account follows the program from conception to projected expansion, highlights tire men and women who developed the system, and emphasizes the need for similar projects elsewhere (as ""even the ocean is not a bottomless cesspool""). The writing is undistinguished but easy to follow; problems of authorization, public acceptance and funding (climaxed by water manager Stoyer's successful plea to President Kennedy when a federal grant was cut) provide a certain narrative interest. Santee's system will not solve all our water problems, but Stevens offers youngsters an encouraging example without minimizing the threats of growing water pollution and diminishing supply.