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Waste Water Reuse

Waste Water Reuse

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Published by: ecotechconsultants on Jan 13, 2011
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3.2 Wastewater reuse
Once freshwater has been used for an economic or beneficial purpose, it is generallydiscarded as waste. In many countries, these wastewaters are discharged, either asuntreated waste or as treated effluent, into natural watercourses, from which they areabstracted for further use after undergoing "self-purification" within the stream. Throughthis system of indirect reuse, wastewater may be reused up to a dozen times or morebefore being discharged to the sea. Such indirect reuse is common in the larger river systems of Latin America. However, more direct reuse is also possible: the technologyto reclaim wastewaters as potable or process waters is a technically feasible option for agricultural and some industrial purposes (such as for cooling water or sanitaryflushing), and a largely experimental option for the supply of domestic water.Wastewater reuse for drinking raises public health, and possibly religious, concernsamong consumers. The adoption of wastewater treatment and subsequent reuse as ameans of supplying freshwater is also determined by economic factors.In many countries, water quality standards have been developed governing thedischarge of wastewater into the environment. Wastewater, in this context, includessewage effluent, stormwater runoff, and industrial discharges. The necessity to protectthe natural environment from wastewater-related pollution has led to much improvedtreatment techniques. Extending these technologies to the treatment of wastewaters topotable standards was a logical extension of this protection and augmentation process.
Technical Description
 One of the most critical steps in any reuse program is to protect the public health,especially that of workers and consumers. To this end, it is most important to neutralizeor eliminate any infectious agents or pathogenic organisms that may be present in thewastewater. For some reuse applications, such as irrigation of non-food crop plants,secondary treatment may be acceptable. For other applications, further disinfection, bysuch methods as chlorination or ozonation, may be necessary. Table 18 presents arange of typical survival times for potential pathogens in water and other media.
Table 18 Typical Pathogen Survival Times at 20 - 30°C (in days)
 
Pathogen
 
Freshwater and sewage
 
Crops
 
Soil
 
V
iruses
 
< 120 but usually <50
 
<60 but usually < 15
 
<100 but usually <20
 
Bacteria
 
<60 but usually <30
 
<3 0 but usually < 15
 
<70 but usually <20
 
Protozoa
 
<30 but usually <15
 
<10 but usually <2
 
<70 but usually <20
 
Helminths
 
Many months
 
<60 but usually <30
 
Many months
 
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Process Design Manual: Guidelines/or Water Reuse.
Cincinnati, Ohio, 1992 (Report No. EPA-625/R-92-004).
 
 
 A typical example of wastewater reuse is the system at the Sam Lords Castle Hotel inBarbados. Effluent consisting of kitchen, laundry, and domestic sewage ("gray water") iscollected in a sump, from which it is pumped, through a comminutor, to an aerationchamber. No primary sedimentation is provided in this system, although it is oftendesirable to do so. The aerated mixed liquor flows out of the aeration chamber to aclarifier for gravity separation. The effluent from the clarifier is then passed through a16-foot-deep chlorine disinfection chamber before it is pumped to an automatic sprinkler irrigation system. The irrigated areas are divided into sixteen zones; each zone hastwelve sprinklers. Some areas are also provided with a drip irrigation system. Sludgefrom the clarifier is pumped, without thickening, as a slurry to suckwells, where it isdisposed of. Previously the sludge was pumped out and sent to the Bridgetown SewageTreatment Plant for further treatment and additional desludging.
Ex
tent of Use
 For health and aesthetic reasons, reuse of treated sewage effluent is presently limitedto non-potable applications such as irrigation of non-food crops and provision of industrial cooling water. There are no known direct reuse schemes using treatedwastewater from sewerage systems for drinking. Indeed, the only known systems of thistype are experimental in nature, although in some cases treated wastewater is reusedindirectly, as a source of aquifer recharge. Table 19 presents some guidelines for theutilization of wastewater, indicating the type of treatment required, resultant water quality specifications, and appropriate setback distances. In general, wastewater reuseis a technology that has had limited use, primarily in small-scale projects in the region,owing to concerns about potential public health hazards.Wastewater reuse in the Caribbean is primarily in the form of irrigation water. InJamaica, some hotels have used wastewater treatment effluent for golf course irrigation,while the major industrial water users, the bauxite/alumina companies, engage inextensive recycling of their process waters (see case study in Part C, Chapter 5). InBarbados, effluent from an extended aeration sewage treatment plant is used for lawnirrigation (see case study in Part C, Chapter 5). Similar use of wastewater occurs onCuraçao.
Table 19 Guidelines for Water Reuse
 
Type of Reuse
 
TreatmentRequired
 
ReclaimedWater Quality
 
RecommendedMonitoring
 
SetbackDistances
  AGRICULTURAL SecondaryDisinfectionpH = 6-9 pH weekly 300 ft frompotable water supply wellsFood cropscommerciallyprocessedBOD
e
30mg/lBOD weeklySS = 30 mg/l SS dailyOrchards andFC
e
200/100FC daily 100 ft from
 
V
inerds ml areasaccessible topublicCl
2
residual =1 mg/l min.Cl
2
residualcontinuousPASTURAGE SecondaryDisinfectionpH = 6-9 pH weekly 300 ft frompotable water supply wellsPasture for milkinganimalsBOD
e
30mg/lBOD weeklySS
e
30 mg/lSS dailyPasture for livestockFC
e
200/100mlFC daily 100 ft fromareasaccessible topublicCl
2
residual =1 mg/l min.Cl
2
residualcontinuousFORESTATION SecondaryDisinfectionpH = 6-9 pH weekly 300 ft frompotable water supply wellsBOD
e
30mg/lBOD weeklySS
e
30 mg/lSS dailyFC
e
200/100mlFC daily 100 ft fromareasaccessible tothe publicCl
2
residual =1 mg/l min.Cl
2
residualcontinuous AGRICULTURAL SecondaryFiltrationDisinfectionpH = 6-9 pH weekly 50 ft frompotable water supply wellsFood crops notcommerciallyprocessedBOD
e
30mg/lBOD weeklyTurbidity
e
1NTUTurbidity dailyFC = 0/100 ml FC dailyCl
2
residual =1 mg/l min.Cl
2
residualcontinuousGROUNDWATERRECHARGESite-specificand use-dependentSite-specificand use-dependentDepends ontreatment and useSite-specificSource: USEPA
,
Process Design Manual: Guidelines for Water Reuse
,
Cincinnati, Ohio,1992, (Report No. EPA-625/R-92-004).
 
In Latin America, treated wastewater is used in small-scale agricultural projects and,particularly by hotels, for lawn irrigation. In Chile, up to 220 l/s of wastewater is used for irrigation purposes in the desert region of Antofagasta. In Brazil, wastewater has beenextensively reused for agriculture. Treated wastewaters have also been used for humanconsumption after proper disinfection, for industrial processes as a source of coolingwater, and for aquaculture. Wastewater reuse for aquacultural and agricultural irrigationpurposes is also practiced in Lima, Peru. In Argentina, natural systems are used for 

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