Preface – Water-Quality Engineering

K Hanaki, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
& 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Water technology has been ever growing. It is an essential set
of technologies for sustainable human society. Traditional
technology, or better called just skill, to obtain, purify, and
supply water was developed in the ancient era in various re-
gions of the world. Great efforts have been made to obtain safe
and adequate water as an essential resource to human life.
However, still, billions of people in the world have no access
to safe water. Moreover, large numbers of people have no
chance to use a proper sanitation system, and this eventually
deteriorates water quality and decreases the available safe
water resources.
Water resources are renewable theoretically. Used water
does not disappear but is renewed to freshwater through
evaporation by the power of solar energy. Solar energy is a
natural distillation system to remove impurities present in
water. However, the help of water technology is needed to
maintain this renewing function in the modern world in
which human activity overwhelms the natural purifying
function.
Conventional water technology was used as a black box
through which water was purified without knowing the
mechanisms, which control the physical, chemical, and bio-
logical reactions used in purification. However, such empirical
use of technology cannot further improve or develop the
technology. Many researchers and practitioners have de-
veloped theory-based technology, rather than mere empirical
skill, for purifying water. The function of each unit process was
studied and the mechanisms of separation, role of micro-
organisms, and process characteristics were clarified. A sig-
nificant amount of knowledge has been accumulated. This
knowledge improves process performance and reliability.
Human beings also developed tools to examine the micro- or
nanoscale reaction. Modern technology needs to be based on
a deep and broad understanding of theory.
Water technology is not isolated from other technologies.
Many innovations to upgrade water-technology performance
have been tried by applying new technologies from other
fields. Membrane technology that originated in a field such as
medical science or chemical engineering is an example.
Nowadays, water treatment is one of the largest application
areas of membrane technology.
The purpose of water technology has been expanded from
purification of water to water generation, energy and resource
recovery. This is a practical and important area to which new
technology can be applied. Water availability is limiting
human settlements. The supply of water produced from
seawater or even moisture can break through this limitation.
The requirements for water technology differ very much
from one place to the other. The key factors are target com-
pounds to be removed, resource and energy consideration,
capacity of operating human resources, as well as economic
resources. For example, a safe water-supply system in least-
developed areas needs technology, which can be used without
frequent and sophisticated maintenance. However, such
technology does not mean cheap and old technology. Newly
developed innovative technology has a higher chance of im-
plementation than old technology.
Water management needs policy and system technology
rather than simple connection of unit technologies. A dis-
tributed wastewater treatment system needs reliable and eco-
nomically and technologically reasonable treatment
technologies. A nutrient removal policy for eutrophication can
be realized by introducing a technologically reasonable com-
bination of secondary and advanced treatments. The water
technology is a system technology.
Resource and energy limitation has become a key factor for
sustainability. Substantial amount of material use threatens
the world’s resources, and energy use provokes the climate
change problem. Saving resource and energy is now an in-
dispensable aspect of water technology. The necessity of en-
ergy and resource saving further changes water technology.
The current global situation regarding climate change and
resource limitation enhances the recovery of resource and
energy. Wastewater contains organic matter, which is biomass;
therefore, obtaining carbon-neutral energy is possible.
Water technology is now forming an important part of
business worldwide. Every country needs safe water and en-
vironmental protection from wastewater. Technology devel-
opment, implementation, and maintenance provide
substantial opportunities for business.
This volume includes theory, practice, and recent devel-
opment of these wide range of water technologies, although
all such innovative technologies cannot be included. There is
no single answer to any of the particular cases. Among many
options, one should choose a technology system considering
the local social, economic, and engineering aspects. This vol-
ume would help such a technology choice.
1
4.01 Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek
and Roman Civilizations
G De Feo, University of Salerno, Fisciano (SA), Italy
LW Mays, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
AN Angelakis, Institute of Iraklion, Iraklion, Crete, Greece
& 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
4.01.1 Aqueducts 4
4.01.2 Minoan and Greek Aqueducts 4
4.01.3 Roman Aqueducts 5
4.01.4 Cisterns and Reservoirs 8
4.01.5 Water Distribution Systems 11
4.01.6 Fountains 14
4.01.7 Drainage and Sewerage Systems and Toilets 15
4.01.8 Discussion and Conclusions 19
References 21
Prolegomena
The past is the key for the future
‘Hydor (Water) is the beginning of everything’
Thales from Miletus (c. 636–546 BC).
Humans have spent most of their existence as hunting and
food-gathering beings. Only in the last c. 9000–10 000 years,
they discovered how to grow agricultural crops and tame
animals. Such revolution probably first took place in the hills
to the north of Mesopotamia. From there the agricultural
revolution spread to the Nile and Indus Valleys. During this
agricultural revolution, permanent villages replaced a wan-
dering existence. About 6000–7000 years ago, farming villages
of the Near East and Middle East became cities.
Hydraulic technology began during antiquity long before
the great works of such investigators such as Leonardo da
Vinci (1452–1519) and Isaac Newton (1642–1727), and even
long before Archimedes (287–212 BC) (Mays, 2008). During
the Neolithic age (c. 5700–3200BC), the first successful efforts
to control the water flow were driven (such as dams and ir-
rigation systems) due to the food needs and were imple-
mented in Mesopotamia and Egypt (Mays et al., 2007). Urban
water-supply and sanitation systems are dated at a later stage,
in the Bronze Age (c. 3200–1100 BC).
Regarding the technological principles related to water and
wastewater, today it is well documented that many are not
achievements of present day, but date back to 3000–4000 years
ago. These achievements include both water and wastewater
constructions (such as dams, wells, cisterns, aqueducts, sewer-
age and drainage systems, toilets, and even recreational
structures). These hydraulic works also reflect advanced sci-
entific knowledge, which allowed the construction of tunnels
from two openings and the transportation of water both by
gravity flow in open channels and by pressurized flow in
closed conduits. Certainly, technological developments were
driven by the necessities to make efficient use of natural
resources, to make civilizations more resistant to destruc-
tive natural elements, and to improve the standards of life.
With respect to the latter, the Greek (including Minoan) and
Roman civilizations developed an advanced, comfortable, and
hygienic lifestyle, as manifested from public and private
bathrooms and flushing toilets, which can only be compared
to the modern one, re-established in Europe and North
America in the beginning of the last century.
Minoan technological developments in water and waste-
water management principles and practices are not as well
known as other achievements of the Minoan civilization, such
as poetry, philosophy, sciences, politics, and visual arts.
However, archaeological and other evidence indicate that,
during the Bronze Age in Crete, advanced water management
and sanitary techniques were practiced in several palaces and
settlements. This period was called by the excavator of the
palace at Knossos, Sir Arthur Evans, as Minoan after the
legendary King Minos. Thus, Crete became the cradle of one of
the most important civilizations of mankind and the first
major civilization in Europe.
One of the major achievements of the Minoans was the
advanced water and wastewater management techniques prac-
ticed in Crete during that time. The advanced water distribution
and sewerage systems in various Minoan palaces and settle-
ments are remarkable. These techniques include the con-
struction and use of aqueducts, cisterns, wells, and fountains,
the water-supply systems, the construction and use of bath-
rooms and other sanitary and purgatory facilities, as well as
wastewater and stormwater sewerage systems. The hydraulic and
architectural function of the water-supply and sewer systems in
palaces and cities are regarded as one of the salient character-
istics of the Minoan civilization. These systems were so advanced
that they can be compared with the modern systems, which
were established only in the second half of the nineteenth
century in European and American cities (Angelakis et al., 2010).
Water and wastewater technologies developed during the
Minoan, Greek, and Roman civilizations are considered in this
chapter. Emphasis is given to the water resources development
such as aqueducts, cisterns, wells, distribution systems, was-
tewater and stormwater sewerage systems construction, oper-
ation, and management beginning since Minoan times
(second millennium BC). The achievements to support the
3
hygienic and the functional requirements of palaces and cities
during this time were so advanced that could be paralleled
only to modern urban water systems that were developed in
Europe and North America only in the second half of the
nineteenth century (Angelakis and Spyridakis, 1996).
It should be noted that hydraulic technologies developed
during the Greek and Roman periods are not limited to urban
water and wastewater systems. The progress in urban water
supply was even more admirable, as witnessed by several
aqueducts, cisterns, wells, and other water facilities discovered
(Koutsoyiannis et al., 2008). These advanced Minoan tech-
nologies were expanded to the Greek mainland in later peri-
ods of the Greek civilization, that is, in Mycenaean, Archaic,
Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. In this chapter, a
rather synoptic description of the main concepts of water
and wastewater management during the Minoan, Greek, and
Roman civilization is attempted. The main principles and
challenges are also discussed.
4.01.1 Aqueducts
Aqueducts were used to transport water from a source to the
locations where the water was needed, either for irrigation or
for urban water supplies, and have been used since the Bronze
Age. Aqueduct bridges are man-made conduits for transport-
ing water across rivers, streams, and valleys. As a matter of fact,
a systematic evolution of water management in ancient Greece
began in Crete during the early Bronze Age, that is, the Early
Minoan period (c. 3500–2150BC) (Myers et al., 1992; Mays,
2007). Starting the Early Minoan period II (c. 2990–2300 BC),
a variety of technologies such as wells, cisterns, and aqueducts
were used (Mays, 2007).
4.01.2 Minoan and Greek Aqueducts
The water distribution system at Knossos, as well as the
mountainous terrain and available springs made possible
the existence of an aqueduct (Mays, 2007; Mays et al., 2007).
The Minoan inhabitants of Knossos depended partially on
wells, and mostly on water provided by the Kairatos River to
the east of the low hill of the palace, and on springs. Indi-
cations suggest that the water-supply system of the Knossos
palace initially relied on the spring of Mavrokolybos (called so
by Evans), a limestone spring located 450m southwest of the
palace (Angelakis et al., 2007; Evans, 1921–1935; Mays et al.,
2007). In later periods with the increase of population, other
springs at further longer distances were utilized. Thus, an
aqueduct made of terracotta pipe could have crossed a bridge
on a small stream south of the palace which carried water
from a perennial spring on the Gypsadhes hill (Graham,
1987; Mays, 2007).
A second example of an aqueduct was found in Tylissos
(see Figure 1(a)). Parts of the stone aqueduct, with the main
conduit at the entrance of the complex of houses, and
other secondary systems led the water to a cistern dated at
c. 1425–1390 BC (Mays et al., 2007). Other aqueducts were in
Gournia, Malia, and Mochlos. These technologies were further
developed during the Hellenistic and Roman periods in Crete,
and were transferred to continental Greece as well as other
Mediterranean locations (Angelakis et al., 2007; Angelakis and
Spyridakis, 2010).
In the Archaic and the Classical periods of the Greek civil-
ization, aqueducts were built similar to the ones built by the
Minoans and Mycenaeans. One of the most renowned water-
supply systems is the tunnel of Eupalinos on Samos Island. In
fact, it is the first deep tunnel in history that was dug from two
openings with the two lines of construction meeting at about
the central point of the distance. The construction of this tunnel
was made possible by the progress in geometry and geodesy
that was necessary to implement two independent lines of
construction that would meet (Koutsoyiannis et al., 2008; Mays
et al., 2007). The Samos aqueduct system includes the 1036-m-
long tunnel and two additional parts for a total length greater
than 2800 m. Its construction started in 530BC, during the
tyranny of Polycrates and lasted 10 years. It was in operation
until the fifth century AD (Koutsoyiannis et al., 2008).
Figure 1 Ancient Minoan and Greek aqueducts: (a) aqueduct entering Tylissos showing the stone cover and (b) Peisistratean aqueduct consisting of
terracotta pipe segments and elliptical pipe openings in each pipe. Copyright permission with LW Mays.
4 Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations
Obviously, there are several other acknowledged aqueducts
in Greek cities since water supply was regarded a crucial and
indispensable infrastructure of every city (Tassios, 2007).
Aqueducts (either tunnels or trenches) were always sub-
terranean due to safety and security reasons. Usually, at the
entrance of the city, aqueducts would branch out in the city to
feed cisterns and public fountains in central locations. The
aqueducts were pipes (usually terracotta) laying in the bottom
of trenches or tunnels allowing for protection. One or more
pipes in parallel were used depending upon the flow to be
conveyed. The terracotta pipes (20–25cm in diameter) fit into
each other and allow access for cleaning and maintenance by
elliptic openings that were covered by terracotta covers (Mays,
2007; Mays et al., 2007).
Water conveyed by aqueducts typically originated from
karstic springs. As the history teaches us, the presence of nat-
ural springs was a prerequisite for the selection of an area to
settle. As a matter of fact, the Acropolis at Athens had an
aquifer and a spring named Clepsydra. With the intensified
urban development as well as the increase of population, the
natural springs were not able to cover the water demand. Thus,
the increasing water scarcity was remedied by transferring
water from distant springs by aqueducts, digging wells, and
constructing cisterns for rainwater storage. In Athens all these
alternatives coexisted: the Peisistratean aqueduct (see
Figure 1(b)) constructed by the end of the sixth century BC
was accompanied with numerous wells and cisterns. Legis-
lative and institutional tools were developed in Athens in
order to wisely and effectively manage a water-supply system
with public and private elements (Mays et al., 2007;
Koutsoyiannis et al., 2008).
Subsequently, the technologies developed in ancient
Greece were transferred to the Greek colonies both to the east
in Ionia (Asia Minor, nowadays Turkey) and to the west in the
Italian peninsula, Sicily, and other Mediterranean sites, most
of which were founded during the archaic period. A brilliant
example of this was the founding of Syracuse (on Sicily) as a
colony of Corinth in 734 BC (Mays et al., 2007).
Later, during the Hellenistic period, further developments
were accomplished by the Greeks in the construction and
operation of aqueducts due to the progress in science which
led a new technical expertise. Hellenistic aqueducts usually
used pipes as well as they continued to be subterranean for
safety reasons (war, earthquakes, etc.). The scientific progress
in hydraulic (especially due to Archimedes, Hero of Alexan-
dria) allowed the construction of inverted siphons at large
scales to convey water across valleys (lengths of kilometers,
hydraulic heads of hundreds of meters) (Koutsoyiannis et al.,
2007, 2008; Mays, 2007; Mays et al., 2007).
4.01.3 Roman Aqueducts
Springs, by far, were the most common sources of water for
aqueducts even with the Romans. Water sources for the Greeks
and Roman systems included not only springs, percolation
wells, and weirs on streams, but also lakes that were developed
by building dams. At ancient Augusta Emerita, at present-day
Merida, Spain, the Roman water system included two reser-
voirs created by the construction of the Cornalvo and the
Proserpina dams. The Proserpina dam is an earthen dam,
approximately 427m long and 12 m high. The Cornalvo dam
is an earthen dam, approximately 194 m long and 20m high
with an 8 m dam crest width. Both of these dams are still used
in the present day, obviously with modifications over the
years. Dams were built in many regions of the Roman Empire.
Aqueducts consisted of many components, including open
channels and pipes. The main types of conduits used by the
Romans are: (1) open channels (rivi per canales structiles), (2)
lead pipes (fistuli plumbei), (3) earthenware (terracotta) pipes
(tubili fictiles), and (4) wood pipes. Open channels were built
using masonry or were cut in the rock and flows were driven
by gravity, while the lead pipes were used for pressurized
conduits including inverted siphons. A scheme representing
the general path of a whole aqueduct with the basic elements
is presented in Figure 2. Obviously, there are many system
configurations that were built by the Romans and Greeks;
however, the drawing presents the major components, in-
cluding the siphon (inverted siphon) which was used in some
systems. Various types of pipes constructed by the Romans
included terracotta, lead, wood, and stone.
One of the most impressive Roman aqueducts in Roman
Greece is that in the Aegean island Lesvos (Figure 3). It is
probably a work of late second or early third century AD.
It was mainly used for water supply of Mytilene town, the
capital of the island, and for water supply and irrigation of
the southeastern area of the island, by transporting water from
the lake of Megali Limni (big lake), at the Olympus mountain,

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 10
Figure 2 Flow sheet and components of a Roman aqueduct: (1) source – caput aquae; (2) steep chutes (dropshafts); (3) settling tank; (4) tunnel and
shafts; (5) covered trench; (6) aqueduct bridge; (7) inverted siphon; (8) substruction; (9) arcade; (10) distribution basin/castellum aquae divisorium;
(11) water distribution system. From De Feo G and Napoli RMA (2007) Historical development of the Augustan aqueduct in Southern Italy: Twenty
centuries of works from Serino to Naples. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply 7(1): 131–138.
Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations 5
where the construction begins. The aqueduct was also fed by
other secondary springs, such as the springs at the Agiassou
area (i.e., Karini). It was passed through a very anomalous
landscape relief; thus, it includes parts on the soil surface,
tunnels, and bridges. The total length of the Lesvos aqueduct
is 26km, with a uniform slope of 0.0096mm
À1
. Its depth
ranges from 0.65 to 1.10 m and its width from 0.35 to 0.64 m
(Karakostantinou, 2006). Its maximum capacity is estimated
to be of 25000m
3
d
À1
a along the distance of 26 km, a route
that was entirely supported by gravity. Today, the maximum
water supply of the town (15000m
3
d
À1
) is pumping
from springs of Ydata located in a lower level of that of
Karini (Mytilene Municipal Enterprise for Water Supply and
Sewerage, 2009, personal communication. Mytileni, Greece).
Its remains at the village of Moria are 170 m long and 27 m in
height and consist of 17 arches, also called Kamares laying on
their column (Figure 3(a)). Each opening is divided in three
successive arches based on columns. The masonry is con-
structed with the use of emplekton system (Karakostantinou,
2006). The columns and arches were constructed from large
blocks of gray marble taken from the island; these materials
were very strong and resistant to decay (Figure 3(b)). The
distribution of the arches along the openings consists of three
at a time – up and down – for every opening. The openings are
delimited by columns, and each column has an abacus.
Siphons (Figure 2(g)) were built by the Romans also, in
fact many of the siphons may very well have been started
by the Greeks and completed by the Romans. The siphons
included a header tank for transitioning the open channel
flow of the aqueduct into one or more pipes, the bends called
geniculus, the venter bridge to support the pipes in the valley,
and the transition of pipe flow to open channel flow using a
receiving tank.
Locations of siphons included Ephesus, Methymna,
Magnesia, Philadelphia, both Antiochias, Blaundros, Patara,
Smyrna, Prymnessos, Tralleis, Trapezopolis, Apameia, Akmo-
nia, Laodikeia, and Pergamon (Mays et al., 2007; Tassios,
2007). These siphons were initially built with terracotta pipes
or stone pipes (square stone blocks to which a hole was
carved) such as the inverted siphon at Patara (Turkey), shown
in Figure 4 (Haberey, 1972). As shown in the figure this
siphon was constructed from carved stone segments. Never-
theless, the need for higher pressures naturally led to the use
of metal pipes, specifically from lead. One of the largest
siphons was the Beaunant siphon of the aqueduct of the Gier
River which supplied the Roman city of Lugdunum (Lyon,
France). This siphon had nine lead pipes with a total length of
2.6 km. This siphon was 2600m long and 123m deep with an
estimated (Hodge, 2002) discharge of 25000m
3
d
À1
.
Pergamon was a city in western Turkey at the present-day
city of Bergama. The Helenistic aqueducts constructed were
the Attalos, the Demophon, the Madradag, the Nikephorium,
and the Asklepieion. The Roman aqueducts constructed were
the Madradag channel, the Kaikos, and the Aksu. The
Madradag aqueduct which had a triple pipeline (terracotta
pipe) of more than 50km long included an inverted siphon
(made of lead) longer than 3.5 km with a maximum pressure
head of about 190m (Mays et al., 2007; Tassios, 2007). It took
another 2000 years later before another pipeline was con-
structed that could bear a higher pressure (Fahlbusch, 2006).
In particular, the Attalos aqueduct was the first pipeline
(buried of fired clay, and 13 cm inner diameter) in Pergamon,
and it was probably constructed in the middle or second half
of the third century BC, bringing water from a spring in the
mountains north of Pergamon (Fahlbusch, 2006; Mays, 2007;
Oziz, 1987, 1996).
The Romans built mega water-supply systems including
many magnificent structures. As a matter of fact, Roman
aqueducts became very famous all over the world, with Rome’s
water-supply system being considered one of the marvels of
the ancient world (Hodge, 2002; De Feo and Napoli, 2007;
De Feo et al., 2009b; Mays, 2007; Mays et al., 2007). In fact,
the Romans were urban people and consumed enormous
amount of drinking water in order to supply baths, public
and decorative fountains, residences, garden irrigation, flour
mills, aquatic shows, and swimming pools (Hodge, 2002;
Tolle-Kastenbein, 2005; De Feo and Napoli, 2007; De Feo
et al., 2009b; Mavromati and Chryssaidis, 2007). However, the
Figure 3 Part of the impressive Roman aqueduct rises 600 m west Moria, a Lesvian village at 6 km from Mytilene town: (a) general view of the
remains and (b) the base of columns. Copyright permission with AN Angelakis.
6 Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations
Roman aqueducts were not built with the primary purpose of
providing drinking water, nor to promote hygiene, but rather
to supply the thermae and baths or for military purposes
(Hodge, 2002; De Feo and Napoli, 2007; De Feo et al., 2009b).
The description of the ancient Roman water-supply system
is contained in some recommendations of the Latin writers:
Vitruvius Pollio (De Architectura, book VIII), Plinio the
Elder (Naturalis Historia, book XXXVI), and Frontinus (De
Aquaeductu Urbis Romae).
Roman hydraulic engineering borrowed from the experi-
ences and techniques of the Greeks and Etruscans. However,
the size of the works as well as the technical-organizational
features of distribution started with them. The common Greek
practice was based on underground conduits, following
courses determined by terrain features (Martini and Drusiani,
2009). The Etruscan civilization flourished in central Italy
from the VIII century BC onward. The Etruscan talent for water
and land management is highlighted by the existence of an
imposing number of works (tunnels and channels) spread
over their territories of Latium and, to a lesser amount, of the
other Etruscan areas (Bersani et al., 2010).
The construction of an ancient Roman aqueduct was not
different from the modern practice, with several modern
technologies coming from Roman engineering. The building
of an aqueduct started with the search for a spring. Water
was collected after permeating through vaults and walls of
draining channels and settled. From the spring, water flowed
into an open channel flow and air was present over the water
surface (Monteleone et al., 2007). The water in the aqueducts
descended gently through concrete channels. During the
route, there were multitiered viaducts, inverted siphons, and
tunnels to exceed valleys or steep points. At the end of its
course, the channel entered into a so-called piscina limaria,
a sedimentation tank to settle particulate impurities. Then,
the channel flowed into a partitioning tank called castellum
divisorium where there were some walls and weirs to regulate
the water flowing into the urban pressure pipes (De Feo and
Napoli, 2007; Monteleone et al., 2007). Rome originally used
water directly from the river Tiber as well as wells and many
small springs existed inside its town area, such as Acque
Lautole, Acque Tulliane, Fonte Giuturna, and Fonte Lupercale.
However, since the fourth century BC, Rome gradually built
aqueducts (Bono and Boni, 1996).
Aqua Appia was the first aqueduct built in Rome in 312 BC.
It was entirely underground for a total length of around
16.561 km, equivalent to 11190 passus (1 passus ¼1.48 m) and
an average flow rate of 73000m
3
d
À1
, corresponding to 1825
quinariae (1 quinaria B40 m
3
d
À1
) (Table 1; Panimolle, 1984).
It is important to specify that a quinaria has not been scien-
tifically defined. As a matter of fact, a quinaria was a pipe of
2.3125 cm diameter and there is no unanimity on how much
water is a quinaria (Rodgers, 2004). During the subsequent
Figure 4 Inverted siphons. (a) Inverted siphon at Patara (Turkey) made of stone pipes. (b) Reconstruction of siphon of the aqueduct of Gier,
near Beaunant, France that supplied water to Ancient Lugdunum, showing ramp of siphon with header tank on the top and the nine lead pipes of the
siphon. (a) From Mays LW (ed.) (2010) Ancient Water Technologies. Dordrecht: Springer and (b) From Haberey W (1972) Die ro¨mischen
Wasserleitungen nach Ko¨ln. Bonn: Rheinland-Verlag.
Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations 7
500 years, 10 more aqueducts were constructed. The last great
aqueduct built in Rome in ancient times was the 22-km-long
Aqua Alexandrina.
On the whole, the 11 Imperial Age Roman aqueducts had
a total flow rate of 1.13 Â10
6
m
3
d
À1
and a total length of
more than 500km. Since the population of Rome at the end
of the first century AD was about 500000 inhabitants (Bono
and Boni, 1996), a mean specific discharge of B2000l
inhabitant
À1
d
À1
was produced. This value is extraordinary if
compared with the current specific water use of B200–300l
inhabitant
À1
d
À1
.
Nowadays, the popular but inaccurate image is that Roman
aqueducts were elevated throughout their entire length on
lines of arches, called arcades. Roman engineers, as their Greek
predecessors, were very practical and therefore whenever
possible the aqueduct followed a steady downhill course at or
below ground level (Hansen, 2006). As a matter of fact,
Table 1 shows that on average 87% of the length of the Rome’s
aqueduct system was underground.
The longest aqueduct in the Roman world was constructed
in the Campania Region, in Southern Italy. It is the Augustan
Aqueduct Serino-Naples-Miseno, which is not well known due
to there being no remains of spectacular bridges, but it was a
masterpiece of engineering. The Serino aqueduct was con-
structed during the Augustus period of the Roman Empire,
probably between 33 and 12 BC when Marcus Vipsanius
Agrippa was curator aquarum in Rome, principally in order
to refurnish the Roman fleet of Misenum and secondarily to
supply water for the increasing demand of the important
commercial harbor of Puteoli as well as drinking water for big
cities such as Cumae and Neapolis. The main channel of the
Serino aqueduct was approximately 96 km long, and had
seven main branches to towns such as Nola, Pompeii, Acerra,
Herculaneum, Atella, Pausillipon, Nisida, Puteoli, Cumae, and
Baiae (De Feo and Napoli, 2007; De Feo et al., 2010).
In summary the Romans made great contributions to the
advancement of the engineering of aqueducts. Fahlbusch
(2006) points out the following from examination of many
aqueducts:
1. size of the aqueduct channel was chosen according to the
estimated discharge and the size varied along the course of
the aqueduct;
2. the cross section was large enough for people to walk
through the channel for repair and maintenance, particu-
larly to remove calcareous deposits; and
3. the cross section was kept constant allowing manifold uses
for encasings, especially the soffit scaffoldings for the vaults
in a kind of industrialized construction.
4.01.4 Cisterns and Reservoirs
In general, cisterns were usually constructed in order to store
rainwater for domestic use (private houses), with a volume in
the order of dozens of cubic meters, while reservoirs were
realized in order to store flowing water with a volume in the
order of thousands of cubic meters (Tolle-Kastenbein, 2005;
De Feo et al., 2010).
The Minoan and Mycenaean settlements used cisterns a
1000 years before the classical and Hellenistic-Greek cities.
Cisterns were used to supply (store runoff from roof tops and
court yards) water for the households through the dry sum-
mers of the Mediterranean. In ancient Crete, in particular, the
technology of surface and rainwater storage in cisterns for
water supply was highly developed and has continued to be
used in modern times.
One of the earliest Minoan cisterns was found in the center
of a pre-palatial house complex at Chamaizi dating back to the
turn of the second millennium BC. It is located on the summit
of a hill and its rooms were situated around a small open
court with a deep circular rock-cut cistern, 3.5 m in deep and
with a diameter of 1.5 m, lined with brickwork in its upper
part (Davaras, 1976; Mays et al., 2007; Angelakis and
Table 1 Characteristics of the 11 Imperial Age Roman aqueducts
Location Dating Length
(km)
Underground length
(km (%))
Average slope
(mkm
À1
)
Flowrate
(m
3
d
À1
)
Aqua Appia 312 BC 16.561 16.472 (99.5%) 0.6 73 000
Anio Vetus 273 BC 63.640 63.312 (99.5%) 3.6 175 920
Aqua Marcia 144 BC 91.331 80.286 (87.9%) 2.7 187 600
Aqua Tepula 127 BC 17.800 5 17 800
Aqua Julia 33 BC 22.830 12.470 (54.6%) 12.4 48 240
Aqua Virgo 19 BC 20.875 19.040 (91.2%) 0.2 100 160
Aqua Alsietina 2 BC 32.882 32.814 (99.8%) 6 15 680
Aqua Claudia 52 AD 68.977 53.620 (77.7%) 3.8 184 280
Anio Novus 52 AD 86.876 72.964 (84.0%) 3.8 189 520
Aqua Traiana 109 AD 58.000 3.8 113 100
Aqua Alexandrina 226 AD 22.000 1 21 025
Average 45.616 43.872 (86.8%) 3.9 102 393
Total 501.772 350.978 1 126 325
From Panimolle G (1984) Gli Acquedotti di Roma Antica (The Aqueducts of Ancient Rome). Rome: Edizioni Abete; Adam JP (1988) L’Arte di Costruire presso i Romani. Materiali e
Tecniche (Roman Building: Materials and Techniques). Milan: Longanesi; Bono P and Boni C (1996) Water supply of Rome in antiquity and today. Environmental Geology 27:
126–134; Hodge AT (2002) Roman Aqueducts & Water Supply, 2nd edn. London: Gerald Duckworth; Rodgers RH (2004) Sextus Iulius Frontinus. On the Water-Management of the
City of Rome. De Aquaeductu Urbis Romae. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
8 Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations
Spyridakis, 2010). Four of the earliest Minoan structures which
may be considered to be large cisterns were built in the first
half of the second millennium BC at Pyrgos-Myrtos (Ierape-
tra), Archanes, Tylissos, and Zakros (Cadogan, 2007; Mays
et al., 2007; Angelakis and Spyridakis, 2010). While, at Phai-
stos, water supplied to cisterns depended on precipitation
collected from rooftops and courts, a supplementary system
was needed to satisfy the needs of water supply, especially in
this particular area where agriculture was widely practiced.
Thus, water was probably taken from wells in a location
southwest of the palace which was rich in groundwater and
surface water, and from the river Ieropotamos located to the
north, at the foot of the Phaistos hill (Gorokhovich, 2005;
Mays et al., 2007; Angelakis and Spyridakis, 2010).
There were also cisterns on the high grounds above the
Minoan palace in Malia, in a site lying in a narrow plain
between the mountains and the sea. At the famous Phaistos
palace, cisterns depended on precipitation collected from
rooftops and yards. A supplementary system of water supply
was needed to satisfy the needs of water supply, especially in
those areas where agriculture was intensive. The cisterns were
connected to small channels collecting spring water and/or
rainfall runoff from catchment areas. The use of cisterns pre-
ceded channels or aqueducts in supplying the palace and the
surrounding community with water (Mays et al., 2007; Ange-
lakis and Spyridakis, 2010).
Most Greek houses had a cistern supplied by rainwater for
purposes of bathing, cleaning, houseplants, domestic animals,
and even for drinking during shortages of water. Most likely,
the water was of a quality that would be subpotable using
today’s standards. Aristotle in his Politics (vii, 1330b) written
around 320BC asserted that ‘‘cities need cisterns for safety
in war.’’ During this time a severe 25-year drought required the
collection and saving of rainwater. Also about this time
cisterns were built in the Athenian Agora for the first time in
centuries (Crouch, 1993; Mays, 2007). In particular, in the
ancient Greek city of Dreros on Crete, there is a rectangular-
shaped cistern with dimensions of approximately 13.0 Â
5.5 Â6.0 m
3
(Antoniou et al., 2006; Mays, 2007).
In ancient Crete, the technology of surface and rainwater
storage in cisterns is continued to be used even today. Four of
the earliest Minoan structures which may be considered to be
large cisterns were built in the first half of the second mil-
lennium BC (the time of the first Minoan palaces) at Pyrgos-
Myrtos (Ierapetra), Archanes, Tylissos, and Zakros (Angelakis
et al., 2010). The Tylissos cistern is shown in Figure 5(a). This
technology has been further improved during the Hellenistic
and Roman periods. An impressive pillar of two intercon-
nected cisterns, 40m deep cut in the rock, has been discovered
in ancient city Eleutherna (Figure 5(b)). The dimensions of
the two cisterns are 40 Â25 m
2
and the depth 4.5 m. The city
flourished in the early Christian times and the water was
transported from a spring through an aqueduct of about 3km
long to the cisterns. The water supply of the city including the
thermes was transported through a 150-m-long channel with
dimensions of 1.5Â2.0 m
2
. The advanced water-supply tech-
nologies developed in Minoan Crete were expanded and im-
proved during the Roman domination of the Greek world.
Two such examples with a relatively small but impressive
cistern in Minoan city and one of the two huge cisterns
(of about 3000m
3
each) in Aptera city in the western Crete are
shown in Figures 5(c) and 5(d), respectively.
During the classical age (the period between the Archaic
and Roman epoch), the political situation was characterized in
the Greek world (mainly Greece and Asia Minor) by wars
among the various cities. In this period, no springs or deep
wells existed, so cisterns were constructed to collect rainfall
during the winter season. These cisterns were dug into the
rock and were mostly pear-shaped with at least one layer of
hydraulic plaster that prevented water loss. The cisterns varied
in size from 10 m
3
to thousands of cubic meters and possibly
supplied more than 10000-people baths and thermes. To
prevent contamination of water the mouth of the cistern was
covered to keep out dust and debris, and to prevent light from
entering, avoiding the growth of bacteria and algae.
Reservoirs constructed by the ancient Romans were set
low in the ground, or actually underground, and roofed over,
by means of concrete vaulting. The roofing vaults were sup-
ported by rows of columns, piers, or wall pierced with doors
to allow the water to circulate. In some cases, the floor was
slightly concave with a drain in the middle, to permit cleaning
(Hodge, 2002; De Feo et al., 2010). In general, in the Roman
world the reservoirs had two functions: a reservoir could be a
reserve for use when the aqueduct ran low or by adding in
a little from the tank everyday to supplement supplies until
the aqueduct discharge picked up again. When the daily
consumption exceeded what the aqueduct could bring in, at
least in the hours of daylight, the reservoir was topped up
every night to meet the next day’s demands (Hodge, 2002;
De Feo et al., 2010).
An example of a Roman reservoir is the Bordj Djedid
at Carthage in Tunisia, into which the Carthage aqueduct
emptied after a run of no less than 90.43km from its source.
This great reservoir was oblong, 39.0 Â154.6 m
2
, the size of an
entire city block, and subdivided into 18 transverse compart-
ments. Its capacity was 25000–30000m
3
, representing about
a day and a half’s discharge for the aqueduct (Hodge, 2002;
De Feo et al., 2010). Remaining in Tunisia, in the center of the
city of Dougga/Thugga, there are two very large reservoirs.
The first one is the Ain El Hamman reservoir with five aisles,
while the second one is the Ain Mizeb reservoir with seven
aisles. The two reservoirs have a combined storage volume of
15000 m
3
(Tolle-Kastenbein, 2005; De Feo et al., 2010). Large
reservoirs were constructed not only in Northern Africa but
also in Europe, especially in Italy and in Turkey.
Since a Roman thermae required an enormous quantity of
water for its functioning, a huge reservoir had to be con-
structed. As a matter of fact, the reservoir of the Baths of
Caracalla (located in an area of over 100 000m
2
) could con-
tain over 80 000m
3
in the numerous cells, situated into two
parallel aisles and onto two floors. The oldest baths of Traiano
received water supply from a reservoir of around 10000 m
3
(Tolle-Kastenbein, 2005; De Feo et al., 2010).
The greatest baths of Diocletian occupied about the same
area as those of Caracalla (a rectangle of about 356Â316 m
2
)
and closely resembled them in the plans. The reservoir by
which the baths were supplied was fed by the aqua Marcia, the
volume of which was increased by Diocletian. It was trape-
zoidal in shape, 91 m in length, with an average width of 16 m.
This reservoir, called Botte di Termini (Barrel of Termini), was
Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations 9
destroyed during 1876 in order to build the Termini railway
station, whose name derives from that of the baths (De Feo
et al., 2010).
In the three centuries of the Roman imperial age, the
reservoirs were designed in almost all the architectural forms
and in almost all the techniques of masonry known: arcs
(especially transversal arcs), turned (especially barrel vault),
carrying pillars or groups of pillars, walls of stones and bricks,
opus caementicium; while columns were still not used. In fact,
the columns were introduced by architects famous for their
works of hydraulic engineering in the present-day Istanbul.
They created a host of columns hidden in the heart of the
capital of the Roman Empire (Tolle-Kastenbein, 2005; De Feo
et al., 2010). As a matter of fact, the name of the first reservoir
means ‘with a 1001 pillars’. It is the Binbirdirek reservoir which
was built under the order of Philoksenos, a Senate member in
the Constantinus I period of the fourth century. During the
Roman period, Istanbul’s water requirements were met by
water brought from distant parts of Thrace. For this reason,
the Byzantines built large reservoirs in order to be able to
withstand long sieges (De Feo et al., 2010).
The Binbirdirek reservoir covered an area of 3640 m
2
and
had a capacity of around 32 500m
3
of water. It measured
66 Â56 m
2
and was carried by 224 columns consisting of
16 rows, each one having 14 columns, all of which are equal
in length, and every column carries the signature of its master
(‘1001’ was used to emphasize the great number of columns).
There is a thick overlapping astragal running round the
columns carrying the vaults and arches and they are in the
form of a truncated pyramid and are without decoration.
The relief cross on one of the columns is good proof that the
reservoir was built in the fourth century, after the Byzantines
accepted Christianity. In order to construct ceilings 14–15m
2
high, a second layer of columns was fixed over the marble
rings on the first layer of columns. When the palace was
destroyed in the sixth century, the cistern was restored. After
the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in 1453, new reservoirs
were built and the Binbirdirek was no longer used (De Feo
et al., 2010).
One of the magnificent historical constructions of Istanbul
is the Yerebatan Saray (or Basilica Cistern), located near the
southwest of Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia). This huge reservoir
was rebuilt by the emperor Justinian (527–565) after the Nika
revolt (532). It is a large, vaulted space; the roof rests on
12 rows of 28 marble columns, which are about 9 m high.
As the total surface is 65 Â138 m
2
, the maximum capacity is
almost 85000m
3
, which was brought to this cistern from
a well B20km away with a new aqueduct, also built by
Figure 5 Minoan, Hellenistic, and Roman water collection and storage cisterns: (a) Minoan at the ancient town of Tylissos; (b) Hellenistic at the city of
Eleutherna; (c) Roman at the Minoa town; and (d) Roman at town of Aptera. Copyright permission with AN Angelakis.
10 Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations
Justinian. It was used to provide water to the imperial palace
(hence the name, imperial cistern). The 336 columns (246 are
still visible) were brought to the Basilica Cistern from older
buildings. Again, it is narrated that 7000 slaves worked in the
construction of the cistern. In fact, the cistern borrowed its
name from Ilius Basilica in the vicinity (Lendering, 2008;
Ku¨ ltu¨ r, 2008; De Feo et al., 2010).
Another huge Roman reservoir in ancient Constantinopolis
(today’s Istanbul) is the Sultan’s Cistern. We do not have any
verifiable scientific evidence for its construction date; at the
earliest, it could be late fourth century AD, judging by the
presence of crosses carved into the upper parts of the column
heads. It has a rectangular plan and the whole is divided into
five equal rectangular parts by the use of 28 columns, with 7 in
granite and 21 in marble, placed equidistant from each other,
also supporting the roof with vaulted arches (De Feo et al.,
2010).
The last Roman underground hydraulic marvel is the
spectacular Piscina Mirabilis in Misenum, in the Southern
Italy. The Piscina Mirabilis is located in the present-day Mu-
nicipality of Bacoli, in Miseno (the ancient Misenum), up the
hill facing the sea in the bay of Naples. It was constructed
during the Augustan Age in order to supply water to the
Classis Praetoria Misenensis (Adam, 1988; Hodge, 2002;
De Feo and Napoli, 2007; De Feo et al., 2010). The Piscina
Mirabilis is a gigantic reservoir 72 m long and 27 m large, with
a volumetric capacity of 12 600m
3
of water (Figure 6). It is
dug in a tufa hill and has two step entrances in the northwest,
the Ancient Roman entrance and southeast corners, the latter
closed. Forty-eight pillars, arranged on four rows serving as
a support to the barrel vault, divide it into five principal
aisles on the long sides (Figure 7(a)) and 13 secondary aisles
on the short sides (Figure 7(b)), giving it the majestic look
of a cathedral. The long walls were built in opus reticolatum
(reticular work) with brick bonding courses and by the tech-
nique of the tufa stone pillars, both covered with a thick
waterproof layer of opus signinum (pounded terracotta). There
is a basin of 1.10m, probably a polishing pool, which is a
waste bath for the maintenance of the reservoir, in the floor of
the nave. It was used as a Piscina limaria for the periodical
cleaning of the reservoir (Figure 7(c)). The water was lifted
through a series of openings (doors) in the vault along the
central nave, hydraulically to the covering terrace of the res-
ervoir, and from there, flowed in channels to the urban area.
These doors appear casually opened in the roof (Figure 7(d)),
with an irregular realization being noted (Adam, 1988; Hodge,
2002; De Feo and Napoli, 2007; De Feo et al., 2010).
Russo and Russo (2007) estimated a total daily demand of
12000 m
3
of water for Misenum, including 4000 m
3
for the
fleet and 8000m
3
for daily demands and for the thermal baths
and gardens (based upon daily individual requirements of 100
liters per capita and equal requirements for thermal baths and
gardens). The estimated total daily demand is similar to the
capacity of the Piscina Mirabilis. Close to the Piscina Mirabilis
are two other large cisterns, probably belonging to large villas,
the Grotta Dragonaria and Cento Camerelle (Nerone’s jail).
In Pozzuoli, the aqueduct served several cisterns, notably the
Piscina Cardito (55 Â16m
2
) from the second century, and
the Piscina Lusciano (35 Â20m
2
) from the first century AD
(De Feo and Napoli, 2007; De Feo et al., 2010).
4.01.5 Water Distribution Systems
Water distribution systems are aimed at distributing water
from reservoirs or aqueducts to the end users. The modern
systems are based on the use of pipes. Regarding this aspect,
the Minoan society was surprisingly modern. As a matter of
fact, in the Knossos palace, the water supply was furnished by
means of a network of terracotta pipe conduits (60–75 cm
flanged to fit into one another and cemented at the joints)
beneath the floors at depths that vary from a few cm up to 3 m
(Koutsoyiannis et al., 2008; Angelakis and Spyridakis, 2010).
Possibly, the piping system was pressurized (Mays, 2007).
Similar terracotta pipes were discovered in some other Minoan
sites. In particular, Tylissos was one of the important cities in
Ancient Crete during the Minoan era, flourishing (2000–1100
BC) as a peripheral center dependent on Knossos. From the
aqueduct, secondary conduits were used to convey water to a
sedimentation tank (Figure 8; Mays, 2010) constructed of
stone before its storage to the cistern shown in Figure 5(a).
Terracotta pipes have also been found at Vathypetro, as well as
in the Caravanserai (Guest House), south of the Knossos
palace with some also having been found scattered in the
countryside (Angelakis and Spyridakis, 2010).
The study of the ruins of Pompeii gives a clearer under-
standing of a Roman urban water distribution system. But this
statement does not mean that all Roman cities are identical to
Pompeii. The ending point of a Roman aqueduct was the
castellum divisorium which had the double function of serving
as a disconnection between the aqueduct and the urban dis-
tribution network as well as dividing the water flow to various
uses and/or geographical areas of the city (Figure 9).
In the beginning, Pompeii was not supplied by the Serino
aqueduct. As there were no springs in Pompeii, wells were dug
to supply water. It is also very likely that Pompeii received
water via an aqueduct from the mountains due northeast of
Avella. The town must have had a long-distance water supply,
quite some time before the Augustan Age, probably around 80
BC. When the Serino aqueduct was built under Augustus,
it crossed the course of the older Avella aqueduct between the
Apennines and Mount Vesuvius, and both aqueducts were
united into a single system (De Feo and Napoli, 2007).
The castellum divisorium of Pompeii was housed inside
a large brick building near the Vesuvian gate (Figure 10(a)).
The supply channel entering the building is 30Â25cm
(Figure 10(b)). The flow in this distribution structure was
allowed to expand into a wide, shallow tank, separated into
three equal compartments (masonry structures) (Figure 10(c)).
Flow from each compartment entered a lead pipe. Some feel
that the three pipes were connected separately to public foun-
tains, the second to the thermal baths and the third to private
users (Hodge, 2002; Russo and Russo, 2007). From the exits the
water flowed into lead pipes. There is also the distinct possi-
bility that the three pipes were directed to different geographical
areas of Pompeii. Assuming that the pipes did convey water
separately to the three major uses as presented by Hodge
(2002), the central pipe was directed to the public fountains
and had a 30cm external diameter, whereas the two side ones
were 25cm in diameter. The three gates were of different
heights. Thus, the highest gate, which was that serving private
houses, cut off their supplies until and unless the water level in
Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations 11
4
.
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Figure 6 Plan and sections of the Piscina Mirabilis. Modified from De Feo G, De Gisi S, Malvano C, and De Biase O (2010) The greatest water
reservoirs in the ancient Roman world and the ‘‘Piscina Mirabilis’’ in Misenum. Water, Science and Technology: Water Supply 10(4) (in press).
12 Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations
the main body of the castellum rose high enough to spill over it
and start flowing down the channel; on the contrary, the lowest
gate (that in the center) governed access to the public fountains,
which, if the water level sank, were thus the least to dry up.
The private users had no minimum water entitlement until the
needs of the public fountains and thermal baths had been
satisfied (Hodge, 2002).
From the castellum divisorium, the three pipes lead the water
to different parts of the city filling water towers: the castellum
secondarium or castellum privatum (Figure 10(d)). The water
towers were lead tanks positioned on top of brick masonry
pillars, 6 m tall, located at crossroads and connecting small
numbers of customers. They also supplied public fountains.
The single user had to pay to obtain water for his premises.
The water was metered by means of bronze orifices, the calices
connecting the customers’ pipes (usually quinariae pipes) to
the castellum privatum lead tank. In Pompeii, case calices were
placed at the bottom of the lead tanks, and pipes fit into
cavities left in the brick pillars (Hodge, 2002; Monteleone
et al., 2007).
Figure 7 Piscina Mirabilis: (a) a cross aisle; (b) a longitudinal aisle; (c) internal piscina limaria; and (d) a hole in the barrel vaulted roof.
Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations 13
The lead tank on the water tower acted as a disconnection
between the system at high pressure upstream and the cus-
tomers’ pipes downstream. Connecting water derivation pipes
elsewhere in the castellum privatum was against the regulations.
The only connection available had to be arranged with the
water office discussing the quantities for consumption. This
water-supply system clearly shows that water towers could
break from the pressure built up in the mains descending from
the initial castellum divisorium at the top point of the city,
with excess water overflowing into streets drains. As shown
in Figure 9, the maximum height of water over the tap was
about 6m, without accounting for the pressure losses in the
delivering pipes (Hodge, 2002; Monteleone et al., 2007).
Lead pipes (Figure 11) in Pompeii are of the same con-
struction and appearance as found in other Roman cities. The
water taps found in Pompeii were also similar to those found
in other Roman cities. Only a small number of houses had
a water pipe that supplied a private bath or basins in the
kitchen, in the toilet, or in the garden.
4.01.6 Fountains
The Minoan civilization gave an extraordinary contribution to
the development of water management practices also in terms
of fountains. The main examples of Minoan fountains are
subterranean structures supplied with water directly or from
springs via ducts. The construction of steps or alternatively the
shallow basins indicates that water was taken out with the use
of a container. This recalls the type of fountain of the later
Classical and Hellenistic period called arykrene. The most
typical of them is that of the Zakro palace. Another fountain
similar to the Tykte was found at the Guest House (Caravan-
serai) of Knossos in the Spring Chamber. A ritual function of
Aqueduct
Head
18 m
Castellum
divisorium
Castellum
secondarium
Head
6 m
Figure 9 Flow sheet of a Roman urban water distribution systems based on Pompeii. Modified from Hodge AT (2002) Roman Aqueducts & Water
Supply, 2nd edn. London: Gerald Duckworth.
Figure 8 Water system at Tylissos, Crete, Greece with sedimentation tank in foreground with stone channel connecting to cistern in background.
(Mays, 2010, Copyright permission with LW Mays).
14 Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations
the particular fountains is also argued, as artifacts of ritual
content have also been unearthed. Another type known in later
periods as rookrene, which constantly provided freshwater,
was also found in Zakro with two zoomorphic waterspouts.
Finally, a remarkable fragment from a fresco composition
depicting a fountain of a supposedly Minoan garden was
found in the House of Frescoes in Knossos (Angelakis and
Spyridakis, 2010).
During the Roman period, public fountains were usually
located in the street. For example, in Pompeii the fountains
were located at fairly evenly spaced intervals of about 100 m,
and it was rare for anyone to carry their water for more than
50m (Hodge, 2002). The simplest form of street fountain was
normally equipped with an oblong stone basin, typically
about 1.5Â1.8 m
2
and 0.8m high, into which the spout
discharged, and which presumably was normally full. The
fountains were deliberately designed to overflow in order to
clean the street (Hodge, 2002; De Feo et al., 2010).
Not far from the city of Pompeii, in the District of Salerno,
there is a Roman gallery in rock in the village of Sant’Egidio
del Monte Albino in the Sarno River basin. The gallery was
constructed in order to supply a public fountain which stands
on the structure of an ancient Roman villae (the Helvius
villae). The Helvius fountain was a public fountain, but it was
quite different from the public fountains in nearby Pompeii
(Figure 12(a)). As a matter of fact, the Helvius fountain was
constructed neither by means of matched slabs nor in lime-
stone nor in Vesuvian stone. It was built as a single block of
white marble. Moreover, there is another particular aspect
which differentiates the Helvius fountain from the Pompeian
fountains (Figure 12(b)). The Helvius fountain has a sculp-
tural decoration on the three available sides representing
the river Sarno along its path from the spring toward the sea
(De Feo et al., 2010).
Figure 13 shows two additional Roman fountains that are
quite different from those previously mentioned. Figure 13(a)
shows a fountain in Chersonesos (Crete) and Figure 13(b) the
Fountain of Trajan in Ephesus (Turkey), dedicated by Aristion,
AD 102/114.
4.01.7 Drainage and Sewerage Systems and Toilets
Drainage systems were used for the disposal of surplus water,
and were found both in cities (to carry rainfall, overflow from
fountains and bathrooms) and in the country (to prevent
Figure 10 Pompeii: (a) brick building near the Vesuvian gate housing the castellum divisorium; (b) inside castellum divisorium; (c) supply channel;
and (d) a castellum secondarium.
Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations 15
flooding in the fields). Sewerage systems were used for the
conveyance of domestic wastewater, and were only found in
cities, where they were necessary due to a high population
density (Hodge, 2002). However, in most cases, combined
systems of flow rates composed mainly of rainfall runoff and
wastewater were applied.
The Minoan civilization also gave an extraordinary con-
tribution to the development of water management prac-
tices in terms of drainage and sewerage systems. As a matter of
fact, Minoan palaces were equipped with elaborate storm
drainage and sewer systems (MacDonald and Driessen, 1988).
Open terracotta and stone conduits were used to convey and
remove stormwater and limited quantities of wastewater.
Pipes, however, were scarcely used for this purpose. Larger
sewers, sometimes large enough for a man to enter and clean,
were used in Minoan palaces at Knossos, Phaistos, and Zakro.
These large sewers may have led to the conception of the idea
of the labyrinth, the subterranean structure in the form of a
maze that hosted the Minotaur, a hybrid monster.
The end section of the main part of the sewerage system of
the Knossos palace is shown in Figure 14(a). The outlet of the
Phaistos palace system appears to be similar (Figure 9(b)).
Note that Evans (1921–35) and Darcque and Treuil (1990)
considered that the main part of the system had been planned
and constructed originally in Middle Minoan time. The main
disposal sites at the Knossos and Zakros palaces were directed
Figure 11 Components of lead pipe system found in Pompeii: (a) lead pipe and joint found along the street; (b) junction box; and (c) manifold.
Copyright permission with LW Mays.
16 Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations
to the Kairatos River and to the sea, respectively. However,
there are indications that in the palace of Phaistos and in the
villa of Agia Triadha, cisterns were also used as disposal sites of
surface water, along with appropriate landforms. Particularly
in the palace of Phaistos, agricultural land located in the south
site of the palace was used as disposal site of the both the
wastewater and stormwater instead of the river Ieropotamos
crossing the northern site of the Phaistos hill. In all cases of
palaces and cities, there is an increased slope of the central
sewers toward of their outlets; thus, anaerobic conditions have
been maintained and the odors have been avoided.
In addition to the very effective drainage and sewerage
systems, some palaces had toilets with flushing systems
operated by pouring water in a conduit. However, the best
example of such an installation was found on the island of
Thera (Santorini) in the Cyclades, Greece. This is the most
eloquent and best-preserved example belonging to the early
late-Minoan period (c. 1550BC) in the Bronze Age settlement
of Akrotiri, which shares the same cultural context of Crete
(Angelakis and Spyridakis, 2010).
At the beginning, for some centuries, the collection and
discharge of rainwater runoff was managed by separate sewers.
As a matter of fact, rainwater was carried in simple channels
carved into the rock in cities with bedrock (i.e., the Acropolis
of Athens). Otherwise, the channels were covered with rocks.
A system for the simultaneous discharge of both rainwater
and domestic sewage was invented during the Greek period
(Tolle-Kastenbein, 2005).
Ancient drainage and sewerage systems were usually
developed on four levels. The initial channels coming from
buildings (first order) ended in street channels of second
order, which prosecuted in principal channels with an increas-
ing size (third order) and ended in a final huge collection
channel (fourth order), usually present only in big cities. The
great drain of Athens was first designed as a rainwater drainage
system. However, in the first quarter of the fifth century BC,
it received domestic sewage and ended in a huge collection
channel (fourth order) similar to the Roman Cloaca Maxima
(Tolle-Kastenbein, 2005).
The Cloaca Maxima is the best-known ancient urban drain.
Tradition ascribes its construction to Tarquinius Priscus, king
of Rome 616–578 BC. The Cloaca Maxima (4.2m high, 3.2 m
wide) was covered by stone vaulting, while its bottom was
paved with basalt pavers. It combined the three functions of
Figure 12 Public fountains: (a) in Pompeii (matched slabs) and (b) in the basin of the Sarno river (single block of white marble).
Figure 13 Roman fountains: (a) fountain in Hersonissos (Crete) and (b) remains of the fountain of Trajan in Ephesus (Turkey), dedicated by Aristion,
AD, 102/114. Copyright permission with LW Mays.
Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations 17
wastewater and rainwater removal and swamp drainage. As it
is well known, the exit from the Cloaca Maxima drain into the
river Tiber still exists in Rome, but now partly hidden by the
modern Lungotevere Embankment (Hodge, 2002).
The street drains of Pompeii are very famous. At the time of
the famous Vesuvius eruption, the drains existed only in the
area around the forum. The streets were a sort of open channel
conveying water coming from public fountains, rainwater,
and segregate sewage. Therefore, as shown in Figure 15, streets
had raised sidewalks (50–60 cm high) with stepping stones
(pondera) at the street corners to enable pedestrians to cross
from one side to the other without stepping down (Hodge,
2002).
Toilets have a long history. The first evidence of the pur-
poseful construction of bathrooms and toilets in Europe
comes from Bronze Age Minoan (and Mycenaean) Crete in the
second millennium BC (Vuorinen et al., 2007). In the palace
of Knossos, rainwater was probably used to flush the toilet
near the Queen’s Hall (Figure 16; Angelakis et al., 2005).
The Hellenistic period is considered more progressive for
the sanitary and purgatory engineering during the antiquity,
although the considerable spreading of these systems occurred
during the Roman era. The Romans applied the earlier tech-
niques in larger constructions, using the advantages of their
building methods with concrete walls and vaulted roofing.
Moreover, due to their improved aqueduct technologies, they
could provide natural water flow in most public latrines. It is
also evident that such structures and installations have sur-
vived until the end of the ancient world and have been
implemented during the beginning of the Byzantine period.
The customs of the new religion, Christianity, modified some
of the structures in terms of privacy in bathing facilities
(Antoniou and Angelakis, 2009).
During the Hellenistic era lavatories improved significantly,
followed by their spread throughout the Roman Empire. The
features of the typical ancient lavatory are the bench-type seats
with keyhole-shaped defecation openings and an underneath
ditch. The ditch was both a water-supply conduit for flushing
and a sewer. Figure 17 shows remains of a public toilet in
Ephesus (Turkey) illustrating the bench seats, the defection
openings, and the small channel on the floor for cleaning the
sponghia. The lavatory was usually situated in the area of the
building most convenient for water supply and/or sewerage.
In many cases, the water for the flushing was reused either
after other domestic or communal activities. Despite privacy,
lavatories were used in antiquity by many people simul-
taneously, from two to three people in the small domestic
latrines and up to 60 people in the larger public latrines
Figure 14 Outlet of the central Minoan sewerage and drainage systems: (a) palace of Knossos and (b) palace of Phaistos. Copyright permission with
AN Angelakis.
18 Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations
(Antoniou, 2010). Lavatories were used throughout the
Roman Empire, with a more or less monumental appearance.
The reader is referred to Antoniou (2010) for a detailed dis-
cussion of ancient Greek lavatories.
Toilets during the Roman era can be divided into two
groups: public and private. A public toilet was frequently built
near to or inside a bath so that it was easily entered from both
inside and outside of the bath. The abundance of water that
was conducted to the bath could also be used to flush the
toilet. Piped water for flushing private toilets seems to have
been a rarity. The Romans, however, lacked something similar
to our toilet paper. They probably used sponges or moss or
something similar. In public toilets, the facilities were com-
mon to all. They were cramped, without any privacy, and had
no decent way to wash one’s hands. The private toilets most
likely lacked running water and they were commonly located
near the kitchens. All this created an excellent opportunity for
the spreading of intestinal pathogens (Vuorinen et al., 2007).
Hygienic conditions in both types of toilets must have been
very poor, and consequently intestinal diseases were diffused.
Dysentery, typhoid fever, and different kinds of diarrheas are
likely candidates for diagnoses. Unfortunately, descriptions of
the intestinal diseases in the ancient texts are so unspecific that
the identification of the causative agent is a very problematic
venture. Studies of ancient microbial DNA might offer some
new evidence for the identification of microbes spread by
contaminated water (Vuorinen, 2010).
4.01.8 Discussion and Conclusions
In the Minoan, Greek, and Roman cities, and other settle-
ments, water supply varied according to local conditions,
determined by climate (mainly rainfall), surface and ground
water, and terrain. In these periods, various water-supply
and wastewater systems and techniques were developed
and applied, such as collection and storage facilities, wells and
groundwater abstraction aqueducts, water distribution and
use, construction and use of fountains, sewers, bathrooms,
and other sanitary facilities and even recreational uses of
water. These advanced technologies, which have been used in
prehistoric Crete since about 4500 years ago, were sub-
sequently expanded during the Mycenaean and then the
Archaic, Classical, and Roman periods. In light of these his-
torical and archaeological evidences, it turns out that the
progress of present-day urban water and wastewater technol-
ogies as well as comfortable and hygienic living is not as
significant as we tend to believe (Angelakis and Koutsoyiannis,
2003). However, a burst of achievements in water and
Door
jamb
Wooden
seat
Gypsum floor
Flushing
conduit
Doors
Sewer
Seat
Sewer
1 m
Hood
Figure 16 Section and plan of ground-floor toilet in the residential
quarter of palace of Minos. From Angelakis AN, Koutsoyiannis D, and
Tchobanoglous G (2005) Urban wastewater and stormwater
technologies in ancient Greece. Water Research 39: 210–220.
Figure 15 Stepping stones (pondera) in Pompeii.
Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations 19
wastewater technology was accomplished throughout the
centuries of the ancient Greek and Roman civilization. With a
few exceptions, the basis for present-day progress in water
transfer is clearly not a recent development, but an extension
and refinement of the past. In fact, the surprising features are
the similarity of ancient water methodologies with those of
the present and the advanced level of water and wastewater
management used by the ancients.
Greek and Roman technological developments in water
and wastewater management principles and practices as well
as other achievements of those civilizations, such as poetry,
philosophy, sciences, politics, and visual arts, are not known.
To put in perspective the ancient water and wastewater
achievements discussed in this chapter, it is important to
examine their relevance to modern times and to harvest some
lessons. The relevance of ancient hydraulic works should be
examined in terms of the evolution of technology, the tech-
nological advances, homeland security, and management
principles.
The Romans, whose empire replaced the Greek rule in
most part of this area, inherited the technologies and
developed them further by changing their application scale
from small to large and implementing them to almost every
large city. The Greek and Roman water technologies are not
only a cultural heritage but also the underpinning of modern
achievements in water and wastewater engineering and
management practices. Apparent characteristics of technolo-
gies and management practices in many ancient civilizations
are durability and sustainability. Also, there have been inte-
grated management practices, combining both large-scale and
small-scale constructions and measures that have allowed
cities to sustain for millennia.
Currently, engineers use return period for the design of
hydraulic structures as dictated by design standards and eco-
nomic considerations. Sustainability, as a design principle, has
entered the engineering lexicon within the last decade. Nat-
urally, it is difficult to estimate the design principles of ancient
engineers but it is notable that several ancient works have
operated for very long periods, some until recent times. Thus,
wastewater and stormwater drainage systems were functioning
in Bronze Age settlements and continued during the Greek
and Roman periods. These include the construction and use of
bathrooms and other sanitary and purgatory facilities, as well
as wastewater and storm sewer systems. In fact, the hydraulic
and architectural function of sewer systems in palaces and
cities are regarded as one of the salient characteristics of
Minoan civilization. They were so advanced that they can be
justly compared with their modern counterparts.
The durability of some of the constructions that operated
up to present times, as well as the support of the technologies
and their scientific background by written documents, enabled
these technologies to pass to present societies despite regres-
sions that have occurred through the centuries (i.e., in the
Dark Ages). The development of science and engineering is
not linear but often characterized by discontinuities and
regressions. Bridges from the past to the future are always
present, albeit oftentimes they are invisible to those who cross
them! Thus, in addition to many ancient constructions that
have been continuously or intermittently in operation to date,
substantial information from ancient Greek and Roman
written sources has also been preserved (Angelakis and Kout-
soyiannis, 2003). Thus, the major achievements were accom-
plished during the Greek and Roman civilizations. As a result,
they represent the state-of-the-art structures that were techni-
cally feasible at that time. For example, the aqueduct of
ancient Samos, called ‘&mj´ istomon’ or ‘bi-mouthed’ (thus
pointing out that it was constructed from two openings), is an
important hydraulic monument, indicating that it was pos-
sible in the ancient world to design and construct technolo-
gically advanced water transportation projects on a large scale.
Figure 17 Public toilet in Ephesus (Turkey): (a) the bench-shaped seats were constructed of stone slabs with another vertical stone slab that covered
the opening from the void between the floor and the seat and (b) the small channel (half-pipe-shaped cross-section) on the floor in front of the seat
had a continuous flow of water for cleaning the sponghia (the toilet paper of the time). Copyright permission with LW Mays.
20 Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations
From the preceding synoptic discussion, certain conclu-
sions might be suggested for further reflection and systematic
investigation:
1. The water and wastewater hydraulics works in Minoan,
Greek, and Roman civilizations are sometimes not too
different from the modern practice, since present technol-
ogies descend directly from that time’s engineering.
2. Minoan, Greek, and Roman water and wastewater public
works are characterized by simplicity, robustness of oper-
ation, and the absence of complex controls.
3. The meaning of sustainability in modern times should
be reevaluated in light of Minoan, Greek, and Roman
hydraulic works and water and wastewater management
practices.
4. Technological developments based on sound engineering
principles can have extended useful lives.
5. In areas of water shortage, development of a cost-effective
and environmental friendly water resources management
practice, based on Minoan, Greek, and Roman civilizations
principles, is essential.
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22 Water and Wastewater Management Technologies in the Ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations
4.02 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
Y Watanabe and K Kimura, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
& 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
4.02.1 Membrane Application to Water Purification 23
4.02.1.1 Current Status 23
4.02.1.2 Membrane Fouling 23
4.02.1.2.1 Main foulant 24
4.02.1.2.2 Affinity of main foulant for membranes 30
4.02.1.3 Membrane Filtration Systems for Controlling Fouling 36
4.02.1.3.1 Channel flocculation in monolith ceramic membrane 36
4.02.1.3.2 Pre-coagulation/sedimentation in hollow-fiber UF/MF membrane 40
4.02.1.3.3 Hybrid submerged MF membrane system 43
4.02.1.3.4 PVDF Membrane filtration with pre-ozonation 45
4.02.2 Membrane Application to Wastewater Treatment 47
4.02.2.1 Current Status of MBRs 47
4.02.2.2 Mechanism of Membrane Fouling 48
4.02.2.2.1 Effect of membrane permeate flux on fouling 49
4.02.2.2.2 Effect of membrane material on fouling 54
4.02.2.2.3 Fouling potential of carbohydrate assessed by lectin affinity chromatography 57
References 60
4.02.1 Membrane Application to Water Purification
4.02.1.1 Current Status
The mainstay of water purification technology in the twentieth
century was sand filtration, but since the late 1980s, mem-
brane filtration technology using RO/NF/UF/MF membranes
has been applied to the water and wastewater treatment, de-
salination, and water reuse (RO, reverse osmosis; NF, nano-
filtration; UF, ultrafiltration; MF, microfiltration).
Figure 1 shows the historical development of membrane
technology in the water and wastewater treatment. Membrane
filtration has small foot print, extremely high solid–liquid
separation ability, and its maintenance is easy. Water purifi-
cation plants in the United States, the Netherlands, France,
Australia, and Japan have introduced the membrane filtration
process. Figure 2 shows the recent increase in the amount of
water produced by the membrane filtration, which includes
water purification, desalination, and wastewater treatment.
3500
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m
o
u
n
t

o
f

p
e
r
m
e
a
t
e

(
×
1
0
4

m
3

d

1
)
Water /
wastewater
treatment
(UF/MF)
Brackish water
desalination/
wastewater
reuse (NF/ RO)
Sea water
desalination
(RO)
Cryptosporidium infection in Milwaukee (1993)
Start of RO research in USA (1953)
President J.F.Kenedy approved RO desalination as a national project (1961)
Enhanced water works law in Japan (2001)
Enhanced regulations of surface water in USA (1998)
Figure 1 Development of membrane filtration. MF, microfiltration; NF, nanofiltration; RO, reverese osmosis; UF, ultrafiltration.
23
Table 1 shows the large-scale water purification plants
using membrane filtration. All plants in the table use the UF
membrane but a plant using monolith ceramic MF membrane
with the capacity of 173000 m
3
d
À1
is under construction in
Japan. There has been a significant progress in the develop-
ment of new robust MF membranes with new polymers such
as PVDE and FTFE for water and wastewater treatment.
Combining robust MF membranes and the other processes
such as coagulation, ozonation, biological/chemical oxi-
dation, and powdered activated carbon adsorption and
chemically enhanced physical cleaning makes very efficient
water purification system. They are very effective in the ap-
plication to the large-scale water purification plant.
The trend toward membrane filtration is expected to spread
worldwide during this century. However, there are several
limiting factors applying the UF membrane and MF mem-
brane to the water purification. Among them, fouling in
membrane is a major obstacle to widespread use of this
technology.
The authors have been studying the mechanism and con-
trol of membrane fouling in water treatment. This chapter
summarizes the authors’ research on membrane application to
the water purification.
4.02.1.2 Membrane Fouling
Several physical membrane cleaning methods such as
hydraulic backwashing and air scrubbing have been developed
and used routinely in many existing membrane plants to
minimize membrane fouling. Despite routine physical mem-
brane cleaning, membrane filtration resistance gradually in-
creases over a long period of operation, indicating that
membrane fouling cannot be completely controlled by phys-
ical cleaning. Fouling that cannot be controlled by physical
cleaning is defined here as physically irreversible fouling.
Control of physically irreversible fouling is important for the
reduction of operation cost in a membrane process because
this type of fouling develops even when a very efficient
physical cleaning is carried out. Physically irreversible mem-
brane fouling can only be canceled by chemical cleaning.
However, chemical cleaning of the membrane should be
limited to a minimum frequency because repeated chemical
A
m
o
u
n
t

o
f

w
a
t
e
r

(
m
3

d

1
)
SWRO
NF+BWRO
LP+MF+UF
Increase by 25% each year
32 000 000 m
3
d
–1
, 2006
35 000 000
30 000 000
25 000 000
20 000 000
15 000 000
10 000 000
5 000 000
1
9
9
0
1
9
9
1
1
9
9
2
1
9
9
3
1
9
9
4
1
9
9
5
1
9
9
6
1
9
9
7
1
9
9
8
1
9
9
9
2
0
0
0
2
0
0
1
2
0
0
2
2
0
0
3
2
0
0
4
2
0
0
5
2
0
0
6
0
Global amount of water produced by membrane processes
Figure 2 Increase in purified water by membrane filtration. BWRO, brackish water reverese osmosis; LP, low pressure; MF, microfiltration; NF,
nanofiltration; SWRO, seawater reverese osmosis; UF, ultrafiltration.
Table 1 Large-scale water purification plants in world wide
Country Place (plant name) Capacity (10
3
m
3
d
À1
) Construction year Membrane Water source
USA Minneapolis (Fridley Plant) 360 2011 (to be built) UF Surface
Canada Mississanga, Ontario 302 2006 UF Lake
Singapore Chestnut 273 2003 UF Surface
USA Minneapolis (Columbia Heights) 265 2005 UF Surface
USA Racine, Wisconsin 189 2005 UF Surface
USA Thornton, Colorado 187.5 2005 UF Surface
Canada Kamloops, British Columbia 160 2005 UF Surface
UK Clay Lane 160 2001 UF Ground
Germany Roetgen/Aachen 144 2005 UF Reservior
USA San Joaquin, California 136 2005 UF Surface
Source: Japan Water Research Center, Hot News in water works, No. 56.
24 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
cleaning may shorten the membrane lifetime and disposal of
spent chemical reagents poses another problem.
Membrane fouling strongly depends upon the structure of
membrane (average size, size distribution, and density of
pores). Surface morphology and roughness are surely involved
in it. However, this chapter describes the effect of only nom-
inal pore size and materials of membrane on the membrane
fouling.
4.02.1.2.1 Main foulant
In a number of previous studies on fouling of membranes
used for water treatment, natural organic matter (NOM),
composed of a variety of nonbiodegradable organic com-
pounds including humic substances, has been shown to be the
major constituent causing membrane fouling. However, it is
still not clear which fraction of NOM causes membrane
fouling. In early works, hydrophobic fractions of NOM, such
as humic substances, were considered to be the major fou-
lants. Hydrophobic interaction and electrostatic interaction
were the explanations for the binding between hydrophobic
NOM and membranes. More recently, hydrophilic NOM with
features of carbohydrate or protein has been reported by sev-
eral researchers to be the major foulant. As explanations for
the binding between hydrophilic NOM and membranes, van
der Waals attraction and hydrophobic interaction between
membranes and hydrophobic domains in hydrophilic NOM
have been suggested. In addition to NOM, metals and metal–
NOM complexes have been reported as the constituents af-
fecting membrane fouling (Yamamura et al., 2007a, 2007b).
Physically reversible fouling and physically irreversible
fouling have not been distinguished in many previous studies.
In addition, many previous studies were based on short-term
experiments, which are not sufficient for observing physically
irreversible fouling. As a result, knowledge of physically ir-
reversible fouling occurring in membrane filtration in drink-
ing water treatment is very limited; therefore, further studies
need to be carried out with special emphasis on physically
irreversible fouling for more efficient use of membranes. In
particular, investigation of the characteristics of components
that cause physically irreversible fouling would be useful for
the establishment of a new protocol of fouling control.
In this study, three MF/UF membranes that had been
fouled in long-term filtration of surface water used as a
drinking water source were investigated in terms of the re-
covery of water permeability by chemical cleaning and the
characteristics of the foulant causing physically irreversible
fouling. Based on the results obtained from various analyses, a
hypothesis regarding the evolution of physically irreversible
fouling is proposed.
Three different hollow-fiber membranes were used in this
study. Two of them were MF membranes and the other was a
UF membrane. The two MF membranes had the same nom-
inal pore size of 0.1mm but were made from different poly-
mers such as polyethylene (PE; Mitsubishi Rayon, Tokyo,
Japan) and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF; Asahikasei
Chemicals, Tokyo, Japan). The UF membrane had a molecular
weight cut-off of 100 000Da and was made from poly-
acrylonitrile (PAN; Toray Industries, Tokyo, Japan). Using
these three different membranes, pilot-scale membrane
filtration tests were carried out in parallel using the Chitose
River surface water. This river flows through peat area and its
surface water contains many humic substances. The concen-
tration range of total iron and aluminum was 0.7–1.7 and
0.05 and 0.7 mg l
À1
. About 75% of them were larger than
0.45 mm. The PVDF and the PE membranes were submerged in
separate tanks and were operated under vacuum. The PAN
membrane was housed in a vessel and was operated under
pressure. All membranes were operated in the outside-in flow
mode. The three membranes were operated with identical run
cycles (filtration: 30 min; air scrubbing: 30s; hydraulic back-
washing: 60 s) at the same constant flux of 0.65 m
3
m
À2
d
À1
.
Hydraulic backwashing was not accompanied by the addition
of chlorine. When membrane fouling became significant in
the submerged MF membranes despite the implementation of
periodical backwashing, membrane modules were taken out
from the tanks and were cleaned by spraying pressurized water
on the membrane surface.
The average quality of the feed water and that of membrane
permeates are shown in Table 2. In the feed water, large por-
tions of aluminum (78%) and iron (75%) were present as
suspended solids (40.45 mm), while manganese, calcium, and
organic matter were mainly present in dissolved forms. Alu-
minum and iron were effectively removed by the tested
membranes due to the strict solid–liquid separation. On the
other hand, removal of manganese, calcium, and organic
matter was not significant in any of the membranes. This
implies that the sizes of manganese, calcium, and dissolved
organic carbon (DOC) were smaller than the pore sizes of the
tested membranes. The UF membrane showed slightly higher
rates of removal of DOC and UV absorbance than those of the
two MF membranes, reflecting the difference between mem-
brane pore sizes of the MF and UF membranes. However, the
concentration of aluminum in the PAN membrane was
slightly higher than the concentrations in the MF membranes.
No reasonable explanation for this is available at present.
Figure 3 shows the changes in transmembrane pressure
(TMP) in the three membranes. The rates of increase in TMP
in the three membranes were considerably different. As ex-
pected, the tightest membrane (PAN) showed the highest rate
of increase in TMP. The rates of increase in the two MF
membranes were different despite the fact that they had the
same nominal pore size. This clearly indicates that the ma-
terials of the membrane have a substantial influence on the
Table 2 Average raw water quality during experiment
Temperature (1C) 11.5
pH 7.11
Turbidity (NTU) 16.54
UV absorbance at 220 nm (cm
À1
) 0.411
UV absorbance at 260 nm (cm
À1
) 0.099
TOC (mg 1
À1
) 2.43
DOC (mg 1
À1
) 2.29
THMFP (mg 1
À1
) 0.086
Manganese (mg 1
À1
) 0.100
Soluble manganese (mg 1
À1
) 0.074
Ammonia Nitrogen (mg 1
À1
) 0.22
DOC, dissolved organic matter; THMFP, trihalomethane formation potential; TOC, total
organic carbon.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 25
evolution of membrane fouling. Interestingly, the results ob-
tained in this study showing that the PE membrane was less
fouled than the PVDF membrane are opposite to the results of
a previous study focusing on membrane fouling in membrane
bioreactors (MBRs) used for municipal wastewater treatment.
This implies that characteristics of foulants in the case of
drinking water treatment were different from those in the case
of wastewater treatment. Further investigation is needed to
understand the influence of membrane material on the rate of
fouling. In all of the tested membranes, increase in TMP was
not constant and rapid increases in TMP were seen several
times. After the rapid increases in TMP, however, the value of
TMP gradually declined due to the periodical backwashing
except for the case of the PVDF membrane. On days 31 and 41,
an additional physical cleaning (spraying pressurized water on
the membrane surface) was needed to maintain the permea-
bility of the PVDF membrane. This additional physical
cleaning worked well and substantial reduction in TMP in the
PVDF membrane was seen after cleaning. Chemical cleaning
was not carried out at that time. Based on the observations
mentioned above, it is assumed that the rapid increases in
TMP shown in Figure 3 were caused by the accumulation of
cake on the surfaces of the membranes. The three dashed lines
shown in the figure are assumed to represent the evolution of
physically irreversible fouling in the three membranes, which
accumulated and remained despite of the implementation of
periodical backwashing and additional physical cleaning. As
seen in Figure 3, the rates of occurrence of physically ir-
reversible fouling in the three membranes were different.
To investigate the features of constituents that were re-
sponsible for physically irreversible fouling, the foulants were
desorbed from the fouled membranes at the termination of
the operation and then their chemical characteristics were
analyzed. When the pilot operations were terminated, fouled
membranes were taken out from the filtration units. The
membrane fibers were immediately brought to the laboratory
in a container filled with distilled water. First, each membrane
fiber was manually wiped with a sponge and thoroughly
rinsed with distilled water, which was carried out to minimize
the influence of the accumulated cake causing physically re-
versible fouling in subsequent tests. By visual inspection, no
accumulated cake was found on the membrane after wiping
with a sponge. Using the wiped membranes, tiny membrane
modules of 40 cm
2
in membrane area were assembled and
pure water permeability of the fouled membrane was meas-
ured by applying 30kPa of pressure difference. Filtration was
continued until a constant permeate flow rate was achieved
(typically in 15 min). After measuring the pure water per-
meability, tiny membrane modules were soaked in various
chemical solutions at 201C for 24 h. The chemical solutions
used for cleaning were Milli-Q water, NaClO (700 ppm as free
available chlorine), NaCl (0.1M), NaOH (pH 12), HCl (pH
2), ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid(EDTA) (20mM), and ox-
alic acid (0.5%). Recoveries in pure water permeability by the
chemical cleaning were evaluated and the chemical solutions
containing the foulants desorbed from the membranes were
analyzed. Membrane specimens that were not used for as-
sembling the tiny membrane modules were divided into two
portions and were soaked in a solution of sodium hydroxide
at pH 12 or hydrochloric acid at pH 2. Because a large amount
of membrane specimens was available in this study, this pro-
cess enabled extraction of a sufficient amount of organic
matter for advanced analysis (e.g., Fourier transform infrared
(FTIR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra).
Figure 4 shows the degree of restoration of the fouled
membranes in terms of pure water flux by chemical cleaning
with various reagents. In this figure, the ratio of pure water flux
after chemical cleaning (J
1
) to the flux before chemical
cleaning (J
0
) is used to express the degree of flux restoration.
As described earlier, chemical cleaning was carried out after
200
PAN
PVDF
PE
Time of additional physical cleaning
160
120
80
40
0 10 20 30 40 50
0
Operation time (days)
T
M
P

(
k
P
a
)
Figure 3 Time course changes in transmembrane pressure (TMP) difference adjusted to 20 1C equivalent value considering the change in water
viscosity. PAN, polyacrylonitrile; PE, polyethylene; PVDF, polyvinylidene fluoride; TMP, transmembrane pressure.
26 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
manually removing reversible cake that had accumulated on
the membrane. Therefore, it can be considered that the res-
toration shown in Figure 4 represents removal of the foulants
causing physically irreversible membrane fouling. Actually,
manual sponge cleaning carried out prior to chemical cleaning
had little effect on the permeability of the fouled membranes,
indicating that fouling seen at the termination of the long-
term operation could be attributed mainly to physically ir-
reversible fouling. As seen in the figure, in the case of the PVDF
and PAN membranes, NaCl (0.1 M) and EDTA (20mM) were
not effective in mitigation of physically irreversible fouling in
this study. Figure 4 also shows that alkaline solution (NaOH)
was more efficient than acid solutions (oxalic acid and HCl)
for recovery of permeability of the PVDF and PAN mem-
branes. The oxidizing agent (NaClO) exhibited the best
cleaning performance in recovery of permeability of the PVDF
and PAN membranes. This implies that organic matter was
mainly responsible for the evolution of physically irreversible
membrane fouling in the PVDF and PAN membranes. In
contrast, in the case of the PE membrane, which exhibited the
least membrane fouling in the continuous run (Figure 3), the
degree of recovery of water permeability following cleaning
with acid, alkaline, and oxidizing reagents were comparable.
This suggests that the contribution of metals to the physically
irreversible fouling in the PE membrane was significant.
Desorption of membrane foulants was carried out at the
termination of the pilot operation. As stated above, to ensure
that physically reversible cake was removed from the mem-
brane surface, each membrane fiber was carefully wiped with a
sponge prior to desorption tests. Although both aluminum
and iron in the raw water were effectively removed by the
membranes tested, only iron was desorbed from the fouled
membranes at a significant amount. This suggests that alu-
minum in the feed water was rejected or deposited on the
membrane surface and subsequently removed by the period-
ical backwashing. In contrast, iron was likely to cause the
physically irreversible fouling to some extent. In the cleaning
with HCl solution, not only metals but also organic matter
were desorbed from the fouled membranes, particularly from
the PVDF membrane.
Figure 5 shows the FTIR spectra of the foulants desorbed
from the fouled membranes by HCl solution. Interestingly,
there were significant similarities among the three spectra. All of
the spectra had a dominant peak near 1080cm
À1
, which is an
indication of their carbohydrate character. Therefore, the
carbohydrate-like organic matter was thought to be the main
constituent in the foulants desorbed with HCl solution re-
gardless of membrane type. In a study by Kabsch-Korbutowicz
et al., it was shown that a large portion of organic matter de-
sorbed from the fouled membrane by acid or chelating agents
formed complexes with metals. Similarly, in the present study,
the carbohydrate-like organic matter and metals (mainly iron)
desorbed with HCl solution were assumed to form complexes
and cause physically irreversible fouling. It has been reported
that carbohydrate can form a complex with iron.
As previously mentioned, NaOH solution restored the
membrane permeability to a larger extent and desorbed a
larger amount of organic matter from the fouled membranes
than did HCl solution. Therefore, analysis of the foulants
desorbed from the membrane with NaOH solution would be
more useful in understanding the fouling, compared to the
case of HCl solution. The value of specific ultraviolet absorb-
ance (SUVA) is considered to be a surrogate measurement of
aromacity of organic matter, and a high SUVA value corres-
ponds to organic matter consisting of a large amount of
double-bond or aromatic structures. The values of SUVA de-
termined for the foulants desorbed by NaOH solution were
much lower than those for the feed water on average. This
2000 1800 1400 1600 1200 1000 800
HCI-PAN
HCI-PE
HCI-PVDF
Wave number (cm
–1
)
1080
Figure 5 FTIR spectra of membrane foulant desorbed with HCl (pH 2)
solution. PAN, polyacrylonitrile; PE, polyethylene; PVDF, polyvinylidene
fluoride.
PVDF
NaCIO
NaOH
NaCl
MQ
Oxalic
HCl
EDTA
NaCIO
NaOH
NaCl
MQ
Oxalic
HCl
EDTA
NaCIO
NaOH
NaCl
MQ
Oxalic
HCl
EDTA
PE PAN
1 2 3
7.0
J
1
/ J
0
1 2 3
J
1
/ J
0
1 2 3
J
1
/ J
0
Figure 4 Effect of chemical membrane cleaning (J
0
: pure water flux before chemical cleaning, J
1
: pure water flux after chemical cleaning). EDTA,
ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid; MQ, milli-Q water; PAN, polyacrylonitrile; PE, polyethylene; PVDF, polyvinylidene fluoride.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 27
implies that a relatively hydrophilic fraction of the organic
matter in the feed water was responsible for the physically
irreversible fouling. Interestingly, the value of SUVA deter-
mined for the foulants was similar among the foulants de-
sorbed from the three membranes. This indicates that the
characteristics of the foulants desorbed from the three mem-
branes might be similar, but this turned out to be false as
discussed later.
FTIR spectra of the foulants desorbed with NaOH solution
from the three membranes are presented in Figure 6. There
were significant similarities in the spectra obtained for the
three membranes. In these spectra, peaks near 1660 and
1540 cm
À1
were significant. They are assigned to amido-I and -
II bands, respectively. In all spectra, a broad peak near
1080cm
À1
was seen. This peak is an indicator of carbohydrate
character. FTIR spectra shown in Figure 6 are not similar to
those of humic substances. This suggests that humic sub-
stances were relatively minor components in the foulant re-
sponsible for the physically irreversible fouling.
CPMAS
13
C NMR spectra of the foulants desorbed
with NaOH solution from the membranes are presented in
Figure 7. A general similarity among the foulants desorbed
from the three membranes was found in NMR analysis as well.
Although a proteinaceous nature of the foulants in the
membranes can be seen by peaks near 175 and 55 ppm,
carbohydrate (peak at 75 ppm) was dominant in the foulant
regardless of the membrane type. The aromatic carbon signal
(110–165 ppm) was minor in the spectra for the two MF
membranes (PVDF and PE) but was pronounced in the
spectrum for the PAN membrane. This indicates that the
contribution of the humic fraction of NOM to the evolution of
physically irreversible fouling was more significant in the PAN
membrane than in the two MF membranes. The humic frac-
tion would be smaller than carbohydrate, as shown later.
Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the contribution of the
small humic fraction would become more significant in a UF
membrane (PAN in this case) than in MF membrane (PVDF
and PE in this case). The amount of calcium desorbed with
NaOH solution was significant in the case of the PAN mem-
brane. This calcium might have formed a complex with humic
substance as suggested by several researchers. Nevertheless,
carbohydrate was dominant in the foulant desorbed form the
PAN membrane as well, as shown in Figure 5.
As shown above, both FTIR and NMR analyses demon-
strated that carbohydrate was a dominant component causing
physically irreversible fouling regardless of the type of mem-
brane. Carbohydrate has, however, a hydrophilic nature, and
hydrophobic interaction between the membranes and carbo-
hydrate is therefore not a reasonable explanation for the
participation of carbohydrate in physically irreversible fouling.
To elucidate the fouling mechanisms involved in the con-
tinuous operation, changes in rejection rate of both humic
acid and carbohydrate in the operation were investigated using
HPLC-SEC with UV/DOC detectors.
Figure 8 shows the representative molecular weight distri-
bution of organic matter contained in the feed water used in
this study. As seen in the figure, organic matter contained in
the feed water could be roughly divided into two fractions:
large molecules with a hydrophilic nature (little UV absorb-
ance) and small molecules with a hydrophobic nature (high
UV absorbance). A similar molecular weight distribution of
organic matter was found in previous studies. It is thought
that large molecules mainly consisted of carbohydrate, while
small molecules mainly consisted of humic acid.
Figure 9 shows changes in the removal of the large and
small molecules by the three membranes determined by
HPLC-SEC with UV/DOC detectors. In the case of the PVDF
membrane, about 15% of the fraction of smaller organic
molecules mainly composed of humic substances was initially
removed. As the operation period became longer, however, the
rate of removal of the small organic molecules declined and
eventually no removal of small molecules was achieved by the
PVDF membrane. The size of the small molecules should be
considerably smaller than the nominal pore size of the PVDF
membrane (0.1mm); therefore, the sieving effect was dis-
counted as an explanation for the initial removal of small
organic molecules by the PVDF membrane. Rather, the initial
1660
2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800
1540
1390
1080
Wave number (cm
–1
)
NaOH-PAN
NaOH-PE
NaOH-PVDF
Figure 6 Infrared spectra of membrane foulant desorbed with NaOH
(pH 12) solution. PAN, polyacrylonitrile; PE, polyethylene; PVDF,
polyvinylidene fluoride.
PVDF
PE
PAN
160 200 120 80
Chemical shift (ppm)
40 0
Figure 7 CPMAS
13
C NMR spectra of membrane foulants desorbed
with NaOH (pH 12) solution. PAN, polyacrylonitrile; PE, polyethylene;
PVDF, polyvinylidene fluoride.
28 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
removal of the small molecules can be attributed to ad-
sorption on/in the PVDF membrane.
In contrast to the small molecules, the rate of removal of
the large organic molecules by the PVDF membrane gradually
increased during the operation. When the removal of the
small molecules declined to a negligible level, the removal of
large organic molecules increased by almost 100%. A similar
trend was also seen for the other two membranes. Based on
these observations, the following hypothesis regarding the
evolution of physically irreversible fouling is presented. First,
small molecules mainly composed of humic substances are
adsorbed on/in membranes by hydrophobic interaction. As a
result of adsorption of the small molecules, the sizes of
membrane pores decrease and it becomes possible for large
molecules mainly composed of carbohydrates to plug the
pores and cause physically irreversible fouling. Also, adsorbed
humic substances could work as glue for carbohydrates and
facilitate the capture of carbohydrates on/in membranes. The
examined PVDF was assumed to be more hydrophobic than
the PE membrane because hydrophilic modification was
provided for the PE membrane by the manufacture. It is likely
that the hydrophobic PVDF membrane adsorbed humic sub-
stances more rapidly than did the hydrophilic PE membrane.
As a result, the PVDF membrane should achieve complete
rejection of carbohydrates earlier than the PE membrane
(Figure 9).
In discussion made above, it is assumed that foulant
causing physically irreversible fouling originated from the feed
water. Another possible origin of the foulant might be bio-
films that cannot be removed by backwashing. It was reported
that both carbohydrate and humics were excreted by micro-
organisms. Although the possibility that excretion from bio-
films was the main source of the foulant which cannot be
completely eliminated, it would be discounted by the fol-
lowing reasons: (1) evolution of reversible fouling (indication
of biofilm formation) did not always dominate in the oper-
ation of the membranes as shown in Figure 3; (2) occasional
increases in physically reversible fouling shown in Figure 3
could be explained by increases in turbidity in the feed (data
not shown); and (3) water temperature was low (i.e., 5–101C)
in the operation. To deal with the issues discussed above more
precisely, establishment of the methods that can distinguish
the origin of organic matter is indispensable.
The following points were derived from the measurement
of the zeta potentials of membranes before and after the long-
term operation. The decrease in rejection of small molecules
during the operation might be attributable to a decrease in
favorable electrostatic interaction (repulsion) since the zeta
potential of the tested membranes became slightly less nega-
tive after operation as a consequence of carbohydrate de-
position. In this study, it was assumed that the decrease in
favorable electrostatic interaction was not the main reason for
the decrease in rejection of small molecules both because of
the initial zeta potential that was close to neutral and because
of the small changes in the zeta potentials after use. However,
further investigation is needed to determine the influence of
surface conditions of membranes on binding of NOM to
membranes.
To confirm the experimental results showing that carbo-
hydrate-like substances are main substances causing the
physically irreversible fouling, the authors carried out the
bench-scale study where the surface water samples taken from
four different sources such as Toyohira River (central Hok-
kaido), Kusiro River (eastern Hokkaido), Inba Lake (Chiba
prefecture), and Yodo River (Osaka prefecture). Toyohira River
water (total organic carbon, TOC¼0.8 mg l
À1
) is relatively
clean. Kushiro river water (TOC¼0.9 mg l
À1
) is rich in humic
substances. Inba Lake water (TOC¼5.7 mg l
À1
) is polluted
and eutrophicated by the domestic wastewater. Yodo River
water (TOC¼1.8 mg l
À1
) contained a lot of treated waste-
water. Tiny membrane module with the surface area of
1.44 Â10
À3
m
2
was prepared with hollow-fiber membranes
made of PVDF. The pore size of membranes was 0.1 mm.
Membrane filtration was carried out by a peristaltic pump, and
the constant-flow-rate mode of operation was applied. Per-
meate flux was fixed at 1.5 md
À1
for all filtration experiments.
DOC
1200
900
600
300
0
D
O
C

(
p
p
b
)
Colloidal carbohydrate
or protein
Humic acid
UV
0
0.01
U
V

a
b
s
o
r
b
a
n
c
e

(
c
m

1
)
0.02
10
7
10
6
10
5
10
4
10
3
10
2
10
Molecular weight (Da)
Figure 8 Molecular size distribution of dissolved organic matter in the Chitose river surface water. DOC, dissolved organic carbon.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 29
Hydraulic backwashing was performed every 15 min. The
duration and pressure of backwashing were 30sec and 50kPa,
respectively.
The organic matter in the four water sources was concen-
trated using RO (Nanomax 95, Millipore), and its recovery,
defined as (DOC mass after concentration by RO)/(DOC mass
before concentration), was 0.95, 0.81, 0.80, and 0.91 for
Toyohira River, Inba Lake, Kushiro River, and Yodo River, re-
spectively. Fractionation of organic matter contained in the
isolates was carried out using the procedure described by
Croue et al. They used the DAX-8 and XAD-4 resins. The
portion that passed through both the DAX-8 and XAD-4 col-
umn was denoted the hydrophilic (HPI) fraction. The portion
that retained on DAX-8 resin was denoted the hydrophobic
(HPO) fraction. The portion that retained on XAD-84 was
denoted the transphilic (TPI) fractions. The HPO and TPI
fractions were eluted by backwashing with 2l of 0.1 N NaOH
at 100 ml min
À1
. Each of the three fractions was desalinated by
the electric dialysis until its electric conductivity became less
than 0.5 mS O
À1
. The HPI and HPO fractions were diluted to a
concentration of 2.0 mg TOCl
À1
with Milli-Q water and used
as the feed water for the bench scale experiment.
Figure 10 shows the FTIR spectra of the organic matter in
the hydrophobic and hydrophilic fractions of the water from
each of the four sources. FTIR analysis is a powerful tool for
identifying the functional groups in organic matter and,
together with the SUVA, provides useful information about the
characteristics of organic matter in the feed waters. As seen in
the spectra of the HPO fractions, the organic matter in the
hydrophobic fraction was highly aromatic. For all the spectra
of HPO fraction, a general similarly was seen in two broad
peaks around 1400 and 1620–1660cm
À1
. These peaks are an
indication of their aromatic character. The HPO fractions also
seemed to contain alkyl aromatic sulfonates, as evidenced by
the peaks of an aromatic sulfonic acid group (1035 and
1009cm
À1
) and the alkyl group (2930 cm
À1
).
In the spectra of the HPI fractions, on the other hand, a
high peak at 1080 cm
À1
is seen for all the sources. This peak is
assigned to C–O stretching of polysaccharide or aliphatic al-
cohol, which represent the carbohydrate-rich nature of HPI
organic matters. The spectra of the HPI fractions of Inba Lake
water and Yodo River water not only show the signature of
carbohydrate-like substances but also have sharp peaks at
1620 and 1660 cm
À1
corresponding to carboxylic acid. These
peaks, in combination with the peak at 1080 cm
À1
, might
indicate the presence of alginate-like substances in the feed
water.
The changes in TMP during filtration through the MF
membrane made of PVDF differed between the HPO fraction
and the HPI fraction are shown in Figure 11. Regardless of the
NOM source, the TMP for the HPO fraction increased by less
than 7kPa and the TMP for the HPI fraction increased by
more than 30kPa. This clearly indicates that the HPI fraction
of NOM is a major component affecting the development of
physically irreversible fouling. The major differences in the
characteristics of organic matter between the HPO fraction
and the HPI fraction are in aromaticity and size. The organic
matter in the HPO fraction consisted mainly of aromatic
humic substances less than 6000 Da in size, while the HPI
fraction was rich in carbohydrate-like substances having sizes
between 100 000 and 1000 000Da. These findings indicate
that the development of physically irreversible fouling was
caused not by aromatic humic substances but by carbo-
hydrate-like substances. In authors’ study investigating the
affinity between NOM and membrane surfaces, it was con-
cluded that the physico-chemical interaction with the surface
of membrane was more significant for carbohydrate-like sub-
stances (with hydroxyl groups) than for humic-like substances
(with carboxyl groups). As a consequence, it can be hy-
pothesized that large carbohydrate-like substances can accu-
mulate on the membrane surface, interact with it strongly, and
thereby cause physically irreversible fouling.
Although some researchers suggested that physically re-
versible fouling is largely due to the HPO fraction of NOM,
the development of physically reversible fouling was not ob-
vious for the HPO feed waters, probably because the organic
particles in the HPO fraction are smaller than the membrane
pores in this study. Rather, some of the HPI fractions were
found to contribute to the physically reversible fouling as well.
PVDF
PAN
PE
Large molecules
Small molecules
Large molecules
Small molecules
Large molecules
Small molecules
100
80
60
40
20
20
20
25
30
30 40 50
0
0
0
5
10
10
15
R
e
m
o
v
a
l

r
a
t
e

o
f
l
a
r
g
e

m
o
l
e
c
u
l
e
s

(
%
)
R
e
m
o
v
a
l

r
a
t
e

o
f
s
m
a
l
l

m
o
l
e
c
u
l
e
s

(
%
)
Operation time (days)
100
80
60
40
20
20
20
25
30
30 40 50
0
0
0
5
10
10
15
R
e
m
o
v
a
l

r
a
t
e

o
f
l
a
r
g
e

m
o
l
e
c
u
l
e
s

(
%
)
R
e
m
o
v
a
l

r
a
t
e

o
f
s
m
a
l
l

m
o
l
e
c
u
l
e
s

(
%
)
Operation time (days)
100
80
60
40
20
20
20
25
30
30 40 50
0
0
0
5
10
10
15
R
e
m
o
v
a
l

r
a
t
e

o
f
l
a
r
g
e

m
o
l
e
c
u
l
e
s

(
%
)
R
e
m
o
v
a
l

r
a
t
e

o
f
s
m
a
l
l

m
o
l
e
c
u
l
e
s

(
%
)
Operation time (days)
Figure 9 Changes in removal rate of large molecules (carbohydrate)
and small molecules (humic acid). PAN, polyacrylonitrile; PE,
polyethylene; PVDF, polyvinylidene fluoride.
30 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
Hydrophobic Hydrophilic
4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000
Wave number (cm
–1
)
4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000
Wave number (cm
–1
)
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
(g)
(h)
Figure 10 Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra of the natural organic matter (NOM) in hydrophobic (HPO) and hydrophilic (HPI) fractions of raw
water from different sources: HPO fraction of water from (a) Toyohira river, (b) Lake Inbanuma, (c) Kushiro river, and (d) Yodo river; HPI fraction of
water from (e) Toyohira river, (f) Lake Inbanuma, (g) Kushiro river, and (h) Yodo river.
Fraction contributing to memberane fouling
(TOC = 2 mg l
–1
)
Toyohira RW (HPI)
Toyohira RW (HPO)
Ca: 0 mg l
–1
Ca: 0 mg l
–1
T
r
a
n
s
m
e
m
b
r
a
n
e
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
k
P
a
)
T
r
a
n
s
m
e
m
b
r
a
n
e
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
k
P
a
)
60
50
40
30
20
200 400 600 800
10
0
Operation time (min)
50
40
30
20
200 400 600 800
10
0
0
Operation time (min)
60
50
40
30
20
200 400 600 800
10
0
0
Operation time (min)
60
50
40
30
20
200 400 600 800
10
0
0
Operation time (min)
60
50
40
30
20
200 400 600 800
10
0
0
Operation time (min)
60
50
40
30
20
200 400 600 800
10
0
0
Operation time (min)
60
50
40
30
20
200 400 600 800
10
0
0
Operation time (min)
60
50
40
30
20
200 400 600 800
10
0
0
Operation time (min)
Inba Lake W (HPI)
Inba Lake W (HPO)
Kushiro RW (HPI)
Kushiro RW (HPO)
Yodo RW (HPI)
Yodo RW (HPO)
HPI fraction of NOM contributed to the physically irreversible fouling
regardless of the types of NOM sources
Figure 11 Changes in transmembrane pressure (TMP) during filtration.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 31
In particular, the filtration of the HPI fractions of Lake Inba-
numa water and Yodo River water induced the evolution of
the physically reversible fouling to a large extent. These HPI
fractions were found to contain a large amount of macro-
molecular polysaccharides with a negative charge at neutral
pH, in which the electrostatic repulsion between the nega-
tively charged polysaccharide and accumulated polysacchar-
ides or membrane surface would occur. Such an electrostatic
repulsion would help to weaken the binding of organic mol-
ecules to each other and thereby enable the accumulated or-
ganic matter to be easily removed by physical cleaning.
4.02.1.2.2 Affinity of main foulant for membranes
In our previous study on pilot-scale filtration using hydrophilic
and hydrophobic membranes, NMR analysis of the foulant
demonstrated significant contribution of carbohydrate-like
substances to the evolution of fouling. It was also shown that
the nature of membrane materials affected the rate of accu-
mulation of carbohydrate-like substances. However, the reason
for the preferential binding of carbohydrate-like substances to
membranes remains unclear. Elucidation of the physico-
chemical interactions between membranes and carbohydrate-
like substances is needed for understanding the mechanism of
fouling involving carbohydrate.
Several research groups have already demonstrated the
usefulness of atomic force microscopy (AFM) force measure-
ment for the quantification of the affinity between a carboxyl-
modified microsphere and the surfaces of NF/RO membranes.
Carboxyl-modified microspheres were used as a surrogate of
humic substances in their studies. Taking into account the
hydroxyl-rich characteristics of carbohydrate, AFM force
measurement using hydroxyl-modified microspheres and
membranes would provide useful information about the af-
finity of carbohydrate-like substances to membranes, which
has been reported in recent studies on fouling as reviewed
above.
Two MF membranes with the same nominal pore size of
0.1 mm were used in this study. One membrane was made of
PE (Mitsubishi Rayon Engineering, Tokyo, Japan) and the
other was made of PVDF (Asahi Kasei Chemicals, Tokyo,
Japan). These two membranes were chosen because they are
now used in many full-scale plants. Prior to the AFM force
measurement, new membranes were filtered with Milli-Q
water for 6h so as to wash out impurities remaining on the
membrane surface. Because of hydroxyl-rich nature of carbo-
hydrate, Polybead
s
-hydroxylate microspheres (Cosmo Bio,
Tokyo, Japan) were used as surrogates for carbohydrate-like
substances. For comparison, Polybead
s
-carboxylate micro-
spheres (Cosmo Bio, Tokyo, Japan) were also used in the AFM
force measurement. In previous studies, carboxyl-modified
microspheres were used as surrogates of humic substances.
Both microspheres used in this study were made of poly-
styrene (3 mm). The characteristics of these microspheres are
shown in Yamamura et al. (2008). The colloidal probes used
in the AFM force measurement were prepared by attaching the
microspheres to the top of a silicon nitride tip (NP-S: Veeco
Instruments Inc., New York, USA) as previously described
(Figure 12). Attachment of the microspheres to the cantilever
tip was carried out with a micromanipulator with the aid of a
scanning electron microscope (TINY SEM, Technex Lab,
Tokyo, Japan). After preparation, the colloidal probes were
stored in a refrigerator (4 1C) prior to use. The spring constants
of carboxyl- and hydroxyl-colloidal probes determined by
thermal fluctuation method were 84 and 92 pNnm
À1
, re-
spectively. These values were used for converting cantilever
deflections to loading forces.
An atomic force microscope (MFP-3D, Asylum Research,
Santa Barbara, CA) was used for the force measurements.
Measurements were carried out in buffered water (1.0mM
NaHCO
3
, pH 6.8) with a trigger point of 50nm. Divalent
cations such as calcium or magnesium were not added to the
buffered solution so as to prevent the formation of a bridging
between polystyrene of microspheres and the membrane
surface. Taking the heterogeneities of local membrane surfaces
into account, measurements of force curves were made at three
different locations. At each location, more than five force
curves were obtained. All force curves obtained by the AFM
force measurement were originally expressed as a function of
force determined on the basis of the scanner position in the
AFM instrument. The scanner position was converted to the
separation distance by determining the onset of constant
compliance between the scanner position and cantilever de-
flection (i.e., where cantilever deflection becomes a linear
function of piezo-scanner position) and subtracting this value
from all other scanner position values. In AFM force curves,
the separation distance at which the interaction became either
repulsive or attractive was identified as the point where the
measured force is either positive or negative, respectively. At
separation distances greater than this value, no force was
considered to be acting on the colloidal probe and the zero
force region of the plot was determined.
An AFM force measurement gave two force curves: an ap-
proaching force curve and a retraction force curve. The affinity
of the colloidal probe to the surface of the membrane was
expressed by the adhesion force, F
ad
, which is defined as the
force needed to separate the two from contact. F
ad
is deter-
mined on the basis of the maximum value of cantilever
deflection in a retraction force curve (d
max
) as shown in
Figure 12 Scanning electron microscope image of a polystyrene bead
(3 mm) glued to the top of a cantilever tip.
32 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
Figure 13. In contrast, interaction between the colloidal probe
and the membrane surface when the probe was approaching
the membrane surface (similar to the situation in which
carbohydrate-like substances approach membranes by con-
vection flow) was also assessed by the effective distance of the
forces shown in an approaching force curve.
The affinity between a carbohydrate-like substance and
membrane surface would change as a result of fouling.
Therefore, AFM force measurement was also carried out with
membranes previously fouled in a pilot operation to investi-
gate the change in affinity. Because of the difficulty in regular
sampling of membrane specimens from the PVDF membrane
module used in the pilot study, the investigation of change in
affinity of the carbohydrate-like substance was carried out only
with the PE membrane.
Pilot-scale membrane filtration was carried out at the
Kamiebetsu water purification plant (Ebetsu, Japan) using
Chitose River surface water as raw water. Characteristics of the
raw water used for the pilot operation are described elsewhere.
In authors’ previous study using the same water, it was found
that carbohydrate-like substance was dominant in the foulant
causing physically irreversible fouling. After passage of the grit
chamber, the raw water was delivered to the membrane units
without any pretreatment. The PE membrane, which had the
same properties as those described before, was assembled
(3m
2
) and horizontally immersed in a 300l submersion tank.
The operation was conducted using a vacuum. The filtration
flux was set at a constant value of 1.0m
3
m
À2
d
À1
. During the
operation that continued for 49 days, periodic physical cleaning
was carried out by filtration for 30min, air scrubbing for 30s,
and hydraulic backwashing for 60s, as recommended by the
manufacturer. When the membrane was rapidly fouled or the
value of TMP became excessive, the submerged membrane
module was taken out from the submersion tank and was
cleaned by spraying pressurized water on the membrane surface.
During the pilot-scale operation, membrane fibers were
sampled from the center of the membrane module six times:
on days 1, 3, 5, 16, 23, and 39. After cutting the fibers, cor-
responding channels were closed with epoxy glue to prevent
leakage, and the permeate flow rate was adjusted to maintain a
constant flux of 1.0 m
3
m
À2
d
À1
. To check for membrane
breakage, turbidity of the permeate was monitored. After
membrane fibers had been cut, they were immediately
brought to the laboratory in a container filled with distilled
water (resulting pH of 6.570.5), and the surface of the
membrane specimen was manually wiped with a sponge and
rinsed with distilled water thoroughly. This step was carried
out to ensure the removal of the accumulated cake (i.e., effect
of physically reversible fouling) and to specifically focus on
physically irreversible fouling in this study. It was found that
manual sponge cleaning had little effect on permeability of
the fouled membranes at the termination of the operation,
indicating that physically irreversible fouling was dominant in
the pilot operation. A portion of membrane fibers was
examined in a zeta potential meter (ELS-8000, Otsuka Elec-
tronics, Osaka, Japan) at pH 7.0 and 5 mM KCl. The other
membrane fibers were stored in Milli-Q water until use for
AFM force curve measurements.
Figure 14 shows the adhesion forces (F
ad
) of (a) carboxyl-
modified and (b) hydroxyl-modified microspheres to clean
PVDF or PE membranes, which were determined from the
maximum values in the retraction force curves (Figure 13).
From Figure 14, it is obvious that the adhesion force of the
hydroxyl group was much greater than that of the carboxyl
group regardless of membrane. The difference in values shown
in Figure 14 is explained by differences in a balance of three
relevant forces: (1) electrostatic interaction, (2) hydrogen
bond (or electron transfer interaction), and (3) van der Waals
interaction as seen in Figure 15. The hydrogen bond and the
van der Waals interaction work as attraction forces, while the
electrostatic interaction is considered to be repelling force
because of the negatively charged nature of both microspheres
and membrane surfaces.
The electrostatic repulsion is governed by Coulomb’s force,
which is proportional to the product of the two different
charges to be considered. The charges of the two functionally
modified microspheres were comparable. Thus, similar levels
of Coulomb’s force would be exerted on carboxyl- and hy-
droxyl-modified microspheres with the membranes. On the
other hand, the van der Waals interaction between a micro-
sphere and a flat surface is known to be proportional to the
radius of the microsphere The two types of microspheres used
in the present study had the same radius of 3 mm, and there-
fore the levels of van der Waals attraction were also considered
D
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n

(
n
m
)
–100
–200
–300
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6
Separation distance (μm)
0.8
Maximium deflection
d
max
1.0
0
Figure 13 A representative retraction force curve.
12
(a) (b)
10
8
6
4
2
0
PE PVDF PE PVDF
A
d
h
e
s
i
o
n

f
o
r
c
e

(
n
N
)
Figure 14 Adhesion forces of (a) carboxyl-modified and (b) hydroxyl-
modified microspheres to polyethylene (PE) and polyvinylidene fluoride
(PVDF) membrane surfaces in buffered solution (pH 6.8).
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 33
to be similar. Considering the balance of the three relevant
forces, it is reasonable to conclude that the difference in the
adhesion force shown in Figure 14 may be attributed to the
hydrogen bond.
A hydrogen bond is generated by electron transfer reaction
between electronegative atoms (e.g., O, N, F, and Cl) and H
atoms that are covalently bound to similar electronegative
atoms. The two functional groups examined in the present
study (i.e., carboxyl and hydroxyl groups) have the possibility
of forming hydrogen bonds due to their high polar nature, but
the bounding power largely depends on their pK
a
values. If
pK
a
value is larger than pH of the solution, the functional
group is protonated, contributing to the formation of a strong
hydrogen bond. In contrast, in the condition of pK
a
being less
than pH of the solution, the functional group dissociates, re-
sulting in an insignificant hydrogen bond. To make sure the
dissociation condition of two functional groups, an investi-
gation of the adhesion force as a function of pH is considered
to be appropriate. However, because of low resistance of
available AFM cells to extreme pH condition, the authors
could not figure out the dissociation condition of two func-
tional groups. In previous studies in which the pK
a
values of
hydroxyl- or carboxyl-modified microspheres were investi-
gated, it was estimated that carboxyl groups have pK
a
values
between 3 and 6 and hydroxyl groups have pK
a
values between
9 and 13. Assuming that the pK
a
values obtained in those
previous studies could be applied to the present study, the
carboxyl groups were dissociated whereas the hydroxyl groups
were not dissociated in the adhesion force measurements
carried out at pH 6.8 (Figure 14). In the present study, the
difference stated above presumably caused the remarkable
difference in adhesion force of the two types of microspheres.
An additional remark that should be made for Figure 14 is
that the adhesion forces of hydroxyl-modified microspheres to
the PVDF membrane and the PE membrane were quite dif-
ferent. As shown in Figure 14, the binding power of the hy-
droxyl group was much greater for the PVDF membrane than
for the PE membrane. According to Ducker et al., the adhesion
value possibly varies depending on surface roughness. The
difference between the roughness of the PVDF membrane and
that of the PE membrane was insignificant, suggesting a lim-
ited effect of roughness on the difference in adhesion force.
Rather, difference in polymer materials seemed to affect the
binding force of hydroxyl-modified microspheres: binding
power of the hydrogen bond largely depends on hydrogen
bonded pairs. It is known that PVDF has two fluoride atoms
that are arranged symmetrically with a center carbon atom,
while PE has only hydrogen atoms along with carbon chain.
Generally, the higher the electronegativity of the bounded
atom, the greater the binding energy of the hydrogen bond
becomes. Because of the high electronegative nature of fluor-
ide atoms, a strong hydrogen bond would be formed between
the surface of the PVDF membrane and hydroxyl-modified
microspheres.
Based on the fact that carbohydrate has many hydroxyl
groups in its structure, the hydrogen bond seems to play an
important role in the accumulation of carbohydrate-like sub-
stances on membranes, as indicated by previous studies on
fouling. The hydrogen bond is considered as a semi-irrevers-
ible reaction, and the value of binding energy is between 10
and 40 kJ mol
À1
, which is stronger than that of typical van der
Waals attraction (B1kJ mol
À1
). Because of such a strong and
semi-irreversible binding ability of the hydrogen bond, it is
probably very difficult to remove carbohydrate-like substances
from membranes by physical cleaning (e.g., backwashing)
once they have adhered to the membranes by hydrogen
bonds. The data shown in Figure 14 suggest that more
carbohydrate would accumulate on a membrane made from
polymers containing atoms with high electronegativity. For
the prevention of accumulation of carbohydrate on mem-
branes used for water treatment, it would be desirable to
choose membranes that are fabricated with polymers that do
not contain atoms with high electronegativity in their
structure.
Figure 16 shows the approaching force curves repeatedly
measured with (a) carboxyl- and (b) hydroxyl-modified
microspheres for new PE and PVDF membranes. As shown in
the figure, features of approaching force curves were com-
pletely different depending on the type of microspheres. As
the carboxyl- modified microspheres approached the mem-
brane surface (Figure 16(a)), they encountered repulsive
interaction due to repulsive electrostatic interactions between
the negatively charged microspheres and the negatively
charged membrane surface. It is shown in Figure 16(a) that
the interaction became apparent within a distance of about
20nm for both membranes, demonstrating that the two
membranes exerted similar electrostatic repulsion against the
carboxyl-modified microspheres. This is consistent with the
results of measurement of zeta potentials of the membranes:
the two membranes exhibited similar negative charges.
Electrostatic
Hydroxyl group
(OH)
Carboxyl group
(COOH)
Van der Waals interaction
–130 mV
–4 mV
–4 mV
–126 mV
Hydrogen bond
Figure 15 Three relevant forces: (1) electrostatic interaction, (2) van der Waals interaction, and (3) hydrogen bond.
34 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
In contrast, as the hydroxyl-modified microspheres ap-
proached the membrane surface (Figure 16(b)), rapid de-
crease in the bending stresses of the cantilever or jump-in
attraction forces appeared after gradual increase in repulsion
force. The increase in attractive force was probably due to
hydrogen bonds between the hydroxyl groups of microspheres
and the membrane surface. The effective distances of hydrogen
bonds were around 15 and 5 nm in the case of the PVDF and
the PE membranes, respectively. This was in accordance with
the strong adhesion force of the hydroxyl-modified micro-
spheres to the PVDF membrane discussed above.
The results shown in Figure 16 suggest that hydrogen
bonds between foulants and membranes can be significant
only when they are transported to the region where the
membrane surface is very close. Before entering the region
where hydrogen bonds can be significant, foulants need to
overcome repulsive forces if they bear negative charges.
Otherwise, they do not adhere to the membrane surface and
subsequently cause membrane fouling. Strongly negative-
charged particles/molecules (e.g., humic acid) are less likely to
reach the membrane surface: in contrast, it is expected that
carbohydrate-like substances relatively easily access to the
membrane surface because of their electrostatically neutral
nature. This is an additional explanation why carbohydrate-
like substances have recently been reported to be major
foulants.
Figure 17 shows the changes in adhesion forces (F
ad
) of (a)
carboxyl- or (b) hydroxyl-modified microspheres to the PE
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
0
(a) (b)
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
Operation time (days) Operation time (days)
A
d
h
e
s
i
o
n

f
o
r
c
e

(
n
N
)
A
d
h
e
s
i
o
n

f
o
r
c
e

(
n
N
)
Figure 17 Changes in adhesion force of carboxyl-modified microspheres (a) and hydroxyl-modified microspheres (b) to PE membranes that were
sampled during the pilot-filtration test.
0.5
(a)
(b)
0.25
0.0
0 25 50 75 0 25 50 75
F
o
r
c
e

(
n
N
)
F
o
r
c
e

(
n
N
)
F
o
r
c
e

(
n
N
)
PE
PE
Distance (nm)
Distance (nm) Distance (nm)
Distance (nm)
PVDF
PVDF
0.5
0.25
0.0
F
o
r
c
e

(
n
N
)
0.5
0.25
0.0
–0.25
–0.5
–1.0
–1.5
–2.0
0.5
0.25
0.0
–0.25
–0.5
–1.0
–1.5
–2.0
0 25 50 75 0 25 50 75
Figure 16 Approaching force curves of (a) carboxyl-modified microspheres and (b) hydroxyl-modified microspheres to the PE membrane (left
panels) and the PVDF membranes (right panels) in buffered solution (pH 6.8).
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 35
membranes, which were sampled during the pilot-scale fil-
tration on days 0, 1, 3, 5, 16, 23, and 39. Adhesion force
shown in the figure was determined by the same procedure as
that used for obtaining the data shown in Figure 14. As clearly
shown in Figure 14, adhesion forces of both hydroxyl-modi-
fied and carboxyl-modified microspheres changed to a large
extent as a result of fouling. In the case of carboxyl-modified
microspheres, the adhesion force decreased rapidly to a value
of 0.06 nN within 1 day and remained at a low level until the
end of operation. One possible reason for the reduction in
binding force of carboxyl-modified microspheres was the in-
crease in electrostatic repulsion. The charge of the membrane
surface changed from À11 to À28 mV during the pilot op-
eration (Yamamura et al., 2008), which resulted in greater
electrostatic repulsion between negatively charged micro-
spheres and the membrane surface. In authors’ previous
fouling study using the PE membrane carried out at the same
plant, it was shown that negatively charged substances (e.g.,
humic substances) also accumulated on/in the membrane
during the long-term filtration. Accumulation of such nega-
tively charged substances presumably decreased the charge of
the membrane surface.
As shown in Figure 17, adhesion force of the hydroxyl-
modified microspheres also declined rapidly, but the values of
F
ad
for the hydroxyl-modified microspheres were much larger
than those for the carboxyl-modified microspheres except for
on day 39. This result partially explains why hydrophilic NOM
dominated over humic substances and was shown to be a
major foulant in previous studies on fouling: hydrophilic
NOM actually has a great binding power to the membrane due
to hydrogen bonding.
The exponential reduction of adhesion force seen with
hydroxyl-modified microspheres could presumably be ex-
plained by the decrease in binding sites available on the
membrane surface due to membrane fouling and/or by the
increase in repulsive forces between negatively charged
microspheres and the negatively charged membrane surface.
4.02.1.3 Membrane Filtration Systems for Controlling
Fouling
In order to reduce the membrane fouling, we need to produce
the membrane resistant to fouling and to construct hybrid
membrane systems which include the existing treatment pro-
cesses such as coagulation, activated carbon adsorption, and
biological/chemical oxidation. Figure 18 describes such a
concept, considering the size, concentration, and chemical
properties of the substances to be removed.
4.02.1.3.1 Channel flocculation in monolith ceramic
membrane
Coagulation–flocculation process has been widely used to
form aggregates (flocs), which include many fine particles
contained in the raw water, for the efficient solid–liquid sep-
aration in the sedimentation basin and sand filter. Tambo and
Watanabe published several papers describing the floc density
and flocculation kinetics for the better understanding of
flocculation process. They presented the floc density function
and GC
0
T value. The floc density function describes the
quantitative relationship between the size and effective
(buoyant) density of flocs. The exponent K
r
in the function is
related to the fractal dimension (D) for the aggregates formed
Impurities
mm
Suspended
matters
I
m
p
u
r
i
t
y

s
i
z
e
Colloidal
matters
µm
nm
Å
Dissolved
matters
Concentration
NF filtration
Taste and odor producing
inorganic ions (Fe
2+
, Mn
2+
, etc)
Fulvic acids
Inorganic compounds (arsenic, antimony, seleninum, etc.)
Virus
Humic acids
Oxidized substances (SiO
2
, Fe
2
O
3
, Al
2
O
3
, MnO
2
, etc.)
Protein
Bacteria
Algae
Silts
Ozonation, activated
carbon adsorption,
biological oxidation
+ MF–UF filtration
Saccharoid
Coagulation/ sedimentation
+ MF–UF filtration
Coagulation
+ MF–UF
Adsorption,
ion exchange
+ MF–UF
Protozoa (Cryptosporidium, Giardia, etc.)
molecular-weight humics, etc.)
Organic–inorganic soil (clay, microorganisms, high-
MF–UF
filtration
Synthetic organic compounds (DDT, BHC, PCB,)
Figure 18 Design matrix of hybrid membrane filtration systems. DDT, dichlorodiphenyltrichloro ethane; BHC, benzene hexachloride;
MF, microfiltration; NF, nanofiltration; PCB, polychlorinated biphenyl; UF, ultrafiltration.
36 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
in cluster–cluster aggregation (CCA) as D¼ À3ÀK
r
. K
r
is a
function of the aluminum to turbidity (ALT) ratio, which is
defined as Al dosage(mg/l)/suspended solid concentration
(mg l
À1
) in raw water, and has the value of 1.00 and 1.25 for
the ALT ratio of around 1/100 and 1/20, respectively. These
values coincide with the fractal dimension D determined for
the reaction and diffusion limited case (2.05 and 1.75), re-
spectively. Tambo and Watanabe have proposed that the GC
0
T
value is more useful than GT value proposed by Camp as the
criterion of flocculation. These research results have been in-
cluded in the membrane filtration process to improve the fil-
terability of the membrane (Yonekawa et al., 2004).
In Japan, membrane filtration plant has increased its
treatment capacity since the mid-1990s. Tokyo Metropolitan
Water Works Authority constructed a plant with the total
capacity of 80 000m
3
d
À1
in April 2007 using hollow-fiber MF
membranes made of PVDF. It is currently the largest plant in
Japan. There has also been innovation in the membrane ma-
terial and membrane module. The monolith ceramic mem-
brane was developed in 1988 and its advances have been
remarkable as seen in Figure 19. Figure 20 describes the detail
of the monolith ceramic membrane.
By the end of 2008, 81 plants with monolith ceramic
membrane have been under operation in Japan and the
maximum capacity of the plants is about 40 000m
3
d
À1
. The
pre-coagulation has been provided to all of these plants to
strengthen filterability for stable filtration performance for a
wide range of raw water turbidity and enhancement of the
removal of viruses and dissolved organic substances.
The authors have clarified the characteristics unique to
monolith ceramic membrane with pre-coagulation by refer-
ring to the behavior of microparticles. The region exists in the
monolith channel with the optimum G and GC
0
T value for
good flocculation. The flocculation of microparticles offers the
reduction in the membrane fouling.
The laminar flow model within dead-end hollow-fiber
membranes has been presented in many studies. For example,
Fujita and Takizawa developed Equation (1) from the energy
equation and the material balance in the course of filtration:
dp
dv
¼ À
v
g
1 À
8m
rdkðp Àp
0
Þ
& '
ð1Þ
where p is the static pressure (m), v the axial velocity within
hollow fiber (ms
À1
), g the gravitational acceleration (ms
À2
), m
the viscosity (kg m
À1
s
À1
), r the water density (kg m
À3
), d the
internal diameter of hollow fiber (m), k the membrane fil-
terability (s
À1
) and p
0
the external pressure of membrane (m).
Considering the characteristic values (d ¼4 Â10
À4
m,
k ¼6 Â10
À6
s
À1
) of the typical hollow fiber, the first term in
Equation (1) is much smaller than the second term. Neg-
lecting the first term, an appropriate equation to calculate an
expanded approximate axial velocity in a fibre can be derived.
In the case of monolith ceramic membrane (d¼2.5 Â10
À3
m,
Configuration Unit Tube Monolith
Stage
Length mm 1000
30
37 61 2000
2.5 3
0.35 0.48 15 24
0.63 0.6 0.63 0.50
Industrial use Water purification
8.9m
2
1000
100
10
13m
2
73m
2
150m
2
240m
2
module
–1
5m
3
m
–2
d
–1
2.5m
3
m
–2
d
–1
1.8m
3
m
–2
d
–1
1.5m
3
m
–2
d
–1
180
1500
Diameter
Channel number 1
7 mm
m
2
m
2
l
–1
M
o
d
u
l
e

c
a
p
a
c
i
t
y
(
m
3

d

1

m
o
d
u
l
e
)
0.02
0.25
19
4
0.24
0.34
Channel diameter
Membrane area
Packing density
Application
mm 10
1985 1988 1990 1994 2001 2006
Figure 19 Advance in monolith ceramic membrane.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 37
k ¼5Â10
À5
sec
À1
), however, the first term in Equation (1)
cannot be neglected to derive an appropriate equation for
calculating axial velocity in a monolith channel. Without
neglecting the first term in Equation (1), the authors have
developed Equation (2) to calculate an expanded approximate
axial velocity in a monolith channel:
v ¼v
f
coshðaxÞ Àb p
f
Àp
e
þ
v
2
f
2g

sinhðaxÞ
b
2
¼
rgdk
8m
; a ¼
4dk
d
2
b
ð2Þ
where p
f
and v
f
are the pressure (m) and velocity at inlet of
monolith channel (ms
À1
), respectively.
On the other hand, the membrane filterability k
in the monolith membrane has a certain distribution. To fa-
cilitate analysis of the flow pattern on the basis of this distri-
bution, a five-channel model with three levels of filterability
was created, as described in Figure 21.
Solving Equation (3) under the material balance and ap-
propriate boundary conditions, the equation for axial velocity
in the five channel model has been derived as
v
i
¼ v
fi
coshða
i
xÞ Àb
i
ðp
Ã
fi
Àp
e
Þsinhða
i
xÞ ði ¼ 0; 1; 2Þ ð3Þ
where p
Ã
fi
is the total pressure at channel inlet (m) and p
e
the
external static pressure of membrane (m).
The calculated flow pattern in the monolith ceramic
membrane module is shown in Figure 22. A concentrate
flowing out through outlets of channels 1 and 2 with lower
filterability is drawn into channel 0 with higher filterability. It
was also confirmed that the dead-end point is located at the
position with an axial velocity v
i
¼0 in channel 0.
In the channel of 1m long, axial velocities calculated by
Equation (9) are shown in Figure 21 for the membrane flux of
2m
3
m
À2
d
À1
.
The G value in the channels 0–2 was calculated at about
40 s
À1
, which is in the range of optimum values proposed by
Camp. On the other hand, the mean hydraulic residence time
in the channels 0–2 was about 50 s. Therefore, the GT value in
the channel is only about 2000, which is too small compared
with the Camp’s proposed values. However, good flocculation
was observed in the channel, because the GC
0
T value in the
part of channel is high enough for good flocculation, ex-
plained as below. Using the data shown in Figure 23, the
distribution of the local G values within the channel 2 under
the membrane flux of 2 m
3
m
À2
d
À1
is described as seen in
Figure 23.
Considering the velocity distribution in the channel and
high concentration of coagulated microparticles reflected by
membrane filtration, the GC
0
T value may be high enough for a
good flocculation in the region with the local G value of
40–100s
À1
. In this context, C
0
is defined as the coagulated
microparticle concentration near the entrance of such a region.
Figure 24 shows the experimental setup (large and small
monolith membrane module) and sampling points. The top
and bottom portion of the both modules were made of
transparent material to enable a visual observation of flocs
using video camera. Raw water was taken from the Kiso River
near Nagoya city. The dosage of coagulant (polyaluminum
chloride, PACl) was fixed at 1 mg Al l
À1
. For rapid mixing
condition, G value was fixed at 150s
À1
and hydraulic deten-
tion time at 300 s. The filtration mode was dead end and
membrane flux was fixed at 2m
3
m
À2
d
À1
. The specifications
and operation conditions of the two membrane modules are
described in this chapter.
Figure 20 Detail of monolith ceramic membrane (META water product).
38 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
With the laser diffraction scattering-type particle-size dis-
tribution cell holder (Horiba LY-073), the particle-size distri-
bution was measured to verify the predicted flocculation
phenomena and its effect on the filterability of the monolith
ceramic membrane. The behavior of microparticles with the
size of 0.5–15 mm in the channel with lower filterability was
also measured to identify the critical particle size. Polystyrene-
type latex particles (JSR Stadex/Dynospheres: 0.5, 3, 5, 10,
15 mm, specific density of 1.05) were used as model particles.
The authors also investigated the correlation between
microparticle concentration and TMP using the effluent from a
conventional rapid sand filtration process, as shown in
Figure 25.
There exists a clear relationship between them. It would
suggest a significant effect of the flocculation on the filter-
ability in the monolith channel, because the microparticles,
larger than 1mm in the shear field, are subject to a lift force
such as the lateral migration and shear-induced diffusion
which are proportional to square and cubic power of the
equivalent particle diameter, respectively, as described in
Figure 26.
There were no visual flocs in the bottom portion of the
module where coagulated microparticles entered. Visual flocs,
however, blew out at the maximum velocity of 3–8 mms
À1
from the lower filterability channels in the upper portion
of the module. From the analytical result with five channel
model, the average outflow velocity at the membrane
top was estimated to be 2–4 mms
À1
. The maximum flow
velocity in laminar flow is twice the average velocity. Therefore,
the analytical result has been confirmed by the visual
experiment.
The authors measured the concentration of polystyrene-
type latex particles with the size range of 0.5–15 mm in the
influent and effluent of the membrane. There were almost no
particles in the effluent. It demonstrated that the latex particles
of smaller than 15 mm are deposited onto the membrane
surface in the course of membrane filtration. This result can
explain the correlation of the variation of microparticle
number in raw water and TMP as seen in Figure 25.
The experiment on the flocculation in the monolith
channel was carried out to prove that good flocculation occurs
in the channel and will improve the filterability of the mem-
brane. From the theoretical analysis, the average flow velocity
in the channel with lower filterability is about 0.5 mms
À1
in
90%
96.5%
Dead-end point
Membrane
Feed
Module casing
Figure 22 Flow pattern in monolith module.
Eq. (3) Velocity equation for a 5-channels model
5 channels
C
h
a
n
n
e
l

n
o
.
0


P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y

k

=

5
.
8
0

×

1
0

5
[
s

1
]


Channel axial coordinate (m)
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

v
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

i
n

c
h
a
n
n
e
l
s

(
m

s

1
)
Channel no. 0
Channel no. 1
Channel no. 2
2 m
3
m
–2
d
–1
0.04
0.03
0.02
0.01
0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
C
h
a
n
n
e
l

n
o
.
1


P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y

k

=

4
.
6
5

×

1
0

5
[
s

1
]


C
h
a
n
n
e
l

n
o
.
2


P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y

k

=

4
.
0
7

×

1
0

5
[
s

1
]


C
h
a
n
n
e
l

n
o
.
1


P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y

k

=

4
.
6
5

×

1
0

5
[
s

1
]


C
h
a
n
n
e
l

n
o
.
0


P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y

k

=

5
.
8
0

×

1
0

5
[
s

1
]

i
=
fi
cos(
i
x ) –
i
(p
f,i
– p
e
) sinh(
i
x ) (i = 0, 1, 2)
Figure 21 Five-channel model and filterability k.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 39
the region of 1–200mm from the surface, so the detention
time is between a few tens of minutes and few hours. The G
value in the zone is between 20 and 100 s
À1
.
The floc size distribution in each sampling point is seen in
Figure 24. Flocs are lifted up by laminar flow and carried away
from the outside of the channel. Therefore, the space near the
membrane surface might be considered to be a high efficient
field for coagulating the charge neutralized microparticles.
Figure 27 shows a schematic image of phenomenon oc-
curred in the channel when the pre-coagulation is prepared. In
order to confirm the flocculation effect on the improvement
of ceramic membrane filterability, the authors carried out an
additional experiment using the small module with the
Nishitappu River water. It is a very clean water with annual
average turbidity and DOC of 1.3TU and 0.6mg l
À1
,
respectively.
Let’s consider
“flocculation condition in channel”
Channel diameter
2.5 mm
Recovery
90%
G value
20 sec
–1
40
60
80
100
Flux
2 m
3
m
–2
d
–1
C
h
a
n
n
e
l

l
e
n
g
t
h

1
0
0
0

m
m
Highly concentrated : accompanied by filtration
Concentration
Enough : laminar velocity is very low
Contact Time
20−100 s
–1
: desirable value for flocculation
G value
Especially, near the membrane surface
Figure 23 Profile of G values in monolith channel with lowest k.
Sp4
Filtrate
Small
membrane
Coagulant (PACI)
20
16
12
8
4
0
1 10
Particle size (µm)
100
SP1
SP3
SP2
SP4
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y

(
v
o
l
u
m
e

b
a
s
e
d

)

(
%
)
SP1
P
SP2
SP3
M M
P
Figure 24 Experimental setup and sampling points (SPs). PACl, polyaluminum chloride.
40 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
Figure 28 shows the experimental result and confirms
the effect of flocculation on the fouling reduction. Further
improvement is possible using the chemically enhanced
backwashing (CEB) with acidic solution. Coagulant addition
of 1mg Al l
À1
to the monolith ceramic MF membrane system
also improved the virus log removal efficiency up to 7.
Figure 29 shows the experimental verification of the effect of
the CEB on the membrane filterability. The reason behind the
improvement may be the removal of microflocs attached to
the membrane surface by the ECB.
4.02.1.3.2 Pre-coagulation/sedimentation in hollow-fiber
UF/MF membrane
The surface water from Chitose River and Nisitappu River was
used as the raw water in the experiment. Table 2 summarizes
CSF treated water
Pore size Flux Interval
Pressure Recovery
Run 6 1.0 mm
20 m
3
m
–2
d
–1
15 min
300 kPa
93.3%
M
i
c
r
o
p
a
r
t
i
c
l
e

c
o
u
n
t

(
1
0
3

m
l

1
)
(
0
.
5

1
.
0

µ
m
)
15
10
5
0
TMP
Microparticle
30
40
50
T
M
P

(
k
P
a
)
29 Oct. 30 Oct.
Date
31 Oct.
Figure 25 Correlation between transmembrane pressure (TMP) and microparticle concentration. CSF, coagulation/sand filtration.
Back-transport velocity and critical flux
l
o
g

c
m

s

1
Particle diameter: log D
p
(µm)
Channel entrance
Channel diameter = 2.5 mm
Water temperature = 20 °C
Monolith ceramic membrane
Calculation
conditions
Middle point of channel
–10
–3 –2 –1 0 1 2 3
–8
–6
–4
–2
0
2 m
3
m
–2
d
–1
D
pL
= 56 µm
D
pL
= 87 µm
0.8 µm
2
0
–2
–4
–6
–8
–4 –3 –2 –1 0 1 2
Log particle diameter (µm)
Membrane
F 1
u x
Back transport
Minimum size of
particle that will not
deposit on membrane
Microfiltration flux
Ultrafiltration flux
Brownian
R = 0.03 cm
u = 133 cm s
–1
T = 20 °C
L
o
g

t
r
a
n
s
p
o
r
t

v
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

(
c
m

s

1
)
Shear
Lateral migration
Figure 26 Particle size and lift force.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 41
80
60
40
20
0
T
M
P

(
k
P
a

a
t

2
5

°
C
)
TMP
Membrane flux
Precoagulation
4
3
2
1
0
M
e
m
b
r
a
n
e

f
l
u
x

(
m

d

1
)
1/4 1/19 2/3 2/18 3/5 3/20 4/4
Back washing interval:
4 h
2 h
Figure 28 Effect of channel flocculation on transmembrane pressure (TMP) change.
(b) Aggregation
Lift force
(c) Lifting from membrane
u (membrane flux)
Ceramic membrane surface

L
= u
o
2
d
p
3
/(32 r
o
2
) Lateral migration
Shear-induced diffusion

S
= 0.05 u
o
d
p
2
/(4 r
o
2
)
Ceramic membrane surface
Disaggregated floc
particles
(a) Carrying near the membrane
accompanied with filtration
Figure 27 Schematic image of effect of channel flocculation.
40
30
20
10
0
T
M
P

(
k
P
a
)
04 Jan. 14 Jan. 24 Jan. 03 Feb. 13 Feb. 23 Feb.
Date
Experimental flow
CEB (acid)
Mn oxidization Coagulation Ceramic membrane
10 m
3
m
–2
d
–1
8 m
3
m
–2
d
–1
6 m
3
m
–2
d
–1
with CEB
4 m
3
m
–2
d
–1
, without CEB
Figure 29 Effect of CEB, chemically enhanced backwashing on TMP change under high flux operation.
42 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
the average raw water quality of Chitose river during the ex-
periment (Jang et al., 2004).
With Chitose River water, the pilot plant consists of a rapid
mixing tank, a jet mixed separator (JMS) with inclined tube
settlers, and three hollow-fiber UF or MF membrane filters as
described in Figure 30.
The JMS is a simple but effective solid/liquid separator
with several vertical porous plates in a channel; microflocs
are flocculated under the turbulent flow produced by the
water jets and larger parts of grown flocs settle between
the plates; subsequently, residual small flocs are removed in
the inclined tube settlers. The effective volume of JMS with
inclined tube settlers is 7.0m
3
and flow rate to the JMS was
120m
3
d
À1
, corresponding to the hydraulic detention time
of 84 min.
The operating conditions of this pilot plant are summar-
ized (refer to Jang et al., 2004). Four processes of the
pilot experiment were carried out. In processs 1 and 2,
the aluminum sulfate (AS) with activated silicate and PACl
was used as coagulant. The water was fed from outside
to inside of hollow-fiber UF membrane, which is made
of specially polymerized PAN with nominal average pore
size of 0.01 mm, at a constant permeate flow rate of 0.9 md
À1
.
The physical cleaning with back washing and air scrubbing
was carried out to prevent fouling in a time interval of
30–60min.
In processes 3 and 4, polysilicato-iron (PSI) which is in-
organic polymeric iron coagulant was used as coagulant PSI
has a molecular ratio of Fe to Si of 1:1–1:5, but we used the
molecular ratio with 1:1 in this pilot plant experiment. Co-
agulant dosage and coagulation pH were 0.21mmol Fe l
À1
and
6.2, respectively.
Results of TMP trends, for Chitose River water, with in-
creasing UF filtration time in process 1 are shown in Figure 31.
Figure 32 shows the comparison of the TMP among pro-
cesses 1, 2, and 3 using the same UF membrane and AS, PACl,
and PSI as coagulant, respectively.
Considering the data shown in Figure 33 and Table 3, it
may be concluded that the higher DOC removal in the pre-
coagulation/sedimentation gives better performance of UF
membrane filtration. Even though the TMP used by PACl and
PSI was almost the same at about 3300h of filtration time (the
actual TMP reached about 100 kPa, which is the recommended
TMF for chemical cleaning), TMF used PSI has always been
lower than that by AS and PACl. Figure 33 shows the com-
parison of removal efficiency of DOC among the three co-
agulants. PSI gave the best removal efficiency resulting in the
best filtration performance.
With Nishitapu River water, the TMP increased in each
operating condition as seen in Figure 34.
When the Nishitapu River water was filtered at constant
flow rate of 1.1 md
À1
directly by using UF membrane, the
filtration time to reach 100 kPa of TMP was only 300h in spite
of low organic content and low inorganic content. However,
the filtration time for coagulated water was 4 times longer
than that. In addition, hypochlorite solution was added
Chitose river
water Jet mixed separator (JMS)
Coagulant
Rapid mixing tank
Permeate
Permeate
Permeate
Drain
P P
Compressor
P
P
Figure 30 Schematic description of pilot plant.
150
120
90
60
30
0
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500
Membrane filtration time (h) T
r
a
n
s
m
e
m
b
r
a
n
e

p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

a
t

2
5

°
C

(
k
P
a
)
Flux: 0.9 m d
–1
Raw-UF
Coa.-UF
Sed.-UF
Figure 31 Effect of pre-coagulation/sedimentation on performance of
ultrafiltration (UF) membrane system.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 43
during backwashing term; the UF membrane filterability was
significantly improved. These results were also obtained in the
case of using MF membrane as seen in Figure 35.
4.02.1.3.3 Hybrid submerged MF membrane system
The hybrid MF membrane system is a combination of sub-
merged membrane and the other processes such as the pow-
dered activated carbon adsorption and chemical/biological
oxidation. The membrane system has been developed to
purify raw waters with low quality containing a lot of soluble
matter such as biodegradable organics, humic substances,
manganese, and ammonia nitrogen. In the hybrid system,
soluble less-biodegradable organics are adsorbed to the
powdered activated carbon, and suspended particles including
powdered activated carbon are separated by the membrane
filtration. The soluble biodegradable organics, manganese and
ammonia nitrogen, are biologically or chemically oxidized. In
the case of chemical oxidation (with prechlorination), soluble
manganese is oxidized with chlorine and the catalytic reaction
of powdered activated carbon, and the oxidized manganese is
removed by membrane separation. Ammonia nitrogen is also
oxidized by chlorine in a pre-chlorination tank. In the case
of biological oxidation (without prechlorination), the iron
oxidizing bacteria and ammonia oxidizing bacteria, which are
concentrated in submerged membrane tank, oxidize the sol-
uble manganese and ammonia, respectively. A schematic
diagram of the pilot plant is shown in Figure 36 (Suzuki
et al.,1998).
The volume of membrane submerged tank and the surface
area of submerged membrane were 4 m
3
and 86–120m
2
, re-
spectively. Detention time in the mixing tank was 10–15min.
The raw water was fed into the mixing tanks. Four types of
polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membranes were used. When
the first, second, and third type of membranes were used, the
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
0 500 1000 1500 2000
Membrane filtration time (h)
Sed.-UF (PSI: 0.21 mmol-Fe l
–1
)
Sed.-UF (PACI: 0.19 mmol-Al l
–1
)
Sed.-UF (AS: 0.37 mmol-Al l
–1
)
2500 3000 3500
T
r
a
n
s
m
e
m
b
r
a
n
e

p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

a
t

2
5

°
C

(
k
P
a
)
Figure 32 Effect of various coagulants on performance of ultrafiltration
(UF) membrane system.
100
80
60
40
20
0
R
e
m
o
v
a
l

e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
y

o
f

D
O
C

(
%
)
R
W
-
U
F
C
o
a
-
U
F
J
M
S
-
U
F
R
W
-
U
F
C
o
a
-
U
F
J
M
S
-
U
F
R
W
-
U
F
C
o
a
-
U
F
J
M
S
-
U
F
R
W
-
U
F
C
o
a
-
U
F
J
M
S
-
U
F
Run 1 Run 2 Run 3 Run 4
AS
PACI
PSI
Removal of UF Removal of coagulants Removal of sedimentation
• Direct UF; around 15%, precoagulation/ sedimentation; 35–60%
• The highest DOC removal efficiency was obtained in run 4
Figure 33 Removal efficiency of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) with various coagulants. AS, aluminium sulfate; PACl, polyaluminum chloride; PSI,
polysilicato-iron.
Table 3 Physically irreversible resistance
Run 1(125
days)
Run 2(73 days)
Module
A
Module
B
Module
A
Module
B
Membrane flux (m
3
m
À2
d
À1
) 0.2 0.6 0.4 0.8
Physically irreversible filtration
resistance (10
11
m
À1
)
0.29 1.52 0.69 2.48
44 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
raw water to the pilot plant was taken from the existing water
purification plant, which had already contained the powdered
activated carbon in the concentration of 5–30mg l
À1
. In the
first tank, hypochlorite was added when the chemical oxi-
dation was applied, and the sludge containing biomass and
activated carbon were returned from the membrane sub-
merged tank and mixed with the raw water in the second tank.
The same powdered activated carbon (average diameter of
10mm) was dosed into the second tank at the constant con-
centration of 13 mg l
À1
when the fourth PTFE membrane was
used. PACl was added to coagulate the small suspended par-
ticles in the third tank. The pretreated water was fed into the
submerged tank where the hollow-fiber PTFE membranes
were submerged and intermittent aeration was performed to
supply the oxygen to the microorganisms. Air was supplied
for 1min. with the intensity of 0.64 Nm
3
min
À1
. every 4 min.
The raw water in the pilot plant study was surface water from
Chitose River. It contained many humic substances, soluble
manganese, and ammonia nitrogen. The average raw water
quality is given in Table 2. The dosage of hypochlorite in
the mixing tank was 4–6mg Cl
2
l
À1
. Coagulant dosage was
2–3mg Al l
À1
.
In the pilot plant experiments, symmetric or composite
PTFE membrane with nominal pore size of 0.1mm was used.
The thickness of skin layer in the composite membrane was
changed at 60, 30, and 15mm. The pore density was about 80%.
The skin layer thickness and pore density of the newest com-
posite PTFE membrane are about 15mm and 80%, respectively.
The hybrid membrane system is able to efficiently remove the
soluble matter such as organics, manganese, and ammonia ni-
trogen. The soluble manganese and ammonia nitrogen were
oxidized biologically or chemically and small humic substances
were adsorbed to the powdered activated carbon.
The removal efficiency of TOC, E260, and trihalomethane
formation potential (THMFP) is shown in Figure 37, and the
comparison in the removal efficiency of the soluble manganese
and ammonia nitrogen between chemical oxidation with pre-
chlorination and biological oxidation without prechlorination
was made in Figure 38 when the composite PTFE membrane
with the skin layer thickness of 30mm was used. Dosage of
powdered activated carbon was fixed at 13mg l
À1
. As previously
reported by the authors, chemical oxidation is necessary to
oxidize soluble manganese when the raw water temperature
become less than 101C. The authors also reported that im-
proved filtrate quality can contribute to keep a higher flux.
Figure 39 shows the change of the permeate flux, TMP, and
raw water temperature during the experiment with the sym-
metrical membrane. In this experiment, the hybrid MF
membrane system was operated without prechlorination. The
average flux was relatively low at less than 0.3 md
À1
and the
TMP increased to 70kPa after 5 months of operation.
To improve the permeability of the PTFE membrane, the
structure of membrane was changed from symmetrical to
composite. Permeability of the composite membranes with
different skin layer thickness was compared in the pilot plant
experiment. The thinner the skin layer thickness, the better the
permeability. Figure 40 shows the change of the membrane
flux, TMP, and raw water temperature with increasing oper-
ation time when the newest composite PTFE membrane was
used. It demonstrates that TMP was very stable under a high
flux of 1.2 md
À1
. It is about 4 times higher than that in the
symmetrical membrane.
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
0 500 1000
Membrane filtration time (h)
1500
Raw-UF (hypochlorite solution was not added, flux: 1.1 m d
–1
)
Coa.-UF (hypochlorite solution was not added, flux: 1.1 m d
–1
)
Coa.-UF (hypochlorite solution was added, flux: 1.1 m d
–1
)
Coa.-UF (hypochlorite solution was added, flux: 1.7 m d
–1
)
2000
T
r
a
n
s
m
e
m
b
r
a
n
e

p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

a
t

2
5

°
C

(
k
P
a
)
Figure 34 Effect of operation condition on performance of ultrafiltration (UF) membrane system.
Raw-MF (hypochlorite solution was added)
Coa.-MF (hypochlorite solution was added)
Flux: 1.4 m d
–1
100
80
60
40
20
0
0 100 200 300 400 500
T
r
a
n
s
m
e
m
b
r
a
n
e

p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

a
t

2
5

°
C
(
k
P
a
)
Membrane filtration time (h)
Figure 35 Effect of precoagulation on microfiltration (MF) membrane
system.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 45
4.02.1.3.4 PVDF Membrane filtration with pre-ozonation
Combination of ozonation with membrane filtration is
effective for the prevention of membrane fouling. Japanese
membrane manufacturing companies have developed the
ozone-resisting membrane module made of PVDF with pot-
ting material having a high resistance to ozone. In the de-
veloped membrane module, water containing residual ozone
can be directly filtered. It is reported that this system can
provide consistently high permeate flux for various raw waters,
especially high turbidity water and secondary treated muni-
cipal wastewater. We studied the effect of residual ozone on
fouling reduction using the ozone resisting PVDF membrane.
Figure 41 shows the schematic diagram of the experimental
system. The same raw water was used as the hybrid membrane
system. The average water quality is shown in Table 2. In ex-
perimental runs 1-1 and 1-2, ozone dosage was 2.0 and
4.2 mg O
3
l
À1
, in which the residual ozone concentration was
0.73 and 1.13 mg O
3
l
À1
, respectively. The ozone contact time
was of 7.8 min in all experimental runs. In runs 2-1 and 2-2,
ozone dosage was 1.4 and 1.9mg O
3
l
À1
, in which the residual
ozone concentration was 0.41 and 0.61 mg O
3
l
À1
, respectively.
Figure 42 shows the TMP change with increasing operation
time in run 1 where the constant permeate flux mode oper-
ation under 3.5 md
À1
with physical cleaning of backwashing
Hybrid submerged PTFE MF membrane system
including coagulation, carbon adsorption
and biological oxidation
Submerged MF membranes
Hydraulic retention time = 1.5 h
PACl
P
P
C
Suction pump Compressor
Circulation pump
PAC
Raw water
Cl
2
Storage tank
of permeate
P
Figure 36 Schematic description of pilot plant. PAC, powdered activated carbon; PACl, polyaluminum chloride.
4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
m
g

l

1
2.43
2.29
1.17
0.12
0.1
0.08
0.06
0.04
0.02
0
1
/
c
m

m
g
/
l
TOC
0.099
2003/9/1~2004/8/31
0.086
0.017
0.031
E260 THMFP
Raw water
Raw water (soluble)
Membrane filtrate
Figure 37 Removal efficiency of total organic carbon (TOC), E260, and THMFP in hybrid system.
46 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
and air scrubbing was carried out. It clearly demonstrates that
the residual ozone reduced the membrane fouling (Lee et al.,
2004).
After the continuous operation for about 1800 h, chemical
cleaning of fouled membrane was conducted. The following
three chemical solutions were used: NaOH solution of 1%,
NaClO solution of 5 mg l
À1
, and oxalic and nitric acid of 2%
and 5%. Figure 43 shows the extracted TOC in each chemical
solution. As seen in Figure 41, preozonation with residual
ozone significantly decreased the attached organic substances
to the membrane causing the physically irreversible fouling. It
may come from the following two ozone-induced reactions:
degradation of organic substances and destabilization of par-
ticles on the membrane surface. The ozone-induced particle
0.3
0.25
0.2
Raw water
Raw water (solouble)
Membrane filtrate
Raw water
Raw water (soluble)
Membrane filtrate
2003/6/25–11/13
without prechlorination
(biological oxidation)
2003/11/13–2004/8/31
with prechlorination
(chemical oxidation)
0.15
0.1
m
g

l

1
m
g

l

1
0.05
0
Manganese Ammonia nitrogen
0
.
1
0
5
0
.
0
9
0
0
.
1
5
0
.
0
1
6
0
.
0
1
Manganese
0
.
0
0
2
0
.
0
7
9 0
.
1
0
0
0
.
0
1
0
.
2
3
Ammonia nitrogen
0.3
0.25
0.2
0.15
0.1
0.05
0
Figure 38 Removal efficiency of Mn and NH
4
–N in hybrid system.
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
M
e
m
b
r
a
n
e

f
l
u
x

(
m

d

1
)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
W
a
t
e
r

t
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

(
°
C
)
Flux
Water temperature
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
3

J
u
n
3

J
u
l
2

A
u
g
1

S
e
p
1

O
c
t
3
1

O
c
t
3
0

N
o
v
T
M
P

(
k
P
a
)
2002
0 30 60 90 120 150
Operating days
Figure 39 Transmembrane pressure (TMP) changes and permeates flux (symmetrical PTFE membrane with pore size of 0.1 mm).
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 47
destabilization reaction has been reported by many re-
searchers. In the other experiment, we measured the size dis-
tribution of fouling particles in the backwash water and found
that the average size of the particles was about 20 and 50mm
without and with ozonation, respectively. Increasing particle
size increased the rate of back transport of organic particles,
leading to the decrease in the accumulation of organic par-
ticles on the membrane surface. In this experiment, permeate
TOC (i.e., DOC) concentration in the membrane filtration
system without and with preozonation was the same as
2.4 mg l
À1
but E260 and E260/DOC were 0.062 and
0.034cm
À1
, and 0.026 and 0.013 cm
À1
mg
À1
l
À1
, respectively.
These results demonstrate that the biodegradability of organic
particles increased due to the oxidation by O
3
.
4.02.2 Membrane Application to Wastewater
Treatment
4.02.2.1 Current Status of MBRs
Necessity of recycling use of water has been recognized to
resolve the shortage of water resources. Municipal wastewaters
seem to be an important water resource for recycling use. MBR
is a key technology for creating the reclaimed water resource.
MBR has been applied to the municipal wastewater treatment
since the 1980s. The first-generation MBR combines a cross-
flow-type membrane with outside bioreactor and mixed liquor
is recirculated into membrane module. The operation pressure
is high and recirculation pump is needed. In addition, it is
reported that microorganism activity decreases due to the re-
circulation of the mixed liquor. The second-generation MBR
submerges membrane module directly in the bioreactor. As a
result, circulation pump is not needed and the operating
pressure is low. Submerged MBRs have been preferred due to
their lower energy consumption and smaller footprint com-
pared with recirculated MBRs. However, it is reported that
accumulated dissolved organic matter in the bioreactor de-
creases the membrane permeability in the submerged MBR
more seriously compared with the first-generation MBR. In
2005 the European Commission decided to boost the devel-
opment and application of MBR processes for municipal
wastewater treatment through financing a 3-year research
project within the scope of the 6th framework program:
AMEDEUS (accelerate membrane development for urban
sewage purification). Within AMEDEUS an analysis of the
potential for MBR standardization was carried out. Based on
an extensive survey of the MBR industry, the White Paper was
published to provide a comprehensive overview of the market
interest/expectation and technical potential of going through a
standardization process of MBR technology in Europe. Due to
the predominance of submerged MBR system in municipal
applications, representing 99% of the installed membrane
surface in Europe in the period 2002–05, the study focuses
only on this configuration.
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
M
e
m
b
r
a
n
e

f
l
u
x

(
m

d

1
)
0
10
20
30
40
50
W
a
t
e
r

t
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

(
°
C
)
Flux
Water temperature
Temperature
Flux
Average membrane Flux: 1.2 m d
–1
:
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
4

D
e
c
3

J
a
n
2

F
e
b
3

M
a
r
2

A
p
r
2

M
a
y
1

J
u
n
1

J
u
l
3
1

J
u
l
3
0

A
u
g
T
M
P

(
k
P
a
)
Chemical
washing
0 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270
Operating days
Figure 40 Transmembrane pressure (TMP) changes and permeates flux (new composite PTFE membrane with a skin layer of 15 mm and porosity of
about 80%).
48 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
Figure 44 shows the number of municipal and industrial
MBRs in Europe. In Japan MBR technology has been applied
to the water recycling for some large business, commercial and
residential complex buildings such as Roppongi Hills and
Tokyo Mid Town.
Membrane fouling deteriorates the membrane permea-
bility and consequently increases energy consumption in
MBR. A seriously fouled membrane must be cleaned with
chemical reagents, which are costly. In addition, disposal of
chemical reagents after membrane cleaning is an issue of
concern, and the frequency of chemical membrane cleaning
should therefore be minimized. Thus, there is a need for ef-
ficient control of membrane fouling in MBR. In order to de-
velop methods for efficient MBR operation, a better
understanding of the mechanism of membrane fouling in
MBR is needed.
4.02.2.2 Mechanism of Membrane Fouling
Membrane fouling is a major obstacle for wider application of
MBRs. Membrane fouling results in reduced performance, se-
vere flux decline, high-energy consumption, and frequent
Preozonation-PVDF MF membrane system
P
P
P
Ozonation-
membrane
No residual O
3
Run-4.3
Run-5.3
Membrane
Run-4.4
Run-5.4
Pressurized membrane
⇒ Pore size: 0.1 μm (MF)
⇒ PVDF (polyvinylidenefluoride)
O
3
Chitose River water
O
2
Air
Back
wash
Permeate
Back
wash
Back
wash
Air
Air
PVDF membrane
Retention tank
Ozonation tank
O
3
removal tank
O
3
Run-4.1, 4.2
Run-5.1, 5.2
Ozonation-
membrane
Residual O
3
Figure 41 Experimental system of preozonation and membrane filtration.
Run 1
Run 2
Run 3
Run 4
300
250
200
150
T
M
P

a
t

2
5

°
C

(
k
P
a
)
100
50
0
0 300 600 900
Operation time (h)
1200 1500 1800
Figure 42 Effect of preozonation and residual ozone on membrane filtration. TMP, transmembrane pressure.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 49
membrane cleaning or replacement. In order to establish
strategies for controlling membrane fouling, an understanding
of the mechanisms of membrane fouling is indispensable.
Many factors that might influence membrane fouling in MBRs
have been reported. Attention has been given to various design
and operating parameters such as airflow rate in the reactor,
membrane configuration, membrane flux, concentrations of
mixed liquor-suspended solids (MLSSs), and solids retention
time. Figure 45 describes several factors affecting the mem-
brane fouling in MBRs (Yamato et al., 2006).
In this part, the authors focus on two important operating
parameters, membrane flux and membrane material.
4.02.2.2.1 Effect of membrane permeate flux on fouling
Experiments were carried out at the Soseigawa Municipal
Wastewater Treatment Center, Sapporo, Japan. Characteristics
of the raw wastewater of this plant can be found in Kimura
et al. (2005). The examined wastewater is classified as weak.
Feed wastewater for the MBR examined in this study was
delivered from the grit chamber of the facility. Hollow-fiber
MF membrane modules made of PVDF that had a total surface
area of 1.3 m
2
each and nominal pore size of 0.4 mm (Mitsu-
bishi Rayon, Tokyo, Japan) were used in this study. Two
identical membrane modules were submerged in the same
MBR tank (350l) and filtered the same mixed liquor suspen-
sion side by side as described in Figure 46 (Kimura et al.,
2005, 2008a, 2008b).
To investigate the influence of difference in membrane flux
on fouling, the two modules were operated at different fluxes.
Any differences between the two modules could be attributed
solely to the influence of membrane flux. In this study, two
long-term operations of the MBR (runs 1 and 2) were carried
out. In run 1, one module (module A) was operated at
0.2 m
3
m
À2
d
À1
, while the other (module B) was operated
at 0.6 m
3
m
À2
d
À1
. In run 2, modules A and B were operated at
0.4 and 0.8m
3
m
À2
d
À1
, respectively. In each run, new mem-
branes were used. Continuous monitoring was initiated in
September 2005 for run 1 and in September 2006 for run 2. In
the MBR, aeration was continuously carried out at the flow
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
Run 1-1 Run 1-2 Run 1-4
D
e
t
a
c
h
e
d

o
r
g
a
n
i
c

s
u
b
s
t
a
n
c
e
s

p
e
r

u
n
i
t

p
e
r
m
e
a
t
e

v
o
l
u
m
e
(
m
g
-
T
O
C

m

3
)
NaOH
NaClO
(Oxalic + nitric) acid
Residual O
3
Without O
3
Figure 43 Effect of residual ozone on amount of detached organic carbon.
600
500
400
300
200
>50 per year
Year
>20 per year
With standardization?
100
N
u
m
b
e
r

o
f

i
n
s
t
a
l
l
a
t
i
o
n
s
0
1
9
9
8
<
1
9
9
7
1
9
9
9
2
0
0
0
2
0
0
1
2
0
0
2
2
0
0
3
2
0
0
4
2
0
0
5
2
0
0
6
2
0
0
7
2
0
0
8
2
0
0
9
2
0
1
0
Industrial (>20 m
3
d
–1
)
Municipal (>500 p.e.)
Figure 44 Number of MBRs in Europe. From AMEDEUS (2006).
50 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
rate of 3.5 m
3
h
À1
. Intermittent filtration (12-min filtration
and 3-min pause) was also carried out. MLSS concentration in
the MBR was maintained at 11g l
À1
and resulting SRT was 110
days in run 1, while MLSS and SRT in run 2 were 12 g l
À1
and
65 days, respectively.
The degree of membrane fouling was estimated by
membrane filtration resistance calculated by the following
equation:
J ¼ DP=m=R
t
where J is the membrane permeate flux (m
3
m
À2
s
À1
), DP the
TMP difference (Pa), m the water viscosity (Pa s), and R
t
the
total membrane filtration resistance (m
À1
).
In run 1, operation of the MBR equipped with the two
membrane modules was continued for 125 days. As men-
tioned before, the membrane fluxes were different for the two
modules: 0.2m
3
m
À2
d
À1
for module A and 0.6 m
3
m
À2
d
À1
for module B. As expected, increase in the filtration resistance
in module B was much faster than that in module A. However,
increase in the filtration resistance in module B was still slow,
Characteristics of mixed liquor
Hybrid system
Permeate flux,
aeration intensity,
TMP, HRT,
SRT, F/M ratio
Multifunctional system
MLSS, viscosity, EPS/SMP, dissolved matter, DO,
particle-size distribution, activity of microorganisms
Characteristics of
raw water
Membrane
Membrane
fouling
Molecular-level
analysis
Operating conditions
MBR
Module configuration,
material (PE, PVDF, PFTE)
hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity,
porosity, pore size
* Water purification
Turbidity, humic substances
Temperature, TOC,
pH, alkalinity
Figure 45 Factors relating to the membrane fouling in MBR. DO, dissolved oxygen; EPS, extracelluar polymeric substance; HRT, hydraulic retention
time; MLSS, mixed liquor-suspended solid; PE, polyethylene; PVDF, polyvinylidene fluoride; SMP, soluble microbial product; SRT, solid retention time;
TMP, transmembrane pressure; TOC, total organic carbon.
Real wastewater
No.1 No.2
No. 1 No. 2
Flux 0.2 m
3
m
2
d
–1
0.6 m
3
m
2
d
–1
SRT
0.4 µm
PVDF
1.3 m
2
12000 mg l
–1
10.2 h
111 days
NaOH (pH 11)
Organic analysis
Characterization of foulant
Membrane
material
Nominal pore
size
Surface area
MLSS
HRT
Figure 46 Experimental setup – effect of flux. HRT, hydraulic retention time; MLSS, mixed liquor-suspended solid; SRT, solid retention time.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 51
and filtration using both modules could be continued for 125
days without any chemical cleaning in run 1. A similar result
was obtained in run 2 where operation of the MBR was con-
tinued for 73 days: increase of filtration resistance in module A
with the low flux (0.4m
3
m
À2
d
À1
) was much slower than that
in the other. Chemical cleaning of the membranes was not
carried out in run 2, either.
Membrane fouling can be categorized into two types:
physically reversible fouling and physically irreversible foul-
ing. Physically reversible fouling can be cancelled by physical
cleaning, whereas physically irreversible fouling needs chem-
ical cleaning to be cancelled. Control of physically irreversible
fouling is essential for reduction of operating costs of MBRs
because physically reversible fouling can be mitigated as long
as an efficient physical cleaning is carried out. Most of the
existing MBRs are operated with routine practices of physical
cleaning (e.g., backwashing). To specifically focus on physic-
ally irreversible fouling in this study, each membrane module
was intensively cleaned by spraying pressurized water and
wiped with lab paper at the end of the operations, and then
water permeability was measured.
Table 3 summarizes the magnitude of physically irrevers-
ible resistance measured at the end of the operations. As
mentioned above, in run 1, membrane flux of module B was
set 3 times higher than that of module A. However, the dif-
ference in the degree of physically irreversible fouling between
the two modules was larger than threefold. The degree of
physically irreversible fouling in module B was about 5 times
larger than that in module A. In the operation of module B,
increase in physically irreversible fouling was 1.7 times more
rapid than that of module A on the basis of volume of the
suspension filtered. A very similar result was obtained in run 2.
Although the difference in membrane flux between the two
modules was twofold in run 2, the degree of physically ir-
reversible fouling in module B operated at the higher flux was
about 4 times larger than that in module A operated at the
lower flux. These indicate that the degree of physically ir-
reversible fouling in an MBR is not directly linked to the
volume of the suspension filtered but differs depending on
membrane flux.
To investigate the features of constituents that were re-
sponsible for membrane fouling in the pilot runs, organic
matter was desorbed from the fouled membranes at the ter-
minations of the operations and was then analyzed. When the
pilot operations were terminated, membrane modules were
taken out from the reactors and were disassembled. Each
membrane fiber was manually wiped with lab paper in order
to remove accumulated cake that could be physically removed.
Desorption of organic matter from the fouled membranes was
carried out by soaking the membranes in alkaline solution
(sodium hydroxide) for 24 h. Solution pH was set at 11. After
desorption, measurements of TOC were carried out. The re-
maining solutions were subsequently processed with electric
dialysis for desalination and lyophilized for advanced ana-
lyses. Amounts and characteristics of the foulants that caused
physically irreversible fouling in the two experiments were
investigated by analysis of foulants extracted from the fouled
membranes with sodium hydroxide. Figure 47 shows the
amounts of foulants desorbed from the fouled membranes.
Data in Figure 47 are shown on the basis of a unit mem-
brane surface area. As seen from Figure 47, the amounts of
organic matter, which were expressed in extracted concen-
trations of TOC, carbohydrate, and protein, were not signifi-
cantly different between the two modules in both runs.
Although the amounts of organic matter desorbed from
module B were slightly larger than those desorbed from
Module A (run 1)
90
A
m
o
u
n
t

o
f

d
e
s
o
r
b
e
d

o
r
g
a
n
i
c

m
a
t
t
e
r

(
m
g

m

2
)
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
90
Total organic carbon Carbohydrate Protein
Module B (run 1)
Module A (run 2)
Module B (run 2)
Figure 47 Amount of foulants desorbed from fouled membrane.
52 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
module A, the differences were much smaller than the dif-
ference seen for the filtration resistances shown in Table 3. On
the contrary, the amount of protein desorbed from module A
was larger than that from module B in run 2. These data imply
that quality of organic matter rather than quantity of organic
matter should be focused for an explanation of the differences.
Figure 48 shows the composition of monosaccharides in
the foulants desorbed from the fouled membranes. Very
interestingly, the presence of rhamnose was large in the fou-
lants desorbed from module B that was operated with the
higher fluxes in both runs. Figure 49 shows amino acid
compositions in the foulants desorbed from the two
membranes.
Compared with the monosaccharide analysis shown in
Figure 48, in the case of amino acid composition, differences
between the two modules were not significant in both runs.
However, in both runs, the presence of glutamic acid (GLU)
and aspartic acid (ASP) was more pronounced in the foulants
desorbed from module A operated with lower fluxes. As
shown in Figures 48 and 49, it was found that the com-
position of foulants that accumulated in the two modules
differed despite the fact that the two modules filtered the same
suspension at the same time. These differences can be dis-
covered by comprehensive measurements of carbohydrates
and protein. FTIR spectra of the foulants obtained from the
fouled membranes are presented in Figure 50.
Difference in characteristics of the foulant caused by the
difference in membrane flux was clearly shown in this analysis
and a good reproducibility of the analysis is shown in Fig-
ure 50. In both runs, the foulants desorbed from the mem-
branes operated at higher fluxes showed more pronounced
peaks around 1550cm
À1
than those operated at lower fluxes.
Peaks around 1550cm
À1
in an FTIR spectrum are assigned to
amide groups.
Figure 51 shows 13C NMR spectra of the desorbed fou-
lants. Similar to the FTIR spectra, reproducibility of the an-
alysis was confirmed. In the case of NMR analysis, a significant
difference between the two modules can be found in the peaks
at 105ppm, which is attributed to anomeric carbon, and
minor differences were repeatedly found in the region be-
tween 130 and 160ppm, which corresponds to aromatic
carbon.
As described above, characteristics of foulants in MBRs
differed significantly when membrane flux was different. This
difference in characteristics of the foulants associated with
difference in membrane flux can probably be explained by the
size distribution of organic matter in the mixed liquor sus-
pension of the MBR. Organic matter in the suspension exists
in a variety of size distributions. It is likely that some types of
organic matter tend to exist as large particles/molecules, while
others exist as small ones. A particle/molecule never causes
membrane fouling unless it is transported to the membrane
surface. In the case of submerged MBRs, whether a particle/
molecule can reach the membrane surface or not, is totally
Module A (run 1)
0 20 40 60 80 100
Percent
Mannose
Glucose
Galactose
Arabinose
Rhamnose
Fucose
Module B (run 1)
Module A (run 2)
Module B (run 2)
Figure 48 Composition of monosaccharides in foulants.
PHE
LEU
ILE
MET
VAL
PRO
ALA
GLY
LYS
ARG
HIS
TYR
CYS
THR
SER
GLU
ASP
0 2 4 6
Percent
8 10 12 14
Module B (run 2)
Module A (run 2)
Module B (run 1)
Module A (run 1)
Figure 49 Amino acid composition in foulants.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 53
dependent on a balance between the rate of convection flow
toward the membrane associated with suction pressure (i.e.,
membrane filtration) and the rate of back-transport from the
membrane mainly provided by turbulence caused by aeration.
The size of a particle/molecule plays a key role in determining
back-transportation rate.
In this study, rates of convection flow toward the mem-
branes were different in the two modules, and consequently
different types of constituents could be transported to each
module despite the fact that the two modules filtered the same
suspension. As a result, characteristics of the membrane fou-
lants in the two modules could become different. A high
membrane flux can attract an increasing fraction of particles/
molecules to the membrane by overwhelming back-transpor-
tation rate. Larger particles/molecules with larger back-trans-
portation rates are then pulled to the membranes and might
cause fouling when membrane flux is high. Among large
particles/molecules in the mixed liquor suspension, there
seem to be fractions that would cause severe membrane
fouling. This would be a good explanation for the results
showing that the degree of physically irreversible fouling
caused by filtration of a specific volume of suspension differed
considerably depending on membrane flux.
4.02.2.2.2 Effect of membrane material on fouling
Two different bunches of hollow-fiber membranes made from
different polymers (i.e., PE and PVDF) were separately bun-
dled and submerged in a single reactor side by side. Both
tested membranes had the same nominal pore size (0.4 mm).
Total surface areas of the PE and PVDF membranes were 3 and
1.3 m
2
, respectively. These membranes were kindly supplied
2000 1800 1600 1400 1200
Wave number (cm
–1
)
Module A (run 1)
Module A (run 2)
Module B (run 1) Module B (run 2)
1000 800 600 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200
Wave number (cm
–1
)
1000 800 600
2000 1800 1600 1400 1200
Wave number (cm
–1
)
1000 800 600 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200
Wave number (cm
–1
)
1000 800 600
Figure 50 Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra of foulants in fouled membranes.
Module A (run 1) Module A (run 2)
Module B (run 1)
250 200 150
Chemical shift (ppm)
100 50 0 250 200 150
Chemical shift (ppm)
100 50 0
250 200 150
Chemical shift (ppm)
100 50 0 250 200 150
Chemical shift (ppm)
100 50 0
Module B (run 2)
Figure 51 Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of desorbed foulants.
54 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
by Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan). Filtration was
carried out with the constant flow rate mode of operation
using suction pumps. Membrane permeate flux was fixed at
0.4 m
3
m
À2
d
À1
for both membranes. Intermittent filtration
(12-min filtration and 3-min pause) was also carried out.
MLSS concentration in the reactor was maintained at 11 g l
À1
by a daily extraction of excess sludge. Aeration was continu-
ously carried out in the reactor at the flow rate of 3.5 m
3
h
À1
.
Hydraulic retention time and solid retention time were 6.1 h
and 34 days, respectively.
When membrane fouling became significant, membrane
modules were taken out from the reactor and were cleaned
physically or chemically. Physical membrane cleaning was
carried out by spraying pressurized water on the membrane
surface. Chemical membrane cleaning was carried out by
submerging the membrane modules in a solution of sodium
hypochlorite (500ppm) and hydrochloric acid (pH 2). The
degree of membrane fouling was evaluated by membrane fil-
tration resistance (R
t
).
Figure 52 shows time course changes in TOC concen-
trations measured in permeates from both membranes. There
was no obvious difference in TOC concentrations in the per-
meates throughout the operation. It was confirmed that the
difference in pore sizes of the two membranes was negligible.
Figure 53 shows time course changes in R
t
observed in the
pilot run. In the early stage of the operation, R
t
of the PE
membrane increased much faster than that of the PVDF
membrane.
The rate of increase in R
t
of the PE membrane was fairly
constant. Chemical cleaning of the PE membrane was carried
out on day 76. The efficiency of the cleaning was so high that
almost complete recovery of membrane permeability was
observed. After the chemical cleaning, filtration using the PE
membrane was restarted and R
t
of the PE membrane increased
at a rate that was comparable to that observed before the
cleaning. Physical cleaning was carried out for the PE mem-
brane at the end of operation (day 140) and was found to be
ineffective. Almost no recovery of membrane permeability was
achieved by the physical cleaning. This means that membrane
fouling in the PE membrane that occurred after the chemical
cleaning was irreversible fouling.
Increase of R
t
of the PVDF membrane was minimal in the
early stage of the operation. Around day 60, R
t
of the PVDF
membrane suddenly started to increase. Physical cleaning of
the PVDF membrane was carried out on day 89. Before the
physical cleaning, accumulation of a gel-like substance that
was considerably different from ordinary sludge cake was
observed on the membrane surface by visual inspection. R
t
of
the PVDF membrane was substantially reduced by the physical
cleaning and the operation was restarted. A rapid increase in R
t
of the PVDF membrane was just after the physical cleaning.
This rapid increase in R
t
might have been due to changes in
properties of the mixed liquor during that time (details given
later). At the end of the operation (day 140), physical cleaning
of the PVDF membrane was carried out and resulted in sub-
stantial reduction in filtration resistance. This was in contrast
to the results obtained for the PE membrane. The filtration
resistance that accumulated in the PVDF membrane was
thought to be mainly reversible resistance.
In Figure 53, evolution of irreversible fouling in the PVDF
membrane can be estimated by connecting the points re-
corded just after the implementation of physical cleaning. As
mentioned above, the increase in R
t
of the PE membrane
observed after day 76 directly reflected the evolution of
10
5
0
0 20 40 60 80
Elapsed time (days)
PE PVD
100 120 140
C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
g

l

1
)
Figure 52 Time course changes in total organic carbon (TOC)
concentration in permeates.
Flux = 0.4 m d
–1
MLSS = 10 g l
–1
F/M = 20.4
SRT = 34 day
T
o
t
a
l

f
i
l
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

r
e
s
i
s
t
a
n
c
e

(
1
0
1
1

m

1
)
Elasped time (days)
0 20 40 60
PVDF
PVDF
PVDF
PE
PE
PE
PE
PVDF
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
80 100 120 140
Physical cleaning
Chemical cleaning
Figure 53 Time course changes in R
t
(effect of membrane materials). The type of fouling was differed depending on membrane materials. PE:
physically irreversible fouling was dominant; PVDF: most of the fouling observed for the PVDF membrane was physically reversible. MLSS, mixed
liquor-suspended solid; SRT, solid retention time.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 55
irreversible fouling. A comparison of the rates of increase in
irreversible resistance observed in the two membranes showed
that the rate of increase in the PE membrane was much faster.
It should be noted that two membranes, having the same pore
sizes, simultaneously filtered the same mixed liquor at the
same permeate flux in the pilot run. Thus, the observed dif-
ference can be attributed to the properties of polymer ma-
terials. It can be concluded that PVDF is superior to PE in
terms of prevention of irreversible fouling in MBRs used for
treatment of municipal wastewater.
In this study, the nominal pore size of both membranes
was 0.4 mm. Particles with sizes close to the nominal pore size
were assumed to affect membrane fouling. Thus, changes in
the concentration of organic particles that were smaller than
1mm (denoted hereafter as sub-micron-sized organic matter)
were monitored. Whole sub-micron-sized organic matter was
further divided into four fractions: between 0.65 mm and 1mm,
between 0.45 mm and 0.65 mm, between 0.1mm and 0.45 mm,
and less than 0.1 mm. This fractionation was carried out by
successive filtrations using membrane filters with different
pore sizes. Figure 54 shows the time course changes in the
concentrations of each fraction in the mixed liquor of the
pilot-scale MBR.
As can be seen from Figure 54, between day 60 and day
100, the concentration of organic matter with particle size
between 0.1 and 0.45 mm increased remarkably, although the
concentration of TOC in both permeates was fairly constant.
Possible reasons for this increase in sub-micron-sized organic
matter are low temperature and/or increase in feed concen-
tration. During the period between day 60 and day 100, a
gradual decline in temperature and an increase in TOC con-
centration in the feed were observed at the same time. These
changes might be responsible for the increase in concen-
tration of organic matter with particle size between 0.1 and
0.45 mm at that time. It has been reported that production of
soluble microbial product (SMP) is promoted as the organic
loading rate increases. More accumulation of data is needed to
identify the factors causing changes in characteristics of mixed
liquor in MBRs, which are thought to be related to membrane
fouling in MBRs. In the case of the PVDF membrane in
pilot run, as stated before, reversible fouling became signifi-
cant during this period. On the other hand, in the case of
the PE membrane, change in the rate of increase in filtration
resistance was not significant during this period. These ob-
servations imply that organic matter that accumulated in
the reactor during the period between day 60 and day 100 had
a feature to promote formation of a cake layer (i.e., reversible
fouling) on the PVDF membrane but that it did not
affect fouling in the PE membrane. It is possible that features
of the foulant differ depending on the membrane polymer
material.
Figures 55 and 56 show the changes in carbohydrate and
protein, respectively. In these figures, data measured for per-
meates from both membranes and for mixed liquor in the
MBR are shown. With respect to mixed liquor, measurements
were carried out after filtering samples with a 0.5-mm filter.
Concentrations of carbohydrate and protein in the permeates
were relatively constant throughout the operation. The con-
centration of dissolved carbohydrate in the reactor signifi-
cantly increased during the period between day 60 and day
100, when the concentration of sub-micron-sized organic
matter increased (see Figure 54). At that time, increase in
dissolved protein concentration in the mixed liquor was in-
significant. Therefore, the increase in sub-micron-sized organic
matter in the mixed liquor was likely to be due to the increase
in carbohydrate.
It is possible that carbohydrate accumulating between 60
and 100 days had different features from those observed in
other periods. Unfortunately, however, the phenol–sulfuric
acid method used for measurement of carbohydrate does not
provide any information about features/composition of
carbohydrate. To investigate the changes in composition of
carbohydrate that accumulated in the reactor during the op-
eration, monosaccharide composition analysis was conducted.
Figure 57 shows the change in monosaccharide composition
of dissolved organic matter in the MBR.
0
0
20 40 60 80
Elasped time (days)
20
Flux = 0.4 m d
–1
MLSS = 10 g l
–1
F/M = 20.4
SRT = 34 day
15
10
5
T
o
t
a
l

f
i
l
t
e
r
a
t
i
o
n

r
e
s
i
s
t
a
n
c
e

(
1
0
1
1

m

1
)
100 120 140
0.65–1.0 µm
0.45–1.0 µm
0.1–1.45 µm
<0.1 µm
Figure 54 Time course changes in concentration of each fraction in mixed liquor (submicron-sized organic matter – effect of membrane materials).
When the organic matter with particle size of 0.1–0.65 mm increased: PVDF – rapid increase in physically reversible fouling was observed; and PE –
there is no obvious change in the rate of membrane fouling. MLSS, mixed liquor-suspended solid; PE, polyethylene; PVDF, polyvinylidene fluoride;
SRT, solids retention time.
56 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
From Figure 57, it can be seen that all types of mono-
saccharide exhibited an upward trend after day 60. Fucose,
arabinose, and glucose increased significantly. Carbohydrates
that were mainly composed of those monosaccharide in-
creased during the period between day 60 and day 100 and
might have caused reversible fouling in the PVDF membrane.
On the other hand, it seemed that those carbohydrates did not
affect membrane fouling in PE membrane as the rate of
fouling in the PE membrane was fairly constant regardless of
increase of those constituents at that time.
To investigate features of constituents responsible for ir-
reversible fouling that had occurred in the pilot run, organic
matters were desorbed from the fouled membranes at the end
of the continuous operation and were then analyzed. When the
pilot operation was terminated, both the PE and the PVDF
membrane modules were taken out from the reactor and were
disassembled. Membrane fibers were rinsed with tap water and
were manually wiped with a lab paper. This was done to re-
move accumulated cake that could be physically removed,
allowing us to eliminate the bias caused by reversible fouling
and to focus on the irreversible membrane fouling. Desorption
of organic matter from the fouled membranes was carried out
by soaking the membranes in an alkaline solution (sodium
hydroxide) at 251C for 24h. The solution pH was set at 11.
Analysis of organic matter desorbed from the fouled
membranes was conducted at the termination of the con-
tinuous operation, and the difference between the PE and the
PVDF membranes was investigated. As described in the ex-
perimental section, intensive physical cleaning was carried out
prior to desorption of foulants from the membranes. Thus, the
following discussion will be made for filtration resistance that
cannot be cancelled by physical cleaning (i.e., irreversible
fouling).
Table 4 shows the results of analysis in the desorption test.
The data shown in Table 4 are expressed on the basis of a unit
surface membrane area (mg m
À2
). As stated before, at the end
of continuous operation, irreversible fouling resistance in the
PE membrane was greater than that in the PVDF membrane.
Nevertheless, a greater amount of organic matter was desorbed
from the PVDF membrane than from the PE membrane on the
basis of a unit membrane surface area. One possible explan-
ation for this is that features/compositions of the organic
matters desorbed from the two membranes were different and
consequently the magnitude of fouling differed on the basis of
a unit mass of organic matter. If this is the case, the data
shown in Table 4 suggest that organic matter desorbed from
the PE membrane had a higher fouling potential than that
desorbed from the PVDF membrane.
SUVA and carbohydrate/protein ratio (C/P) determined for
the organic matters desorbed from the two membranes are
also shown in Table 4. These two indexes are lumped ones
and therefore provided limited information on features of
organic matter. Nevertheless, the difference between the or-
ganic matters desorbed from the two membranes in terms of
SUVA and C/P was obvious, and it can therefore be assumed
that features of the foulant causing irreversible resistance differ
depending on the membrane polymer material.
4.02.2.2.3 Fouling potential of carbohydrate assessed by
lectin affinity chromatography
In a number of previous studies, carbohydrates have been
pointed out to be major foulants in MBRs. The authors’ pre-
vious study indicated that some fractions of organic matter
contained in the mixed liquor of MBRs would cause severe
membrane fouling than do other fractions. They also reported
Dissolved
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
g

l

1
)
5
0
0 20 40 60 80
Elapsed (days)
100 120 140
PE permeate
PVDF permeate
Figure 56 Changes in protein. PE, polyethylene; PVDF, polyvinylidene
fluoride.
2.5
2
1.5
C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
g

l

1
)
1
0.5
0
0 20 40 60
Elapsed time (days)
Fucose
Rhamnose
Arabinose
Galactose
Glucose
Mannose
80 100 120 140
Figure 57 Changes in monosaccharide composition in dissolved
organic matter.
C
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
g

l

1
)
40
30
20
10
0
0 20 40 60 80
Elapsed time (days)
100 120 140
Dissolved
PE permeate
PVDF permeate
Figure 55 Changes in carbohydrate. PE, polyethylene; PVDF,
polyvinylidene fluoride.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 57
that composition of foulants was different depending on the
membrane material implying that characteristics of organic
matter that caused severe membrane fouling are closely related
to characteristics of membrane. At present, however, little is
known about the details of carbohydrates that cause mem-
brane fouling in MBRs. Information on characteristics of the
organic matters causing severe membrane fouling in relation
to the types of membrane should be very useful for estab-
lishing a strategy to mitigate membrane fouling in MBRs
(Miyoshi et al., 2010; Yamamura et al., 2008).
In this study, affinity chromatography was applied with a
variety of lectins to assess the fouling potential of some spe-
cific carbohydrates contained in mixed liquor suspension in
an MBR. Lectins are proteins with the ability to bind specific
carbohydrates with high selectivity. By changing the types of
lectin in affinity chromatography, different types of carbo-
hydrates can be removed from the liquid phase. After that,
reductions in the degree of fouling potential associated with
the removal of specific carbohydrates by lectins were evalu-
ated. This investigation was carried out for different mem-
brane and the results were compared with each other in order
to assess the effects of membrane materials on fouling po-
tential of carbohydrates. In addition, organic matters retained
in lectin columns were eluted and were then characterized.
Based on the results obtained in this study, factors associated
with difference in fouling potential of specific carbohydrates
caused by difference in membrane materials will be discussed.
Continuous operation of a pilot-scale MBR was conducted
at Soseigawa Municipal Wastewater Treatment Center in Sap-
poro, Japan. A pilot-scale MBR was operated with baffled MBR
(BMBR) configuration (Kimura et al., 2008b). Hydraulic re-
tention time (HRT) and solid retention time (SRT) were set
around 2.9 h and 35 days, respectively. As a result, MLSS
concentration in the reactor was 16.471.4 g l
À1
. Solution
containing dissolved organic matter was obtained by centri-
fugation (4800rpm; 5min) followed by filtration using a
membrane filter paper with a pore size of 0.45 mm.
Figure 58 shows the experimental procedure employed in
this study. Carbohydrates with high affinity to the lectin in the
column were retained. As a result, filtration resistance should
be lowered in the subsequent filtration test if the retained
carbohydrates had high fouling potentials. Evaluation of
fouling potential was also conducted for the solution without
passage through a lectin column as a control test. Com-
mercially available pre-packed lectin–agarose columns (Sei-
kagaku Corporation, Tokyo, Japan) were used in this study.
Table 5 lists the lectins used in this study and their binding
specificities (Kaku et al., 2007; Opitz et al., 2008; Greenwel
et al., 2008). All columns were washed with 60 times of gel
volume of phosphate buffer saline pH 7.2 (PBS) and then
50ml of sample solution containing dissolved organic matter
in the mixed liquor of MBR was loaded. The liquid which
passed through a lectin column was collected and sub-
sequently applied to dead-end filtration test to evaluate the
fouling potential. After passage of sample solution, the col-
umn was washed with 10 times of gel volume of PBS to re-
move nonbinding constituents. Bound constituents were
eluted with PBS containing elution reagent and were then
analyzed. The elution reagents used for each lectin are
Table 4 Characteristics of organic matter desorbed from fouled membranes
Membrane TOC(mg m
À2
) Carbohydrate (mg m
À2
) Protein (mg m
À2
) Carbohydrate/Protein UVA
260
(cm
À1
) SUVA (m
À1
mg
À1
l)
PE 3.3 3.3 8.5 0.38 0.092 3.17
PVDF 9.8 8.3 11.6 0.72 0.142 2.45
PE, polyethylene; PVDF, polyvinylidene flouride; SUVA, specific ultraviolet absorbance; TOC, total organic carbon; UVA
260
, ultraviolet absorbance at 260 nm.
Mixed liqour of MBR
Filtration (0.45 µm)
Dissolved organic matter
Effluent of each column
Control
Dead-end filtration test
Removal of polysaccharides
by lectin affinity column
Figure 58 Experimental procedure. MBR, membrane bioreactor.
Table 5 Lectins used in assessment of fouling potential
Lectin Binding specificity
Aleuria aurantia lectin
(AAL)
al–6, al–2, al–3 Fuc
Concanavalin A (Con A) a-D-Man in type N-glycans hybrid type
high Man bianntenary and hexa-
antennary, All O-types, a-Glu
Datura stramonium
agglutinin (DSA)
Galbl–4GlcNAc, GlcNAc
Lens culinaris agglutinin
(LCA)
a-D-Man in di- and tri-complex-type N-
glycans with core a-Fuc, a-Ghi
Maackia amurensis
lectin (MAM)
NeuAca2–3Gal
Ricinus communis
agglutinin (RCA)
b-Gal, GalNAc
Sambucus sieboldiana
agglutinin (SSA)
NeuAca2-6Gal/GaINAc
Wheat germ agglutin
(WGA)
b-GlcNAc, sialic acid, GlcNAcbl,
4GlcNAcbl, 4GlcNAc, chitoriose
From Kaku H et al. (2007), Journal of Biochemistry 142: 393–401; Opitz L, et al.
(2008) Vaccine 25: 939–947; Greenwel P, et al. (2008) International Journal of
Pharasitology 38: 749–756.
58 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
summarized in Table 6. In this study, characterization of or-
ganic matter eluted from lectins in terms of characteristics of
sugar (e.g., monosaccharide composition) was not performed.
This is because some lectins have monosaccharide or di-
saccharide as elution reagent (Table 6) which can interfere
with the results of sugar analysis.
In this study, organic matters eluted from lectins were
characterized by means of excitation–emission matrices
(EEMs) because this method does not suffer from interference
by elution reagents.
Dead-end filtration tests were conducted for the assessment
of fouling potential of polysaccharides in mixed liquor sus-
pension in an MBR. Flat-sheet membranes were used for the
dead-end filtration test. In this study, two different membranes
were used in dead-end filtration test. One was made of poly-
propylene (PP; Kubota, Osaka, Japan) and the other was made
of PVDF (Toray, Tokyo, Japan). Nominal pore size values of PP
and PVDF membrane were 0.4 and 0.1mm, respectively. Op-
erating pressures of PP and PVDF membrane were 20 and
30kPa, respectively. These values were selected to equalize
pure water permeation flux of new membrane for both
membranes. Effective surface areas of the membranes were
13.9 cm
2
. Pure water permeability was measured for the
membranes before and after filtration of 5ml of sample so-
lution (i.e., effluents from the lectin columns), and the dif-
ference between them was used to evaluate the fouling
potential of carbohydrates. Pure water permeability was
evaluated by membrane filtration.
Figure 59 shows filtration resistance developed in the fil-
tration of sample solutions. Regardless of the types of mem-
brane, some lectins were effective for reduction in filtration
resistance while the others were not. This indicates that the
fouling potential differed depending on the types of carbo-
hydrates. Among the tested lectins, wheat germ agglutin
(WGA) and concanavalin A (Con A) which were used for
visualization of carbohydrate involved in membrane fouling,
were not effective for reduction in fouling potential regardless
of the types of membrane. The results obtained in this study
clearly indicate that carbohydrates which can be visualized by
those lectins do not represent all of the membrane fouling.
WGA recognizes N-acetyl-glucosamine (Table 5), which is the
major component of peptide glycan in the cell wall of bacteria.
It was likely that the contribution of the carbohydrates derived
from cell debris to membrane fouling was relatively low
compared to those with other origins.
Aleuria aurantia lectin (AAL) was effective for the reduction
of fouling potential for both membranes. Carbohydrates
which have higher affinity to this lectin would cause severe
membrane fouling at least in the two membranes tested in this
study. In contrast, some lectins reduced fouling potential for
only one type of membrane. For example, Sambucus sieboldiana
agglutinin (SSA) and Maackia amurensis lectin (MAM) were
Table 6 Elution reagent for each lectin
Elution reagent Lectin
L-Fucose
AAL
Methyl-a-D-glucoside Con A, LCA
Chitooligosaccharide DSA
Ethylenediamine MAM
Lactose RCA, SSA
N-Acetyl-D-glucosamine WGA
From Kaku H et al. (2007), Journal of Biochemistry 142: 393–401.
F
i
l
t
r
a
t
i
o
n

r
e
s
i
s
t
a
n
c
e

(
1
0
1
1

m

1
)
PVDF membrane
PP membrane
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Control WGA RCA LCA Con A SSA AAL MAM DSA
Control WGA RCA LCA Con A SSA AAL MAM DSA
Figure 59 Filtration resistance development. AAL, Alueria aurantia agglutinin; Con A, concanavalin A; DSA, Datura stramonium agglutinin; LCA, Lens
culinaris agglutinin; MAM, Maackia amurensis agglutinin; PP, polypropylene; PVDF, polyvinylidene fluoride; SSA, Sambucus sieboldiana agglutinin;
RCA, Ricinus communis agglutinin; WGA, wheat germ agglutinin.
Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 59
effective for the reduction of fouling potential in PP mem-
brane while reductions in fouling potential by those lectins
were negligible in the case of PVDF membrane. On the other
hand, effectiveness of Ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA),
which was slightly effective for the reduction of fouling po-
tential in PVDF membrane, was not recognized in PP mem-
brane. Those results clearly indicate that types of
carbohydrates that cause severe membrane fouling were dif-
ferent for two membranes examined in this study. A fouling
potential of specific carbohydrate would depend heavily on
characteristics of a membrane.
Since many carbohydrates found in activated sludge system
coexist with other organics, characteristics of the organic matter
associated with the carbohydrates are thought to be important
for fouling potential of retained carbohydrates. To investigate
the characteristics of the organic matter associated with the
carbohydrates retained by lectins, EEM fluorescence spectra
analysis was applied to the organic matters eluted from lectins.
Figure 60 shows EEM fluorescence spectra of the organic
matter eluted from lectin columns. Basically, shapes of EEMs
obtained for different samples were different indicating that
types of organic matter retained by lectin were different de-
pending on the types of lectins. However, the shapes of EEMs
obtained for the organic matters eluted from Con A and LCA
were similar. Both EEMs have two major peaks located on Ex/
Em¼325nm/425 nm and 275nm/425 nm. These two peaks
can be attributed to humic acid-like substances. Similarity in
the shapes of EEMs can also be seen between the organic
matter eluted from RCA and SSA. Those EEMs have one major
peak around Ex/Em¼325 nm/400 nm that can be attributed
to humic acid-like substances that have features similar to
those found in ocean and one minor peak around Ex/
Em¼275nm/425 nm. As can be seen in Table 6, elution re-
agent of organic matter for Con A and LCA is the same (me-
thyl-a-D-glucoside). RCA and SSA also have the same elution
reagent (lactose). It can be assumed that lectins which have
the same elution reagent have high affinity to similar structure
of polysaccharides. As a result, carbohydrates adsorbed onto
Con A and LCA or RCA and SSA were likely to overlap to some
extent. The similarities in the shapes of EEMs obtained for the
organic matter eluted from Con A and LCA or RCA and SSA
could partly be explained by those overlapping. However, the
similarities in the shapes of EEMs did not coincide with the
degree of reductions in fouling potentials by each lectin. For
example, LCA was slightly effective for reduction in fouling
potential in PVDF membrane but Con A was not. SSA was
effective for PP membrane but was not for PVDF membrane.
In contrast, effectiveness of RCA on reduction in fouling po-
tential can only be recognized in PVDF membrane. Those
results clearly indicate that fouling potentials are not related to
characteristics of organic matters associated with carbo-
hydrates retained by lectins. Difference in structures or prop-
erties of sugar chain which could not be assessed by EEM
analysis would play an important role in determining fouling
potentials. Taking into consideration the results of dead-end
filtration test that indicated an influence of membrane ma-
terials on fouling potential of specific carbohydrate, investi-
gation on the relationship between characteristics of sugar
chain in the polysaccharides which have high fouling poten-
tials and characteristics of membrane (e.g., surface morph-
ology, roughness) will be important to elucidate the
interactions between carbohydrates and membranes. Further
studies regarding this point are needed.
References
Greenwel P et al. (2008) International Journal of Pharasitology 38: 749–756.
Jang N-Y, Watanabe Y, and Minegishi S (2004) Performance of ultrafiltration
membrane process combined with coagulation/sedimentation. Water Science and
Technology 51(6–7): 209--219.
250
300
350
400
450
250 300 350 400 450 500
E
x
c
i
t
a
t
i
o
n

(
n
m
)
Emission (nm)
RCA
250
300
350
400
450
250 300 350 400 450 500
E
x
c
i
t
a
t
i
o
n

(
n
m
)
Emission (nm)
AAL
250
300
350
400
450
250 300 350 400 450 500
E
x
c
i
t
a
t
i
o
n

(
n
m
)
Emission (nm)
Con A
250
300
350
400
450
250 300 350 400 450 500
E
x
c
i
t
a
t
i
o
n

(
n
m
)
Emission (nm)
DSA
250
300
350
400
450
250 300 350 400 450 500
E
x
c
i
t
a
t
i
o
n

(
n
m
)
Emission (nm)
LCA
MAM
250
300
350
400
450
250 300 350 400 450 500
E
x
c
i
t
a
t
i
o
n

(
n
m
)
Emission (nm)
250
300
350
400
450
250 300 350 400 450 500
E
x
c
i
t
a
t
i
o
n

(
n
m
)
Emission (nm)
SSA
WGA
250
300
350
400
450
250 300 350 400 450 500
E
x
c
i
t
a
t
i
o
n

(
n
m
)
Emission (nm)
Figure 60 Excitation–emission matrix (EEM) spectra of organic matter eluted from lectin columns.
60 Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment
Kaku H et al. (2007) Journal of Biochemistry 142: 393–401.
Kimura K, Nishisako R, Miyoshi T, Shimada R, and Watanabe Y (2008a) Baffled
membrane bioreactor (BMBR) for efficient nutrient removal from municipal
wastewater. Water Research 42: 625–632.
Kimura K, Miyoshi T, Naruse T, and Watanabe Y (2008b) The difference in
characteristics of foulants in submerged MBRs caused by the difference in
membrane flux. Desalination 231(1–3): 268--275.
Kimura K, Yamato N, Yamamura H, and Watanabe Y (2005) Membrane fouling in pilot-
scale membrane bioreactors (MBRs) treating municipal wastewater. Environmental
Science and Technology 39: 6293--6299.
Lee S, Jang N, and Watanabe Y (2004) Effect of residual ozone on membrane fouling
reduction in ozone resisting microfiltration (MF) membrane system. Water Science
and Technology 50(12): 287--292.
Miyoshi T, Tsuyuhara T, Aizawa E, Kimura K, and Watanabe Y (2010) Fouling potentials
of polysaccharides in MBRs assessed by lectin affinity chromatography. Water
Science and Technology 62.
Opitz L et al. (2008) Vaccine 25: 939–947.
Suzuki T, Watanabe Y, Ozawa G, and Ikeda S (1998) Removal of soluble organics and
manganese by a hybrid MF hollow fibre membrane system. Desalination 117(1–3):
119--129.
Yamamura H, Chae S-R, Kimura K, and Watanabe Y (2007a) Transition in
fouling mechanism in microfiltration of a surface water. Water Research 41:
3812--3822.
Yamamura H, Kimura K, Okajima T, Tokumoto H, and Watanabe Y (2008) Affinity of
functional groups for membrane surfaces: Implications for physically irreversible
fouling. Environmental Science and Technology 42(14): 5310--5315.
Yamamura H, Kimura K, and Watanabe Y (2007b) Mechanism involved in the evolution
of physically irreversible fouling in microfiltration membranes used for drinking
water treatment. Environmental Science and Technology 41(19): 6789--6794.
Yamato N, Kimura K, Miyoshi T, and Watanabe Y (2006) Difference in membrane
fouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) caused by membrane polymer materials.
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Yonekawa H, Tomita Y, and Watanabe Y (2004) Behavior of micro-particles in monolith
ceramic membrane with pre-coagulation. Water Science and Technology 50(12):
317--325.
Watanabe Y and Yonekawa H (2008) Flocculation and its inclusion into membrane
filtration. Lecture note of Academic Summer School on particle separation in water
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Membrane Filtration in Water and Wastewater Treatment 61
4.03 Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse System
HL Leverenz and T Asano, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA, USA
& 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
4.03.1 Foundation of Water Reuse 63
4.03.2 Water Reuse Terminology and Definitions 63
4.03.3 Reclaimed Water Applications 63
4.03.4 Water-Quality Considerations 65
4.03.5 Treatment Technology 65
4.03.6 Infrastructure for Water Reuse 67
4.03.6.1 Storage Facilities 67
4.03.6.2 Distribution Systems 67
4.03.6.3 Centralized Systems 68
4.03.6.4 Decentralized Systems 69
4.03.6.5 Satellite Systems 69
4.03.6.6 Point-of-Use Treatment 69
4.03.7 Source Control 70
4.03.7.1 Salinity and Toxic Constituents 70
4.03.7.2 Source Separation 70
4.03.7.3 Graywater 70
4.03.8 Future Directions for Water Reuse 70
References 71
4.03.1 Foundation of Water Reuse
Inadequate water supplies and water-quality deterioration
represent serious contemporary concerns for many muni-
cipalities, industries, agriculture, and the environment in
various parts of the world. Several factors have contributed
to these problems such as continued population growth in
urban areas, contamination of surface water and groundwater,
uneven distribution of water resources, and frequent droughts
caused by extreme global weather patterns. Water reclama-
tion and reuse accomplishes two fundamental functions:
(1) the treated effluent is used as a water resource for bene-
ficial purposes, thereby reducing potable water demands
and, (2) where effluent is returned to the environment, im-
proves overall water quality in the receiving water, which
is often used subsequently as potable water supply and
habitat.
The foundation of water reuse is built upon three prin-
ciples: (1) providing reliable treatment of wastewater to meet
strict water-quality requirements for the intended reuse ap-
plications, (2) protecting public health, and (3) gaining public
acceptance. Whether water reuse is appropriate for a specific
locale depends upon careful economic considerations, po-
tential uses for the reclaimed water, and the relative stringency
of waste discharge requirements. Public policies can be
implemented that promote water conservation and reuse
rather than the costly development of additional water
resources with considerable environmental expenditures.
Through integrated water resources planning, the use of
reclaimed water may provide sufficient flexibility to allow a
water agency to respond to short-term needs as well as in-
crease the reliability of long-term water supplies (Asano and
Levine, 1995).
4.03.2 Water Reuse Terminology and Definitions
Early developments in the field of water reuse are synonymous
with the historical practice of land application for the disposal
of wastewater. With the advent of sewerage systems in the
nineteenth century, domestic wastewater was used at sewage
farms and by 1900 there were numerous sewage farms in
Europe and in the United States. While these sewage farms
were used primarily for waste disposal, incidental use was
made of the water for crop production or other beneficial uses.
During the past century, the growing need for reliable water
has resulted in the development of a number of water rec-
lamation and reuse projects.
Wastewater reclamation is the treatment or processing of
wastewater to make it reusable, and water reuse is the use of
treated wastewater for beneficial purposes such as agricultural
irrigation and industrial cooling. Reclaimed water is a treated
effluent suitable for an intended water reuse application. In
addition, direct water reuse requires the existence of pipes or
other conveyance facilities for delivering reclaimed water. In-
direct reuse, through discharge of an effluent to receiving water
for assimilation and withdrawals downstream, is recognized
to be important but does not constitute planned direct water
reuse. In contrast to direct water reuse, water recycling nor-
mally involves only one use or user and the effluent from the
user is captured and redirected back into that use scheme. In
this context, water recycling is predominantly practiced in
industry.
To facilitate communication among different groups asso-
ciated with water reuse, it is important to understand the
terminology used in the arena of water reclamation and reuse.
Water reclamation and reuse definitions commonly used are
summarized in Table 1.
63
4.03.3 Reclaimed Water Applications
In the planning and implementation of water reclamation and
reuse, the reclaimed water application generally governs the
type of wastewater treatment needed to protect public health
and the environment, and the degree of reliability required for
each sequence of treatment processes and operations. In
principle, wastewater or any marginal quality waters can be
used for any purpose as long as adequate treatment is pro-
vided to meet the water-quality requirements for the intended
use. The dominant applications for the use of reclaimed water
include: agricultural irrigation, landscape irrigation, industrial
recycling and reuse, and groundwater recharge. Among them,
agricultural and landscape irrigation are widely practiced
throughout the world with well-established health protection
guidelines and agronomic practices.
From a global perspective, water reuse applications have
been developed to replace or augment water resources for
specific applications, depending on local water use patterns.
In general, water reuse applications fall under one of seven
categories: (1) agricultural irrigation, (2) landscape irrigation,
(3) industrial reuse, (4) groundwater recharge, (5) environ-
mental and recreational uses, (6) nonpotable urban uses,
or (7) indirect or direct potable reuse. The relative amount
of water used in each category varies locally and regionally due
to differences in specific water use requirements and geo-
political constraints. Notable aspects of each of these water
reuse applications are given in the following:
• Agricultural irrigation represents the largest current use
of reclaimed water throughout the world. This reuse
Table 1 Water reuse terminology and definitions
Term Definition
Agricultural water use Water used for soil cultivation, crop production, and livestock uses.
Aquifer Geological formations that contain and transmit groundwater.
Beneficial uses Many ways water can be used, either directly by people, or for their overall benefit. Examples include municipal water
supply, agricultural and industrial applications, navigation, fish and wildlife, and water contact recreation.
Consumptive use The part of water withdrawn that is evaporated, transpired, incorporated into products or crops, consumed by humans
or livestock, or otherwise removed from the immediate water environment; also referred to as water consumed.
Direct potable reuse Incorporation of reclaimed water directly into a potable water supply system.
Domestic water use Domestic water use includes water for normal household purposes, such as drinking, food preparation, bathing,
washing clothes and dishes, flushing toilets, and watering lawns and gardens.
Evapo-transpiration A collective term that includes loss of water from the soil by evaporation and by transpiration from plants.
Groundwater recharge The infiltration or injection of natural waters or reclaimed waters into an aquifer, providing replenishment of the
groundwater resource or preventing seawater intrusion.
Indirect potable reuse Planned potable reuse indirectly allowing mixing and assimilation by discharge into an impoundment or natural body of
water, such as in domestic water supply reservoir or groundwater.
Industrial water use Water in industry is used for cooling, transportation, as a solvent, and as an ingredient of the finished products. The
principal water users in industry are thermal and atomic power generation.
Irrigation water use Artificial application of water on lands to assist in the growing of crops and pastures or to maintain vegetative growth in
recreational lands such as parks and golf courses.
Landscape irrigation Turf and landscape irrigation systems in ways that enable the efficient and safe application of reclaimed water in such
places as golf courses, public parks, playgrounds, school yards, and athletic fields.
Municipal water use The water withdrawals made by the populations of cities, towns, and housing estates, and domestic and public services
and enterprises. Also includes water used to directly provide for the needs of urban populations, which consume
high-quality water from city water supply systems.
Nonpotable reuse All water reuse applications that do not involve either indirect or direct potable reuse.
Potable water Water suitable for human consumption without deleterious health risks. The term, drinking water is a preferable term
better understood by the community at large.
Potable reuse An augmentation of drinking (potable) water directly or indirectly by highly treated reclaimed water.
Reclaimed water (also,
recycled water)
Municipal wastewater that has gone through various treatment processes to meet specific water-quality criteria with
the intent of being used in a beneficial manner (e.g., irrigation). The term recycled water is used synonymously with
reclaimed water, particularly in California.
Sewer mining The process of tapping into a sewer main and extracting wastewater locally, which can then be treated in a satellite or
decentralized treatment plant and reused for beneficial purposes.
Title 22 regulations State of California regulations for how treated and recycled water is used and discharged that is listed in Title 22 of the
California Administrative Code. The state-wide Water Recycling Criteria are developed by the Department of Health
Services and enforced by the nine State Regional Water Quality Control Boards.
Wastewater Used water discharged from homes, business, cities, industries, and agriculture. Various synonymous uses such as
municipal wastewater (sewage), industrial wastewater, and storm water.
Water reclamation Treatment or processing of wastewater to make it reusable with definable treatment reliability and meeting appropriate
water-quality criteria.
Water recycling The use of wastewater which is captured and redirected back into the same water use scheme such as in industry.
However, the term ‘water recycling’ is often used synonymously with water reclamation.
Water reuse The use of treated wastewater for a beneficial use, such as agricultural irrigation and industrial cooling.
64 Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse System
category offers significant future opportunities for water
reuse in both industrialized countries and developing
countries.

Landscape irrigation is the second largest user of reclaimed
water in industrialized countries and it includes the irri-
gation of parks; playgrounds; golf courses; freeway me-
dians; landscaped areas around commercial, office, and
industrial developments; and landscaped areas around
residences. Many landscape irrigation projects involve dual
distribution systems, which consist of one distribution
network for potable water and a separate pipeline to
transport reclaimed water. The reclaimed water pipelines
are normally color-coded with purple color in the United
States.
• Industrial activities represent the third major use of
reclaimed water, primarily for cooling and process
needs. Cooling water creates the single largest industrial
demand for water and as such is the predominant indus-
trial water reuse either for cooling towers or for cooling
ponds. Industrial uses vary greatly and water-quality
requirements tend to be industry specific. To provide
adequate water quality, supplemental treatment may be
required beyond conventional secondary wastewater
treatment.
• Groundwater recharge is the fourth largest application for
water reuse, either via spreading basins or via direct in-
jection to groundwater aquifers. Groundwater recharge in-
cludes groundwater replenishment by assimilation and
storage of reclaimed water in groundwater aquifers, or es-
tablishing hydraulic barriers against salt-water intrusion in
coastal areas.
• Recreational and environmental uses constitute the fifth
largest use of reclaimed water in industrialized countries
and involve nonpotable uses related to land-based water
features such as the development of recreational lakes,
marsh enhancement, and stream flow augmentation. Re-
claimed water impoundments can be incorporated into
urban landscape developments. Man-made lakes, golf
course storage ponds, and water traps can be supplied with
reclaimed water. Reclaimed water has been applied to
wetlands for a variety of reasons, including habitat creation,
restoration and/or enhancement, provision for additional
treatment prior to discharge to receiving water, and pro-
vision for a wet weather disposal alternative for reclaimed
water.

Nonpotable urban uses include fire protection, air con-
ditioning, toilet flushing, construction water, and flushing
of sanitary sewers. Typically, for economic reasons, these
uses are incidental and depend on the proximity of the
wastewater reclamation plant to the point of use. In add-
ition, the economic advantages of urban uses can be en-
hanced by coupling with other ongoing reuse applications
such as landscape irrigation.

Potable reuse is another water reuse opportunity, which
could occur either by blending in water-supply storage
reservoirs or, in the extreme, by direct input of highly
treated wastewater into the water distribution system. Al-
though the likelihood of implementing this option in the
most locations is remote, a successful example includes the
City of Windhoek, Namibia (Asano et al., 2007).
4.03.4 Water-Quality Considerations
The acceptability of reclaimed water for a given water reuse
application is dependent on the physical, chemical, and
microbiological quality of the water. The effects of physical
parameters (such as pH, color, temperature, and particulate
matter) and chemical constituents (such as chlorides, sodium,
heavy metals, and trace organics) on vegetation, soil, and
groundwater are well known, and recommended limits have
been established for these constituents. In contrast to the
agronomic considerations associated with chemical constitu-
ents that may be present in wastewater, pathogenic constitu-
ents may present health considerations for the distribution
and use of reclaimed water. The recommended guidelines and
regulations related to reclaimed water quality are found in
State of California (2000), World Health Organization (2006),
and Asano et al. (2007).
Source control programs can limit the input of chemical
and microbiological constituents that may present health,
environmental, or irrigation concerns or that may adversely
affect treatment processes and subsequent acceptability of the
reclaimed water for specific uses. In some arid and semi-arid
regions, the level of total dissolved solids is a major quality
concern, and source control measures are considered for do-
mestic water users such as restrictions on water softener use.
Assurance of treatment reliability is an obvious, yet sometimes
overlooked, quality control measure.
Water-quality considerations in water reuse applications
are extremely important especially where health and en-
vironmental issues are of concern. Unless the product water is
of sufficient quality to meet the required criteria and regu-
lations for the intended reuse application, acceptance by the
potential users or beneficiaries will not occur. By the same
token, over-treatment that is excessive for its intended use is a
waste of resources in terms of energy, labor, equipment, and
money.
4.03.5 Treatment Technology
Treatment technologies used for the production of reclaimed
water typically follow conventional secondary treatment.
These technologies include depth and surface filters, mem-
branes, carbon adsorption, disinfection, and advanced oxi-
dation. The type of treatment processes that are selected to
produce reclaimed water will depend on several factors, in-
cluding the quantity and quality of reclaimed water required
and the life cycle costs of the reclaimed water system. How-
ever, in terms of water quality, virtually any quality of re-
claimed water that is desired can be produced using currently
available technology. A summary of these technologies and
the specific constituents that are removed is presented in
Table 2. Additional details on the technologies described in
Table 2 can be found in Asano et al. (2007) and Tchoba-
noglous et al. (2003). With further refinement and develop-
ment, the cost and robustness of these technologies is
improving.
Membranes represent the most significant development as
several new products are now available for a number of water
and wastewater treatment and water reuse applications.
Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse System 65
Table 2 Unit operations and processes used for the removal of classes of constituents found in wastewater for reuse applications
Unit operation or process Constituent class
Suspended
solids
Colloidal
solids
Organic
matter
(particulate)
Dissolved
organic
matter
Nitrogen Phosphorus Trace
constituents
Total
dissolved
solids
Bacteria Protozoan
cysts
and oocysts
Viruses Energy
needs
Secondary treatment x x þ
Secondary with nutrient
removal
x x x x þ þ
Depth filtration x x x x þ
Surface filtration x x x x þ
Microfiltration x x x x x þ þ
Ultrafiltration x x x x x x þ þ
Dissolved air flotation x x x x x þ
Nanofiltration x x x x x x x þ þ
Reverse osmosis x x x x x x x x þ þ þ
Electrodialysis x x þ þ þ
Carbon adsorption x x þ
Ion exchange x x x þ
Advanced oxidation x x x x x x þ þ þ
Disinfection x x x x þ
Natural processes x x x x x À
Source control x x x x À
Modified from Asano T, Burton FL, Leverenz H, Tsuchihashi R, and Tchobanoglous G (2007) Water Reuse: Issues, Technologies, and Applications. New York: McGraw-Hill and Tchobanoglous et al. (2003).
Membranes had been limited previously to water softening
and desalination, but are now being used increasingly for
wastewater applications to produce high-quality reclaimed
water suitable for reuse. Treatment trains that incorporate
membrane filtration are capable of producing several grades of
product water that can serve a range of water reuse appli-
cations. Desalination of reclaimed water is also being done by
means of reverse osmosis and electrodialysis. Increased levels
of contaminant removal not only enhance the product water
for reuse, but also lessen health risks. Further, the cost of
producing high-quality reclaimed water has decreased con-
siderably, largely due to the development of low-pressure
membranes and the entrance of a number of suppliers in the
competitive marketplace.
Chlorination remains as the most widely used disinfection
technology and its effectiveness is enhanced by improved re-
claimed water quality. Increased removal of particulate matter
and the development of ultraviolet disinfection technology
also improve the applicability of reclaimed water for many
more applications. Advanced oxidation is also an important
technology for reducing or removing trace constituents and
emerging contaminants to safe levels, especially for indirect
potable water reuse applications.
While not specifically identified in Table 2, natural treat-
ment systems, including oxidation ponds, constructed wet-
lands, sand filtration, bank filtration, soil/vadose zone
filtration, and anaerobic processes, are also used commonly in
water reuse. In addition, practices such as urine segregation,
graywater systems, and source control of specific constituents
can have a significant impact on overall water quality and the
type of treatment system that is required. The specific appli-
cation of these technologies is site specific and, therefore,
subject to local constraints. Natural treatment processes often
experience a higher level of variability due to the reduced level
of control that can be applied. However, in terms of energy
usage, these processes can be used to accomplish water reuse
with significantly lower power output. Thus, natural processes
should be considered and implemented where feasible to re-
duce the overall carbon footprint of the water reuse system.
4.03.6 Infrastructure for Water Reuse
In areas where reclaimed water is distributed widely, for ex-
ample, in urban lawn irrigation projects, a substantial re-
distribution system is usually required. An alternative
reclaimed water project that minimizes the installation of
pipelines is where reclaimed water is added directly to the
potable water reservoir. However, this type of reuse, indirect
potable reuse, requires a higher level of treatment compared to
water used for lawn irrigation but takes advantage of the
preexisting infrastructure used to distribute potable water.
Thus, the type of reclaimed water system must be evaluated
carefully, depending on the level of treatment that is attainable
reliably and the expense to install pipelines for the reclaimed
water.
The primary factors governing distribution and storage fa-
cilities include the location of the reclaimed water treatment
plant and the location and demand requirements of the re-
claimed water users. The principal facilities needed for the
delivery of reclaimed water are storage tanks, pumping sta-
tions, and transmission and distribution pipelines and depend
on the overall type of reclaimed water. Important issues and
factors, typical to most reclaimed water distribution and
storage projects, are planning and implementation issues,
planning and conceptual design of distribution and storage
facilities, design of pipelines, design of pumping facilities,
operation and maintenance of pipelines and pumping sta-
tions, design of storage facilities, and operational issues in
reclaimed water storage. Planning and implementation issues
that must be addressed when considering storage and distri-
bution facilities for a reclaimed water project include:
1. the type, size, and location of physical facilities;
2. the interrelationship between the potable and reclaimed
water systems, that is, is the reclaimed water system being
installed in an area where an existing potable water system
exists or is a dual distribution system (for potable and re-
claimed water) needed?; and
3. the involvement of the public during the planning and
implementation process; the public may be affected dir-
ectly by facilities siting and construction.
A brief description of key infrastructure used for water reuse
systems is presented in the following sections.
4.03.6.1 Storage Facilities
Storage of reclaimed water is required in situations where
there is a difference in the production and utilization of re-
claimed water, such as in cases where water is stored for
nighttime irrigation and where there is a seasonal use of re-
claimed water such as agricultural irrigation. Elevated storage
tanks are used to regulate the system pressure. The size of
storage required should be determined from a flow analysis.
Storage reservoirs can be above- or below-ground tanks, open
reservoirs, or an aquifer. The type of storage to be used is
determined by the site constraints and requirements of the
application. Open reservoirs are subject to contamination
from recreational and wildlife activities, thus requiring treat-
ment prior to distribution for reuse. However, the open res-
ervoir can also be viewed as an environmental buffer, which is
used in cases of indirect potable reuse.
The facilities to store and distribute the reclaimed water to
potential users can be planned and designed once the source
of reclaimed water and the location and nature of the water
reuse areas and demands are known. In most respects, facil-
ities for the storage and distribution of reclaimed water are
similar to those for potable water. Because of the character-
istics of reclaimed water and the potential changes in water
quality that may occur over time, care must be taken during
the planning, design, and operation of distribution and stor-
age facilities to prevent or mitigate any effects.
4.03.6.2 Distribution Systems
A reclaimed water system may be planned, designed, and
installed as a system totally separate from the potable water
system or planned as part of a dual distribution system
that provides both reclaimed and potable water to the service
area (see Figure 1). The integrated planning, design, and
Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse System 67
construction of a dual system offers advantages in both water
resource management and cost savings, as discussed in AWWA
(1994) and Okun (2005).
Substituting reclaimed water for potable water is one of the
primary purposes of dual distribution systems. The use of re-
claimed water for nonpotable purposes serves to conserve the
potable water supply for use where drinking water quality is
needed. In the planning of a dual distribution system, if the
reclaimed water is used for fire fighting in lieu of potable
water, the potable water pipelines and storage can be sized
for delivery of domestic flows and not fire flows. Potable
water-quality benefits accrue because pipeline and storage
sizes are reduced which in turn reduces the residence time in
the potable water system. Long residence times can result in
the loss of disinfectant residual and may promote the re-
growth of microorganisms, which can affect bacterial quality,
and tastes and odors.
The distribution system for reclaimed water can be de-
signed to provide unrestricted, on-demand service, or the re-
claimed water can be provided in restricted hours. Because the
principal use of reclaimed water in urban areas is for land-
scape irrigation, which is applied generally during the
Remote community
with independent
collection and
treatment system
Remote community or development serviced
by independent satellite reclamation plant
connected to centralized collection system
To local
reuse
Waste
solids Satellite
reclamation
plant
Trunk
sewer High-rise
building
(typical)
Decentralized
reclamation
system
(e)
Centralized
treatment
facility
Receiving
water body
Nonpotable
in-building reuse
In-building
reclaimed water
distribution system
To outdoor reclaimed
water system
Reclaimed water
storage tank
Onsite treatment process for
water reclamation and reuse
Waste to
centralized
system
Central
collection
system
Flow equalization
tank
Effluent recycle
(at low flow, if needed)
To local
reuse
Waste
solids
Screenings
Central
collection
system
To local
reuse
Satellite
reclamation
plant
Dual
distribution
system
(c)
(b)
(a)
(d)
Satellite
reclamation
plant
Figure 1 Definition sketch for various types of water reuse systems: (a) interception-type satellite, (b) extraction-type satellite, (c) upstream-type
satellite, (d) decentralized, and (e) centralized. Modified from Asano T, Burton FL, Leverenz H, Tsuchihashi R, and Tchobanoglous G (2007) Water
Reuse: Issues, Technologies, and Applications. New York: McGraw-Hill.
68 Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse System
nighttime hours to minimize human contact and evaporation
loss, unrestricted service may result in a high peak flow de-
mand. The peak demand may be several times higher than the
daily average flow rate available for producing reclaimed
water. Storage reservoirs are, therefore, needed to meet max-
imum hourly demands. Where reclaimed water is used for fire
fighting, emergency storage can serve as a backup for the
distribution system when pumping stations or pipelines are
out of service for maintenance or repair.
4.03.6.3 Centralized Systems
The use of centralized or regional wastewater collection and
treatment facilities for the production of reclaimed water is
practiced extensively in developed urban regions and other
densely populated areas (see Figure 1(e)). For some reuse
applications, such as indirect potable reuse through reservoir
or groundwater augmentation, centralized facilities are well
justified. However, when a centralized collection system is not
available, or it is desirable to have independent treatment fa-
cilities, decentralized and satellite wastewater systems may be
an option. Decentralized wastewater reclamation systems have
been used widely for landscape irrigation in suburban areas,
thereby reducing demand on potable supplies in addition to
other benefits. In areas located adjacent to a centralized col-
lection system, satellite facilities may also be used to meet
some of the reclaimed water demand. While satellite facilities
share some common characteristics with the decentralized
systems, satellite systems are differentiated because they have a
direct connection to a centralized wastewater collection system
and therefore do not have to manage or store solids on site.
4.03.6.4 Decentralized Systems
Decentralized wastewater management (DWM) systems are
used most commonly in semi-urban, rural, and remote areas,
where installation of a centralized sewer system is not feasible
(see Figure 1(d)). However, in some areas decentralized sys-
tems are used instead of centralized sewers to limit and con-
trol the type of development in a given area. Decentralized
treatment systems present a significant challenge for the design
engineer due to the need for high-quality reliable performance
in light of a number of constraints, including long periods of
time between maintenance activities, lack of redundant sys-
tems, high variability in flow rate and constituent concen-
trations, and site-specific factors.
Decentralized systems are an integral component of smart-
growth community design initiatives in unsewered areas and
an element of sustainable development because of the po-
tential for low-impact wastewater management and other
advantages presented below. Further, due to practical and
economic limitations, it is recognized that it is not possible or
desirable to install centralized sewers to service all areas in the
United States. Therefore, DWM systems are necessary for the
protection of public health and environment and for the de-
velopment of long-term strategies for the management of
water resources.
DWM is defined as the collection, treatment, and reuse of
wastewater at or near the point of waste generation (Crites and
Tchobanoglous, 1998). Decentralized facilities may be used
for wastewater management from individual homes, clusters
of homes, subdivisions, and isolated commercial, industrial,
and agricultural facilities. The wastewater flow rate, quality,
and flow distribution will depend on the types of activities
taking place as well as the scale of the application.
4.03.6.5 Satellite Systems
In most collection and treatment systems, wastewater is
transported through the collection system to a centralized
treatment plant located at the downstream end of the col-
lection system near the point of disposal. Oftentimes, op-
portunities for instituting water reuse applications, especially
for agricultural and landscape irrigation or groundwater re-
charge, are limited as the points of use are located remotely
from the wastewater-treatment facilities. The infrastructure
costs for storing and transporting reclaimed water to the
points of use are often prohibitive, thus making reuse un-
economic. An alternative to the conventional approach of
transporting reclaimed water from a central treatment plant is
the concept of satellite treatment at upstream locations with
localized reuse. Residuals generated by satellite treatment
process are discharged to the collection system for processing
downstream at the central treatment plant.
Satellite treatment systems generally fall into three
categories: (1) interception type, (2) extraction type, and
(3) upstream type. Each of these types of satellite systems is
described further below. The distinction between satellite
types is made because the characteristics of the wastewater to
be treated, the treatment technologies that will be used, and
the infrastructure needed to implement them are somewhat
different, and, in some cases, quite different.
Interception type. In the interception type, as illustrated in
Figure 1(a), the wastewater to be reclaimed is intercepted
before it reaches the collection system. Typical applications for
this type of satellite system are for reuse in high-rise com-
mercial and residential buildings. The quantity of flow to be
intercepted and reclaimed will depend on the local and sea-
sonal water reuse requirements. Typically, all of the flow from
an individual building will be intercepted for reuse. In some
cases, it may be necessary to supplement the intercepted flow
with potable water. Should excess flow occur, it would be
discharged to the collection system.
Extraction type. In the extraction type, as illustrated in
Figure 1(b), the wastewater to be reclaimed is extracted
(mined) from a collection system main, trunk, or interceptor
sewer. Typical applications for this type of satellite system are
for reuse in landscape, park, and greenbelt irrigation; for reuse
in nearby high-rise commercial and residential buildings; and
for commercial and industrial cooling tower applications. The
quantity of flow to be extracted and reclaimed will depend on
the local and seasonal water reuse requirements, especially so
for landscape irrigation applications.
Upstream type. In upstream type, as illustrated in
Figure 1(c), the wastewater reclamation facilities are used to
reclaim water from developments located at the extremities of
a centralized collection system and where opportunities for
water reuse (e.g., golf course and median strip irrigation) are
available and the capacity of the collection system is limited.
Typical applications for this type of satellite system are for new
Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse System 69
housing developments and remote commercial centers and
research parks. The quantity of flow to be intercepted and
reclaimed in upstream satellite systems will depend on the
local and seasonal water reuse requirements. In general, all of
the flow from a housing development will be intercepted for
reuse. In some cases, however, it may be necessary to divert
some of the flow directly to the centralized collection system,
before or after treatment.
4.03.6.6 Point-of-Use Treatment
For multiple water reuse applications, the economic question
that must be addressed is whether it is more cost effective to
(1) produce multiple grades of reclaimed water to meet the
quality criteria for all users, (2) produce reclaimed water of a
single quality that meets all criteria, or (3) produce a single
grade of quality that meet most criteria and provide treatment
at or near the point of use in special circumstances. Typically
in water reuse system that involves multiple uses and a single
quality of product water, reclaimed water-quality requirements
are determined by a major user that requires the highest
quality. For example, if a reclaimed water distribution system
is to provide water for landscape irrigation, high-rise building
toilet and urinal flushing, and industrial cooling towers, the
microbial requirements for toilet and urinal flushing will be
critical, whereas industrial cooling tower usage may require
nitrogen and phosphorus removal to control biological
growth, scaling, and corrosion. Thus, polishing treatment as
required for a given application can be applied at the point of
use may prove more economical depending on site-specific
circumstances.
4.03.7 Source Control
The spectrum of household products used on a daily basis will
increase the overall salinity of the resulting wastewater. Other
chemicals or compounds discharged with wastewater may be
toxic to treatment organisms or plants irrigated with the
treated effluent. Because the removal of salts and toxic con-
stituents is beyond the scope of most small wastewater-treat-
ment applications, source control or dilution may be required
for some irrigation-type reuse applications.
4.03.7.1 Salinity and Toxic Constituents
Ions commonly added to wastewater from domestic water use
that contribute to salinity include the cationic species (such as
sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium), and anionic
species (such as bicarbonate, carbonate, chloride, fluoride, and
sulfate). A potential advantage of decentralized treatment
systems is that individuals who use the system have direct
control of the problematic constituents entering the waste-
water stream. While the concentration of salts in the water is
typically low enough not to be of concern for most appli-
cations, if the discharge of brine from regenerating water
softeners or the use of toxic chemicals is not compatible
with a particular process or reuse application, these issues can
be discussed with the system users, who also have an
interest in proper operation of the system. Examples of sub-
stances which have been implicated in negative impacts to
wastewater-treatment processes include strong disinfectants,
fabric softeners, chemical sanitizers for holding tanks,
chemotherapy medications, high amounts of oils or grease,
and brine from water softeners. In larger systems a degree of
anonymity exists that makes it difficult to identify the par-
ticular source of an offending discharge and there is less in-
dividual responsibility for performance and operational
matters, as these activities become the responsibility of the
municipality.
4.03.7.2 Source Separation
Source separating systems include facilities that are used to
separate solid and liquid wastes without commingling with
the bulk wastewater stream. Human waste can be segregated,
with or without the use of water, with composting systems and
waste incinerating systems. Collection and processing of
human waste (and food waste in the case of in-sink food waste
grinders) with a composting toilet or separate wet-composting
system can reduce the size of downstream wastewater man-
agement systems and produce a compost material that can be
used for landscaping purposes (Del Porto and Steinfeld,
1999).
Source separation can also be used for liquid wastes, in-
cluding urine diversion and graywater separation. Because of
the high nutrient value of urine, toilets have been developed
that divert urine to a separate holding tank for reuse in agri-
culture (Ecosan, 2003). Similarly, graywater is often con-
sidered for reuse due to the reduced presence of pathogens
and organic matter. The level of maintenance and user par-
ticipation required for source separating systems should be
considered carefully when selecting these systems, as many of
these processes have failed to work adequately in the field.
However, in some areas, where limiting conditions exist,
source separating systems may be a preferred alternative.
4.03.7.3 Graywater
The water from bathing, hand washing, and clothes washing
(not including soiled diapers), collectively known as gray-
water, is sometimes managed separately from human waste
because it is relatively free of pathogens, organic matter, and
trace constituents. When graywater is separated, wastewater
from kitchen sinks, automatic dishwashers, and food waste
grinders is discharged typically with toilet flushing water,
collectively known as blackwater (note that drainage from
kitchen sinks is included in household graywater in Australia).
Separated graywater may be treated and reused more easily
than combined graywater and blackwater. Some system de-
signs incorporate direct drainage of graywater to mulch basins
for tree irrigation, therefore not requiring treatment or storage
and greatly reducing the system cost and maintenance needs
(Ludwig, 2000). Separated blackwater may be treated separ-
ately or discharged to a collection system. Graywater systems
are usually expensive to retrofit into a building, and therefore
should be included, if possible, during building planning and
construction. In some areas, the use of graywater for irrigation
and toilet flushing is recommended during periods of water
shortages. Management of graywater systems may present
challenges if there is insufficient planning.
70 Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse System
4.03.8 Future Directions for Water Reuse
In many parts of the world, agricultural irrigation using re-
claimed water has been practiced for many centuries. Land-
scape irrigation such as irrigation of golf courses, parks, and
playgrounds has been successfully implemented in many
urban areas for over 30 years. However, salt management in
irrigated croplands and landscapes may require special atten-
tion in many arid and semi-arid regions. Beyond irrigation and
nonpotable urban reuse, indirect or direct potable reuse needs
careful evaluation and closes public scrutiny. It is obvious from
public health and acceptance standpoints that nonpotable
water reuse options must be exhaustively explored prior to any
notion of indirect or direct potable reuse, although modern
technology is beginning to obviate these criteria.
Reservoir augmentation as well as groundwater recharge
with reclaimed water and direct potable water reuse shares
many of the public health concerns encountered in drinking
water withdrawn from polluted rivers and reservoirs. Three
classes of constituents are of special concern where reclaimed
water is used in such applications: (1) enteric viruses and
other emerging pathogens; (2) organic constituents including
industrial and pharmaceutical chemicals, residual home
cleaning and personal care products and other persistent
pollutants; and (3) salts and heavy metals. The ramifications
of many of these constituents in trace quantities are not well
understood with respect to long-term health effects. For ex-
ample, there are concerns about exposure to chemicals that
may function as endocrine disruptors; also, the potential for
development of antibiotic resistance is of concern. As a result,
regulatory agencies are proceeding with extreme caution in
permitting water reuse applications that affect potable water
supplies. In each case in the United States where potable water
reuse has been contemplated, alternative sources of water have
been developed in the ensuing years and the need to adopt
direct potable water reuse has been avoided. As the pro-
portional quantities of treated wastewater discharged into the
receiving water increases, much of the research which ad-
dresses indirect potable reuse via reservoir augmentation and
groundwater recharge and direct potable water reuse is be-
coming of equal relevance to unplanned indirect potable reuse
such as municipal water intakes located downstream from
wastewater discharges or from increasingly polluted rivers and
reservoirs. Examples include New Orleans, Louisiana on the
Mississippi River, and the Rhine Valley communities along the
Rhine River in Germany and The Netherlands.
Reclaimed water is a locally controllable water resource
that exists right at the doorstep of the urban environment,
where water is needed the most and priced the highest.
Closing the loop of the water cycle not only is technically
feasible in industries and municipalities but also makes eco-
nomic sense. While direct potable reuse of reclaimed water is
more or less a possibility, reservoir augmentation and
groundwater recharge with advanced wastewater-treatment
technologies are a viable option backed by the decades of
experience in Arizona, California, Florida, New York, and
Texas as well as in Australia, Israel, Germany, The Netherlands,
and the United Kingdom. Water reuse has become an essential
element of future water resources development in integrated
water resources management in many parts of the world.
References
Asano T (ed.) (1998) Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse, Water Quality Management
Library, vol. 10. Boca Raton, FL: CRC.
Asano T, Burton FL, Leverenz H, Tsuchihashi R, and Tchobanoglous G (2007) Water
Reuse: Issues, Technologies, and Applications. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Asano T and Levine AD (1995) Wastewater reuse: A valuable link in water resources
management. Water Quality International 4: 20--24.
AWWA (1994) Dual Distribution Systems, AWWA Manual M24, 2nd edn. Denver, CO:
American Water Works Association.
Del Porto D and Steinfeld C (1999) The Composting Toilet System Book: A Practical
Guide To Choosing, Planning, and Maintaining Composting Toilet Systems, an
Alternative to Sewer and Septic Systems. Concord, MA: The Center for Ecological
Pollution Prevention.
Ecosan (2003) Ecosan – closing the loop. In: Proceedings of the 2nd International
Symposium on Ecological Sanitation. Lubeck, Germany: GTZ.
Ludwig A (2000) Create an Oasis with Greywater, 4th edn. Santa Barbara, CA: Oasis
Design.
Okun DA (2005) Dual systems to conserve water while improving drinking water
quality. In: 20th Annual WateReuse Symposium. Denver, CO.
State of California (2000) Water recycling criteria. In: Title 22 Code of Regulations,
Division 4, Sections 60301 et Seq., 2 December 2000.
World Health Organization (2006) WHO Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater,
Excreta and Greywater. Volume II: Wastewater Use in Agriculture. Geneva,
Switzerland: WHO.
Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse System 71
4.04 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
S Gray, Victoria University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
R Semiat, Grand Water Research Institute, Technion, Israel
M Duke, Victoria University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
A Rahardianto and Y Cohen, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
& 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
4.04.1 Introduction 73
4.04.2 Seawater 74
4.04.2.1 Water Quality 74
4.04.2.2 Evaporative Techniques 76
4.04.2.2.1 Pretreatment 76
4.04.2.2.2 Multi-stage flash 76
4.04.2.2.3 Multi-effect distillation 78
4.04.2.2.4 Vapor compression 79
4.04.2.3 Membrane Processes 80
4.04.2.3.1 Pretreatment 80
4.04.2.3.2 Reverse osmosis 82
4.04.2.4 Desalination Process Costs 84
4.04.2.5 Quality of Water Produced 86
4.04.2.5.1 Increase in water hardness/water stabilization 86
4.04.2.6 Environmental Aspects 86
4.04.2.7 Energy Issues 87
4.04.3 Brackish Water 88
4.04.3.1 Brackish Water Desalination Applications 88
4.04.3.2 Brackish Water Desalination Technologies 89
4.04.3.3 Common Process Configuration 90
4.04.3.3.1 RO/NF process configuration 90
4.04.3.3.2 ED/EDR process configuration 90
4.04.3.4 Major Challenges 91
4.04.3.4.1 Concentration polarization and membrane mineral scaling 92
4.04.3.4.2 Mitigation of membrane mineral scaling 93
4.04.3.4.3 Managing the impact of feedwater-quality variation 94
4.04.3.4.4 Enhancing water recovery 94
4.04.3.4.5 Concentrate disposal 96
4.04.3.4.6 Specific contaminant removal 97
4.04.3.4.7 Cost of brackish-water desalination 97
4.04.3.5 Future Developments 98
4.04.4 Desalination of Wastewater for Reuse 99
4.04.4.1 Water Quality 99
4.04.4.2 Pretreatment 99
4.04.4.3 RO Processes 101
4.04.4.4 Final Water Quality 102
4.04.4.5 Concentrate Disposal 102
4.04.5 Alternative Technologies 102
4.04.5.1 Membrane Distillation 102
4.04.5.1.1 Brief history 103
4.04.5.1.2 Membrane distillation configuration 103
4.04.5.1.3 The Memstill project 103
4.04.5.2 Forward Osmosis 103
4.04.5.2.1 Background 103
4.04.5.2.2 Recent developments 104
4.04.5.3 Capacitive Deionization 105
References 105
73
4.04.1 Introduction
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink
The above lines from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of
the Ancient Mariner are often quoted to highlight the abun-
dance of seawater but our inability to use it because of its high
salt content. People require water of low salinity or freshwater
for consumption, and typical values of less than 500mg l
À1
total dissolved solids (TDS) are often used by health regulators
to specify salinity requirements for human consumption
(National Water Quality Management Strategy, 2004). It is,
therefore, not surprising that many believe that distillation
processes have been used to produce freshwater since the
fourth-century BC, although the first documented case appears
to be from the early seventeenth century when Japanese sailors
boiled seawater in pots and collected the condensate in
bamboo tubes. The world’s first industrial desalination plant
is considered to have been commissioned in 1881 on the
island of Malta, while Saudi Arabia had its first desalination
plant installed by the Ottoman Turks in Jeddah, 1907.
The application of desalination technology grew throughout
the twentieth century, with many applications in the Middle
East and on water-scarce islands. However, at the end of the
twentieth and start of the twenty-first century, there has been a
rapid increase in the desalination capacity, and Figure 1 shows
the rapid growth in installed global desalination capacity
between 1980 and 2009 (Global Water Intelligence, 2009).
This rapid growth has been driven by population growth and
changing climatic conditions that have lead to lower rainfall or
altered rainfall patterns, and has resulted in many communities
becoming water stressed. Figure 2 is an estimate of regions that
will be experiencing various degrees of water scarcity by 2025,
and the World Health Organization (WHO; World Health
Organisation, 2010) estimates that one in three people in the
world are affected by water scarcity (Seckler, 1998).
In an effort to combat water-scarcity issues, communities
are treating poorer-quality water sources, and desalination of
seawater, brackish groundwater, and salty wastewater is in-
creasingly practiced. Coupled with the need for increased
use of desalination technology there has been a dramatic
decrease in the cost of desalination, with approximate costs of
20–35cm
À3
for brackish water, 30–40cm
À3
for wastewater,
and 50–100 cm
À3
for seawater. Figure 3 shows the dramatic
decrease in unit costs for seawater desalination over the period
1990–2003.
The increased affordability and need for desalination
have resulted in many communities becoming increasingly
dependent upon desalination technologies. Initially, large-
scale desalination was predominantly confined to areas with
severe water limitations such as the Middle East or island
communities; however, desalination is increasingly practiced
by communities that have traditionally relied upon surface
water sources, such as London, Singapore, Chennai, and
Sydney.
The removal of salt is thermodynamically more difficult
than the removal of solid particles or large-molecular-weight
molecules, as the osmotic pressure of the salt solution must be
overcome (see Chapter 4.11 Membrane Technology for
Water: Microfiltration, Ultrafiltration, Nanofiltration, and
Reverse Osmosis). Therefore, the energy required for desalin-
ation is generally greater than that for other treatment pro-
cesses, although the energy required is a strong function of
salt concentration. The thermodynamic minimum amount of
energy required for desalination of seawater is 0.79kWh
À1
m
À3
if water is taken from an infinite salt solution (Semiat, 2008).
1
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New desalination capacity 1980−2009
Figure 1 Global desalination capacity. From Global Water Intelligence (2009) New desalination capacity 1980–2009-chart. http://
www.globalwaterintel.com/archive/10/10/analysis/new-desalination-capacity-1980-2009-chart.html (accessed April 2010).
74 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
If the water recovery is increased to 50%, then the minimum
energy requirement is 1.09kWh
À1
m
À3
, because water is ex-
tracted from incrementally higher salt concentrations as the
water recovery increases. These thermodynamic values are the
absolute minimum amount of energy required, and actual
desalination must use more than this. Typically, commercial
seawater-desalination plants use between 4 and 10kWh
À1
m
À3
depending upon the type of plant installed.
These energy requirements compare to values of o1 kW
h
À1
m
À3
for alternative water supplies such as dams, storm
water, and recycled water (Leslie and Myraed, 2009). The
greater use of desalinated water has coincided with climate-
change concerns arising from greenhouse-gas emissions, and
subsequently communities have sought to limit the green-
house-gas emissions from seawater desalination by the use
of energy from renewable sources (Crisp, 2009; Voutchkov,
2009). Although the energy used for operating an entire water
and wastewater-treatment supply might only be 15% of the
energy used for heating water in some Western communities
(Kenway et al., 2008), the focus on energy efficiency that
Projected water scarcity in 2025
Physcial water scarcity
Economic water scarcity
Little or no water scarcity
Not estimated
Figure 2 Global Watering. From Seckler D, Amarasinghe U, Molden D, de Silva R, and Barker R (1998) World water demand and supply, 1990 to
2025: Scenarios and Issues, International Water Management Institute, Research Report 19, http://iwmi.cgiar.org/Publications/
IWMI_Research_Reports/PDF/PUB019/REPORT19.PDF
$0.00
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Figure 3 Cost of seawater desalination (US$ m
À3
) from new plants against year. Data from Adham S. (1997) Desalination: Applications, cost trends,
and future issues of RO technology. In: AWA Membranes Specialty Conference II, 21–23 February. Melbourne, VIC: Australian Water Association.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 75
pervades modern communities dealing with climate change
implies that energy use will remain an issue for seawater de-
salination and be a key focus for new desalination technolo-
gies that are being developed.
This chapter outlines the common desalination processes
used for treatment of seawater, brackish water, and wastewater,
and comments on operating issues and performance of these
processes. It focuses on reverse osmosis (RO) membrane
systems for treatment of the three types of waters considered
and thermal desalination systems for seawater desalination,
as these two processes are the dominant commercial pro-
cesses. Discussion of the desalination of wastewater focuses
on fouling chemistry, as another chapter (see Chapter
4.03 Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse System) explains
wastewater reclamation and reuse systems. Additionally, a
brief outline of alternative desalination processes is provided
as many such processes are being developed.
4.04.2 Seawater
4.04.2.1 Water Quality
About 97% of the water on Earth is found in the seas and
oceans that cover approximately 70% of the Earth’s surface.
Salt content and concentration vary slightly from place to
place. Open oceans contain approximately 3.5% weight salt,
while smaller closed seas may contain higher concentrations.
For instance, the Mediterranean Sea contains close to 4% salt,
while the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf contain 4.2% dissolved
salts. Lower concentrations can be found in other closed seas,
such as the Baltic Sea where salt concentration changes during
the year from 0.5% to 1.5%, while the salinity of the Black Sea
salinity is below 2%.
The typical salt composition of seawater is shown in
Table 1 (Water Chemistry, 2010), while Figure 4 shows a
global distribution of ocean salt concentrations. Sodium and
chloride represent the most abundant cations and anions in
the sea, and the concentration of magnesium is significantly
greater than that of calcium.
Besides the spatial variation in salt concentrations across
the globe, the amount of CaCO
3
also varies with depth.
CaCO
3
is saturated in the surface layer of seawater and below
saturation concentration at lower levels (Le Gouellec et al.,
2006). This is of significance for RO membrane systems, since
the concentration of salts increases along the RO membrane
during the process and precipitation of salts fouls the
membrane.
The bromide and boron concentrations in seawater are
low, but their concentrations are significant as they can
adversely affect the treated water quality, particularly for RO
treatment systems. While bromide rejection is high through
RO membranes (90–95%), the permeate still contains suf-
ficient bromide to cause bromate issues should ozonation be
used as a means of disinfection. Where bromide contributes to
taste and odor issues in the system, such as in Perth, Australia,
low bromide concentration in the final treated water has been
specified (0.1 mg l
À1
; Crisp, 2009).
Boron is present as boric acid, in a concentration of
approximately 5 ppm. Boric acid is a small molecule that can
penetrate through RO membranes so the product may contain
around 1ppm of boron. This is important due to the sensi-
tivity of many crops to boron content in irrigation. New RO
membranes can reject up to 90% of the boron compared to
30–70% rejection for standard RO membranes. High boron-
rejecting membranes have the potential to minimize problems
due to boron, although currently there is little long-term
operational experience with these membranes.
Seawater also contains organic contaminants that come
from living marine creatures. These contaminants include all
types of small to large molecules, colloids and viruses, bacteria,
algae, and larger living or nonliving suspended matter. These
contaminants also need to be removed along with salt to attain
drinking-water standards (Morse et al., 1979) and to prevent
fouling of membrane and thermal desalination systems.
It is important that particulate foulants are removed prior
to treating the water in RO systems as particles around 1mm
in size can block spacers in RO modules, while small particles
o1 mm in size can lead to particle fouling of RO membranes.
Particle fouling is less of an issue for thermal desalination
processes.
Algal blooms or red tides can cause temporary but sig-
nificant increases in turbidity and total organic carbon (TOC),
leading to rapid fouling of membranes. The high TOC con-
centrations not only lead to greater organic fouling of mem-
branes, but also provide food for microorganisms to grow on
the membranes. Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Arthrobacter, and Cor-
ynebacterium are the bacteria usually associated with biofoul-
ing in seawater RO systems (Voutchkov, 2008). In areas prone
to red tides or oil spills, sensors are often used to detect their
presence and the feed stopped if algae or oil is present.
The concentration of organic molecules typically varies
from o0.2mg l
À1
in ocean waters not affected by freshwater
sources (rivers, stormwater, and wastewater) or algal blooms
to as high as 8mg l
À1
or more for waters impacted by
freshwater sources (Voutchkov, 2008). Additionally, the com-
position of the organic compounds can vary, with the low-
molecular-weight compounds being typically between 20%
and 50% of the TOC, low-molecular-weight acids and neutrals
between 18% and 25%, humic substance between 26% and
52%, and polysaccharides between 1% and 14%. Such vari-
ations in composition can have a significant effect on bio-
fouling, as the presence of easily biodegradable compounds,
such as polysaccharides, can increase the level of biological
activity in the desalination process, thereby increasing the
Table 1 Seawater salt composition
Component Concentration (%)
Calcium 0.042
Magnesium 0.13
Sodium 1.07
Potassium 0.04
Bicarbonate 0.015
Sulfate 0.27
Chloride 1.94
Bromide 0.007
Total dissolved solids 3.5
From Water Chemistry (2010) Nitto-Denko – Hydranautics. http://www.membranes.
com/docs/papers/04_ro_water_chemistry.pdf (accessed April 2010).
76 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
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degree of biofouling. It has been observed in a number of
plants that temporal increases in TOC over a 1–2- week period
is linked to increases in biofouling (Voutchkov, 2008).
4.04.2.2 Evaporative Techniques
4.04.2.2.1 Pretreatment
Thermal processes are not very sensitive to the initial con-
centration of seawater and are also less sensitive to suspended
particles than membrane-based systems. A simple straining
filtration technique to remove coarse particles is usually suit-
able. De-aeration is needed to remove oxygen and to reduce
the possibility of noncondensing gases accumulating, as these
can cause corrosion within the thermal desalination process.
Simple ejector-condensers are often used for this purpose.
Thermal processes are more sensitive to possible precipi-
tation of calcium salts than membrane processes, mainly
gypsum on heat-transfer surfaces.
4.04.2.2.2 Multi-stage flash
Multi-stage flash (MSF) distillation is still considered as the
most common and simple technique in use. It has been
operated commercially for more than 40 years (Awerbuch,
1997b). The technique is based on condensing low-pressure
steam to produce heat for evaporation of seawater. A sche-
matic presentation of an MSF desalination plant is shown in
Figure 5. The process is based on slightly pressurizing the
seawater feed and passing it through long closed pipes and a
series of flash chambers. Condensing vapor, generated in the
flash chambers is used to heat the feedwater in the pipes.
Energy is added to the system to heat the feedwater to the
initial high temperature of approximately 1201C, and low-
pressure steam is commonly used as the heating source. The
low-pressure steam is usually extracted from a power station.
The heated seawater feed is introduced into a series of flash
chambers where it is allowed to flash along the bottom of the
chambers. The pressure is reduced along the chambers so that
water continues to flash in each chamber. This generates vapor
that passes through mist eliminators before condensing on
the seawater feed pipes. The condensate is collected from the
pipes and pumped out as the plant product. Part of the con-
centrated brine is recycled and mixed with the feed to increase
the recovery ratio, and the rest is pumped out and rejected into
the sea.
Energy is transferred to heat the seawater feed as the vapor
condenses on the condenser pipes containing the seawater
feed. The sensible heat of condensation is recovered to pro-
duce vapor. Based on an enthalpy balance, the water-recovery
ratio is low and recirculation of the brine is required in order
to increase water recovery. The energy consumption in this
technique is high, and is associated with heating of the feed-
water, low sensible-heat recovery, and pumping of feed and
brine recirculation. The energy efficiency, the size of the plant,
and the cost involved are affected by design parameters such as
(1) the number of stages from the high-temperature feed-
entrance point to the brine exit, (2) the recirculation ratio,
(3) the temperature of the preheated feed seawater, (4) heat-
transfer quality of the condensing vapor, (5) improved util-
ization of the heat rejected with the product and the rejected
brine, and (6) controlling and preventing scale formation and
prevention of accumulated noncondensable gases. Working
on extracted steam at the end of a power station, at a tem-
perature of about 1201C, the typical energy consumption is
estimated to be 7–9kWh
À1
m
À3
, depending on the gain out-
put ratio (GOR) (Semiat, 2008).
Corrosion is of concern in MSF systems, as water of very
high purity is corrosive by nature. Corrosion is related to the
operational temperature, the existence of dissolved oxygen in
the water, and the choice of materials for the heat-transfer
surfaces used in the heated seawater environment. Stainless
steels are used for the pipe work and epoxy-coated wrought
iron for the vessels. De-gassing is achieved in the pretreatment
by the use of strippers or vacuum systems and the addition of
hydrazine is also practiced. Typical temperatures vary between
110 and 1201C at the hot end, down to seawater temperature
at the cold end.
Product water
Seawater
Brine Condensate
Vent ejector
Steam
Brine
heater
Figure 5 Schematic presentation of a multi-stage flash (MSF) desalination plant, MSF Sidem Design. Adapted from http://www.acwasasakura.com/
images/msf.gif (accessed 24 April 2010).
78 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
An important advantage of this process, when compared
with other distillation processes, is that scale does not pre-
cipitate on heat-transfer surfaces, but in the flash chambers.
This enables the heat-transfer surfaces to remain clean, and
cleaning of the system is rarely required.
The quality of the product from this technique, as in other
evaporation techniques, is extremely good. Product water
usually contains less than 50ppm of TDS. TDS is carried into
the product via small drops that pass through the mist elim-
inators, rather than via the vapor phase. Better quality of water,
down to 10ppm TDS can be produced for industrial purposes
if greater efforts are made to reduce carryover of mist.
Due to lack of salts, the product water is aggressive and can
cause corrosion. It is usually passed through a bed of lime to
increase the calcium-carbonate concentration, or it is mixed
with another source of water to stabilize the water and prevent
corrosion.
MSF processes are usually associated with large-scale co-
generation plants, where waste heat from power plants is
available. The simple design and ability to be unaffected by
scale make MSF a robust process that is easy to operate.
However, the trade-off is higher energy consumption com-
pared to alternative thermal and membrane-based systems
and relatively high production costs. Information regarding
the cost of this process may be found in Jassim and Ismail
(2004).
4.04.2.2.3 Multi-effect distillation
Multi-effect distillation (MED) is considered a more sophis-
ticated and more energy-efficient evaporation technique than
MFS systems (Awerbuch, 1997b). Multi-stage evaporation has
been used for many years for the purpose of solution con-
centration, crystallization, solution purification, etc., and has
also been used for seawater desalination, for the last 45 years.
The method is based on a low-temperature source of energy.
The main source of energy is spent steam emerging at the
exit of a steam-operated power station, but alternatives also
include low-level steam or hot fluid from other sources.
Figure 6 describes the schematics of a horizontal tube
MED unit. The steam enters the plant and is used to evaporate
heated seawater. The secondary vapor produced is used to
generate tertiary steam at a lower pressure. This operation
continues along the plant from stage to stage. The primary
steam condensate is returned to the boiler of the power sta-
tion. The technique is based on double-film heat transfer,
where latent heat is transferred in each stage from condensing
of steam through the heat-transfer piping to the evaporated
falling film of seawater. The process is repeated up to 16 times
in existing plants, between the upper possible temperature and
the lower possible cooling water, which depends on seawater
temperature. Condensate accumulates from stage to stage as
product water. A vacuum pump removes the accumulated
noncondensable gases, together with the remaining water
vapor, after the last condensation stage in order to maintain
the gradual pressure gradient inside the vessel. The pressure
gradient is dictated by the saturation pressure of the feed-
stream and the saturation pressure of the condensing steam
leaving the last stage and condensed by cooling with seawater.
Typical pressure gradients of 5–50kPa across the system
(o5kPa per stage) are typical.
Steam condenses in common MED installations inside
horizontal pipes where seawater evaporates on the other side
as it falls down the tube bundle. Heat transfer in double-film
condenser–evaporators is a very efficient mechanism that
controls the process and can operate with a low-temperature
driving force across the tube walls. The heat transfer is
bounded by the increasing boiling-point elevation along the
plant as the salt concentration increases with removal of water
on one hand, and prevention of surface boiling by keeping the
on-temperature difference so that boiling does not start, on
the other. The performance ratio, or the GOR, which refers to
the number of tons of water produced per ton of initial steam,
is considered high. The ratio in MED can be up to 15 com-
pared to a maximum of 10 for MSF. Therefore, the energy or
thermal efficiency is essentially higher for MED than it is for
MSF (Ophir and Weinberg, 1997).
Energy utilization is increased with the number of stages. If
low-cost heat at lower temperature is available, optimization
of operation conditions may lead to a lower number of stages.
Additionally, lower-temperature operation allows the use of
low-cost heat-transfer surfaces without the problems of severe
MED and TVC
process schematic
Heat-recovery evaporator
Recycle vapor
Heat-pressure
steam
Heat-pressure
steam
NCG
Seawater
Freshwater
Brine
Coolant
Feed pump
Polyphosophate
Intermediate
feed pump
Condensate
return pump
Condensate
tank
Low pressure steam
(for an MED plant)
High-pressure steam
(for an TVC plant)
Heat-rejection condenser
Figure 6 Schematics of a horizontal tubes multi-effect distillation (MED) plant, IDE Design. From http://www.ide-tech.com/ (accessed May 2010).
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 79
corrosion and reduces the likelihood of CaSO
4
precipitation
on the tubes, and hence improves plant reliability.
Low temperature differences and good wetting of the sur-
faces prevent scaling. Therefore, if a plant is operated below
701C, it is possible to use aluminum pipes, reduce corrosion,
and operate at sub-saturation conditions for gypsum up to
60% recovery. Additionally, there is no need to remove oxygen
below 701C, as corrosion rates are very low and cleaning is
less frequent. The capacity of an MED plant is usually less than
30000 m
3
d
À1
, but the modular design enables several trains
to be built adjacent to each other to enable larger overall plant
capacity.
MED system designs can vary, with vertical or horizontal
tubes, or flat-sheet heat exchangers, arrangement of the stages
horizontally or vertically, and co-current or countercurrent
flow of seawater against the direction of produced steam. Such
variations in design affect the ease of cleaning heat exchangers,
the pumping of water flows, and energy losses in the system,
and sometimes, specific process designs are developed based
on the site conditions.
Designs also differ with regard to scaling potential, as the
path of the circulating brine in connection to calcium sulfate
hydrate saturation may vary. Co-current operation is advan-
tageous in this respect, since the calcium sulfate hydrate
saturation level increases when the water temperature reduces.
In co-current operation, the highest calcium sulfate hydrate
concentrations occur at the lowest temperatures, where higher
saturation levels must be reached before precipitation occurs.
In countercurrent operation, however, the opposite is true and
the highest calcium sulfate hydrate concentrations occur at
the highest temperature where the saturation levels before
precipitation occur are lower. This is an important design
consideration for scale control and for water circulation and
pumping expenses. Good water distribution, evenly distrib-
uted on the heat-transfer tubes is essential to reduce scaling.
Co-current operation takes place in the MED-Metropolitan
Water District (MWD) tower design, where the highest tem-
perature is obtained at the lowest calcium sulfate concen-
tration. In this design, the brine temperature–concentration
curve along the tower is closed, almost parallel to the CaSO
4
saturation–temperature curve. More information on the cost
of MED may be found in Ophir and Lokiec (2004).
4.04.2.2.4 Vapor compression
The vapor compression (VC) technique is similar in operation
to the MED process, as condensation of vapor from each stage
is used to generate vapor from brine in the next stage. Heat
transfer usually takes place, as in MED, in the form of a
double-falling film, which is an effective heat-transfer mech-
anism. Seawater is preheated against the brine discharge and
the product water leaving the system. This is a heat-pump
process, where the latent heat of the condensing vapor is used
to make more vapor on the other side of the heat-transfer
surface.
However, vapor generated during the last stage of the
production process is compressed to higher pressure, followed
by an increase in temperature, after which it is recycled to the
first stage of the process where it condenses and the heat
of condensation is used to evaporate feedwater. In contrast,
vapor from the last stage of an MED or MSF process is
condensed and mixed with the product water. Therefore, VC
allows the sensible heat associated with the last stage to be
used in the evaporation process and hence is more energy
efficient than MED and MSF. The main need for energy
is, therefore, for elevating the pressure of vapor from the
last stage to provide the driving force for heat transfer in the
first stage.
The process usually comprises one to six stages. The op-
erating temperature may be chosen for the best optimization
of the process, as the upper temperature is determined by
the number of stages and the lower temperature by the flow
rates and the properties of the vapor. Compressing of low-
temperature gases is expensive due to their density and/or
specific volume. A part of the brine recirculates to increase
water recovery. A common approach to recycling of the vapor
is the use of a mechanical compressor that operates at rela-
tively low pressure and high specific vapor volume, but ther-
mal compression is also practiced by mixing with higher-
pressure steam. Figure 7 presents a schematic view of a
mechanical VC unit.
Mechanical VC benefits from the fact that it requires only
an electrical source of energy from the grid or from a diesel
generator, and energy consumption is between 7 and 8 kW
h
À1
m
À3
. A source of steam and a source of electricity for water
evaporation and pumping are needed for the thermal com-
pression process. The process can operate close to a power
station where steam and electricity are readily available, or it
may use hot gases from different sources to generate low-
pressure steam, for example, from a gas turbine or a diesel
generator. VC operates mainly at small scale, in small instal-
lations such as hotels or refineries. The maximum reported
capacity is of the order of 5000m
3
d
À1
using two mechanical
compressors. Higher capacities, up to 10000 m
3
d
À1
, may be
achieved with thermal compression.
The ability of VC to operate at low temperatures makes it
possible to use simple metals such as aluminum, with almost
no corrosion attack and prevention of scale formation. The
use of electricity makes the technique compatible for use in
parallel with other desalination techniques, as in hybrid op-
eration for optimization of energy consumption. A modern
compressor presents efficiency of up to 80%. The quality of
the product is similar to that of other evaporation techniques.
The technique may also be used for part removal of salts that
are at saturation level, in cases of low-boiling-point elevation.
More information on VC can be found in El Dessouky (2004).
4.04.2.3 Membrane Processes
Desalination with RO membranes is based on applied dy-
namic pressure to overcome the osmotic pressure of the salt
solution in feedwater. The term osmotic pressure represents a
property of a solution, containing dissolved matter, salts in
water, starch, or sugar, such as that found in the roots of most
plants. The relatively high concentration of this solution
allows transfer of water from the land surrounding the root
through the membrane skin of the root. Applying a pressure to
the concentrated solution on one side of the membrane will
stop the flow of water. This pressure is defined as the osmotic
pressure of the solution. Higher applied pressures on the
80 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
concentrated solution side, well above the osmotic pressure,
will overcome the solution properties and transfer water from
the concentrated solution through a membrane to produce
freshwater. This is the basis of the RO process, which allows
water-selective permeation through the membrane from the
saline side to the freshwater side (Faller, 1999). Salts rejected
by the membrane stay in the concentrate stream and are re-
moved from the membrane by the flow of fresh salt solution
along the membrane. Removal of permeate, the freshwater
product, occurs via a permeate tube on the lower-pressure side
of the membrane (see Chapter 4.11 Membrane Technology
for Water: Microfiltration, Ultrafiltration, Nanofiltration,
and Reverse Osmosis for more details).
Figure 8 depicts a schematic flow sheet of a typical RO
desalination plant. Feed pretreatment for the removal of sus-
pended material, bacteria, and organics is performed by either
media filtration or now increasingly by UF or MF modules
in modern plants (Semiat and Hasson, 2009). If residual
chlorine is present, it is removed by active carbon filters or
sodium metabisulfite. The feedwater is pumped into the RO
module where water selectively passes through the membrane
to produce freshwater. The high-pressure pump used to feed
the RO-membrane module may be connected on a single
shaft with the motor and a turbine, as is the case in the
Eilat seawater plant, in order to recover the energy content
of the pressurized concentrate. Energy-recovery devices such as
MVC process schematic
Evaporative condenser
Heat transfer tubes
Decoder seperator
Vapor
compression
system
Product
storage
Vacuum
pump
Brine
pump
Product
pump
Feed Brine Water vapor Product NCG Scale inhibitor
Recircular
pump
Feed heat
exchanger
NCC removal
auxiliary condenser
Feed dosage
pump
Seawater
supply pump
Sea
Figure 7 Schematic presentation of a horizontal tube, single-stage vapor compression (VC) desalination unit, IDE Design. From http://www.ide-
tech.com/ (accessed May 2010).
Low-pressure pump
High-pressure pump
Feed
water
Pre-treatment
Energy-recovery unit
To concentrate
disposal
Membranes
Concentrate
Post treatment
Product water
Product tank
Figure 8 Schematic presentation of reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant. From Semiat R and Hasson D (2009) Sea-water and brackish water
desalination with membrane operations. In: Drioli E and Giorno L (eds.) Membrane Operations. Innovative Separations and Transformations.
Weinheim: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & CO. KGaA. ISBN: 978-3-527-32038-7.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 81
independent turbines for secondary stages, pressure ex-
changers, and other techniques may also be used. The con-
centrate is disposed back into the ocean. Each of these unit
processes are discussed in turn, along with the water-quality
issues that affect process design.
4.04.2.3.1 Pretreatment
Membrane-based desalination systems are reliant on thin,
semipermeable membranes to separate water from brine,
and these membranes are sensitive to contaminants in water.
Therefore, extensive pretreatment is required to provide high-
quality water to RO membranes. This is a general requirement
for high-pressure membranes and applies equally to seawater,
brackish water, and wastewater feeds. Indeed, many perform-
ance issues can be traced back to poor pretreatment of the
feedwater and subsequent fouling or scaling of the membrane
surface.
The standard industry test for the suitability of feedwater
quality with respect to particle load is the silt density index
(SDI) (ASTM, 2002). This test is based on measuring the time
taken to filter the initial 500ml of water through a 0.45 mm
membrane at a constant pressure of 207 kPa, and the time
taken to filter a second 500ml of water after 15 min of
filtration. The time taken for these amounts of water to pass
reflects characteristics of the filter cake that has developed,
and an equation is used to provide a single SDI number.
Low values of SDI represent high-quality feedwater and high
numbers poor-quality feed. Generally, SDI values o3 are
considered suitable for RO feedwater, values between 4 and 5
represent adequate feedwater quality for slow flux decline, and
values above 5 reflect poor quality. While SDI is used as the
industry standard test, it is commonly known that it is not
suitable for all waters, that it is sensitive to the test conditions
and results may vary with slight changes in technique (Mosset
et al., 2008). There have been several attempts to develop an
improved testing method to determine the suitability of
feedwater quality, such as the modified fouling index (MFI)
(Boerlage et al., 2003), but currently these have not been
adopted by the industry.
The common approach to removal of particles is screening,
to remove coarse particles and debris, followed by coagu-
lation, sand filtration, membrane filtration, or dissolved air
filtration (DAF). A screen with bar racks (75–100 mm) is used
to remove large debris from seawater. This is followed by fine
bar screens (3–10mm) to remove finer material and protect
downstream processing units. Further screen or grit removal
chambers may also be used prior to filtration, particularly
if microfiltration (MF) or ultrafiltration (UF) systems are
installed.
Coagulation of seawater prior to filtration uses ferric salts
such as ferric sulfate or ferric chloride. Aluminum salts are not
preferred, as it is difficult to maintain low dissolved aluminum
levels and this can cause subsequent membrane-fouling
problems. Similarly, overdosing of ferric salts can increase
the dissolved iron concentration, which leads to membrane
fouling downstream and regular jar tests are required to
maintain the correct coagulant dose. Coagulation tanks (ap-
proximately 30min coagulation time) or in-line static mixers
may be used; however, static mixers are not recommended
when there are large flow variations due to their inability to
provide adequate mixing under these circumstances.
Dual-media pressure filtration with anthracite and sand is
commonly used, with typical filtration rates between 15 and
20m
3
m
À2
h
À1
. Gravity filters are also used when algae are
likely to be present, but lower filtration rates of 10 m
3
m
À2
h
À1
are typical. If the turbidity of the feedwater is regularly high
(430 NTU), then sedimentation prior to sand filtration may
also be used. The addition of coagulant allows sand filters to
remove particles as small as 0.5 mm as well as some natural
organic matter. Backwash of the sand bed is performed in
order to remove the accumulated particles that are either sent
to the sea or, where environmental regulations are stricter, to
landfill.
Small desalination plants sometimes use beach wells dur-
ing the pretreatment stage. Seawater passage through the soil
layers around the wells serves as a sand-filtration unit. This
operation is limited due to the low possible capacity of a
single well.
DAF uses small air bubbles to capture contaminants and
float them to the surface of the tank where they are removed
by skimming. Oils, algae, and suspended matter attach to air
bubbles and rise to the surface where they accumulate before
being skimmed out for disposal. The water is often passed
through a sand filter following DAF treatment to ensure that
water with low suspended solids is fed to the desalination
stage, and at the Tuas seawater desalination plant, the fil-
tration units are incorporated into the DAF. DAF has the
advantage of removing dissolved and suspended organic
matter and oils that cannot be removed using sand filtration,
and can treat waters with turbidity up to 50 NTU. This makes
DAF suitable for handling waters prone to algal outbreak.
MF and UF systems are now available for filtration of
seawater and are increasingly being used, with seawater de-
salination plants in Yu-Huan (China), Fukuoka (Japan), Saudi
Arabia, and Turkey using UF pretreatment. The advantage of
using MF or UF pretreatment is that these systems can remove
particles and colloids as small as 0.2 mm for MF and 0.02mm
for UF, and have more than 4 log removal of bacteria. This
leads to consistently high treated water quality, with turbidity
consistently less than 0.1 NTU and SDI less than 3. Iron
coagulation is generally used to remove organic compounds
and to enable fluxes between 50 and 100 l m
À2
h
À1
to be
achieved. Both pressure and vacuum systems are used, with
vacuum systems requiring less coagulant prior to the mem-
brane and pressure systems being less sensitive to source-water
temperatures. For cold waters less than 15 1C, pressure systems
are more economically attractive.
Finer screening is required before MF/UF systems than for
dual-media filters, and screening of particles down to 120mm
or less in size is required. This is because the hollow-fiber MF/
UF systems may be cut or punctured by shells or sand par-
ticles. Furthermore, embryonic barnacles need to be removed
to prevent colonization within the MF/UF systems and a
120-mm screen is able to achieve this. MF and UF systems can
also be prone to fouling by organic compounds of biological
origin and do not treat algae-laden waters efficiently. Chem-
ically enhanced backwashing with chlorine solutions of 25–
100 mg l
À1
chlorine is used to control this fouling, and it may
be used 1 or 2 times a day.
82 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
Waste streams from media filtration systems are generally
only half the volume of waste streams generated by MF/UF
systems. Typically between 2% and 4% of feedwater is rejected
in the waste stream in media-filtration systems, while between
5% and 8% of the feed might be rejected in MF/UF filtration.
The higher waste associated with MF/UF systems is associated
with their more frequent backwashing and the additional
waste streams are associated with chemically enhanced back-
washing and chemical cleaning of the membranes.
Ion exchange is also used in some cases, such as in
Palmachim, Israel. The ion-exchange resins are regenerated by
the brine concentrate, and the calcium and magnesium re-
leased from the ion-exchange resin stabilize the product water.
Nanofiltration (NF) membranes were suggested as a means to
remove Ca/Mg and SO
4
ions, but the cost for such an oper-
ation is high (Wang et al., 2009; Hassan et al., 1998; Hilal
et al., 2007).
Disinfection of the feedwater by chlorine compounds is
done in some instances, in an effort to reduce biofouling of
the RO membranes. The sensitivity of the RO membranes to
chlorine implies that feedwater needs to be dechlorinated
prior to treatment by RO membranes, and activated carbon
is needed for this purpose. Unfortunately, in many cases,
activated carbon allows bacteria to grow after the dechlorin-
ation stage, and, in some cases, it increases the impact of
biofouling at the RO stage. Therefore, disinfection of the
feedwater is no longer done in modern plants.
The final stage of pretreatment is often cartridge filtration,
particularly for systems that use media filters rather than MF/
UF systems. The cartridge filters are included to protect the RO
membranes by removing contaminants that have made it
through the pretreatment stage and to filter out particles as-
sociated with the breakthrough of media filters. The filters
have nominal pore sizes between 1 and 25mm and may need
to be changed every 6 months in systems with good pre-
treatment or every 6 weeks if the source water is more
challenging.
Calcium carbonate is saturated on the surface layer of
seawater and is below saturation concentration at lower levels.
This is of significance for RO-membrane systems, since the
concentration of salts increases along the RO membrane
during the process, along with the level of supersaturation.
This salt may, therefore, precipitate on the membrane and
cause clogging and reduce the flux of freshwater. Acidification
and addition of anti-scalants are often practiced, but it is now
considered unnecessary because it is believed that the high
concentration of brine assists in preventing precipitation. Ba
and Sr salts are also in supersaturation in seawater; yet, their
concentration is low and causes minimal damage to the
membranes. CaSO
4
has three different forms of salts, yet they
are all below supersaturation levels in the brine leaving the
desalination plant.
More detailed information on pretreatment before mem-
brane-seawater-desalination systems can be found in Voutchkov
(2008) and Voutchkov and Semiat (2008).
4.04.2.3.2 Reverse osmosis
The RO process relies on semipermeable membranes to
selectively pass water from salt solutions. The building
materials for RO membranes are usually polymers such as
cellulose acetates, polyamides, or polyimides. The membranes
are semipermeable and made of thin layers about 200nm
thick that are adhered on to a thicker support layer. A few
types exist, such as symmetric, asymmetric, and thin-film
composite membranes. The membranes are usually built as
long sheets, separated by spacers, and spirally wound around
the product tube. In some cases, tubular or capillary mem-
branes are used or even hollow fibers. Sidney Loeb developed
the first modern RO membrane based on cellulose acetate
(Loeb and Sourirajan, 1963; Loeb, 1981). Modern membranes
are made of polyamides and polyimides that have better
rejection properties, longer life, and require less energy.
RO membranes are usually sensitive to changes in pH and
the recommended pH range for polyamide membranes is
between pH 2 and 11, but they can work for a short time
(30min) at extreme conditions of pH, such as 1 or 13, for
cleaning purposes. Small concentrations of oxidizing sub-
stances such as chlorine, chlorine oxides, and ozone can
severely damage the membrane skin. So also can a wide range
of organic materials and biological organisms such as algae
and bacteria, and this is one reason why high-quality pre-
treatment is required.
The process takes place at ambient temperature, and RO
membranes are usually stable only up to 35–40 1C. However,
variations in water temperature within this range still influ-
ence membrane performance. The flux through a membrane
increases with rising water temperature as the viscosity of
water decreases. Higher temperatures increase both the water
flux and salt flux, and lower rejections are obtained. Using hot
seawater flowing from the cooling system of a large power
plant, as is sometimes practiced, increases the efficiency as the
membranes are able to operate at higher flux.
A schematic presentation of an RO desalination process is
shown in Figure 8. Seawater is pumped through the pre-
treatment stage before high-pressure pumps feed the water to
the RO modules. Water then penetrates the membrane
and freshwater is recovered in the permeate stream. The high-
pressure purged concentrate contains energy that may be
recovered using turbines or pressure-exchange devices. The
osmotic pressure of seawater, as an example, varies between 24
bars to twice as much for the concentrate at 50% recovery.
Operating pressures therefore, vary between 60 and 80 bars for
seawater desalination in order to allow sufficient permeation
of water through the membrane at the relatively high con-
centrations of the brine along the pressure vessel. Water
recoveries of 35–50% are usual, with lower water recovery
obtained in closed seas, such as the Red Sea or the Persian
Gulf, due to higher salt concentration.
The requirement of a two-pass process during RO and
the occurrence of membrane fouling are discussed in the
following.
The need for a two-pass process. RO membranes are able to
selectively pass water, but the separation is not 100% and
small amounts of salt and organic compounds are also able
to pass through the membrane into the permeate. The level of
salt passage increases as the salt concentration of the water
being desalinated increases, and therefore, more salt passes
through at the end of the RO process where the salt concen-
tration is higher than at the beginning.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 83
The quality of water produced, therefore, depends on
membrane rejection properties together with the degree
of water recovery and the system design. Relatively small,
uncharged molecules such as carbon dioxide, silica, and boric
acid may penetrate the membrane and reduce water quality.
Silica and CO
2
concentrations in the permeate usually present
no issues for downstream use where the presence of CO
2
assists in dissolving CaCO
3
in the stabilization process. The
presence of silica can be a problem for specialized industrial
uses such as the fabrication of microelectronic components,
where ultrapure water is required. However, salt and boron
permeation through RO membranes remains problematic.
Seawater contains approximately 5 ppm boron, which
reduces to a value slightly greater than 1ppm of boron after
treatment through a RO membrane. Boron is an important
component for plant growth; however, high concentrations
are harmful and cause significant reduction in yield for
many crops. Boron may be removed from water by ion
exchange (Nadav, 1999), by using secondary or higher RO
stages (Redondo et al., 2003; Glueckstern and Priel, 2003; see
Figure 9; Faigon and Liberman (2003)), by increasing the pH
of the water on the feed side of the membrane (Rodriguez-
Pastor et al., 2001; Prats et al., 2000), and by using electro-
dialysis reversal (EDR) applied on the product. A combination
of these techniques is also suitable (Sagiv and Semiat, 2004).
The current demand in Israel is to produce water containing
less than 0.4 ppm (of boron) in Ashkelon and less than
0.3 ppm in Hadera – a plant that has been operating since
early January 2010. The reason for this is related to the
recovery of wastewater that remains after the use of desalin-
ated water. Boron reaches the wastewater from different
sources, and this may damage crops irrigated by treated
wastewater. This requirement for low boron concentrations in
the treated water has resulted in Ashkelon using up to three
permeate stages of RO membranes to remove boron to con-
centrations below 0.4ppm. This also results in a significant
reduction of the dissolved salt concentration.
Reduction of salt content in the product obtained after
seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) is a by-product of boron
removal by a second RO stage applied on the product. If
boron removal is performed using another technique, a sec-
ondary RO stage is still needed to improve the TDS quality, as
concentrations of above 600ppm are still found after the first
pass. The types of membranes used in each pass differ, with
SWRO membranes used in the first pass where the concen-
tration of salt is very high and brackish water reverse osmosis
(BWRO) membranes used in the second pass where the
salt concentration is lower. SWRO membranes have higher
rejection of salt, while BWRO membranes operate at higher
flux enabling cost reductions to be achieved. Typical operating
fluxes are 13–17l m
À2
h
À1
in the first SWRO stage and
30–40l m
À2
h
À1
in the second BWRO stage.
The improvement in membrane rejection of boron and
salts has reduced this problem; however, there is still a need
for a BWRO second stage to partially treat the product water in
order to produce water of a satisfactory quality.
The high-pressure driving force for SWRO is reduced along
the module in a single-pass system. The mode of operation
using six to eight membranes in a module, at a constant
pressure (minus the friction along the membranes) reduces
the driving force applied to desalinate the water. The differ-
ence between the operating pressure and the osmotic pressure
at the first membrane may be 40–45 bars, while at the exit, on
the last membrane it is of the order of 15–20 bars. It is
obvious that the flux declines along the module to less than
30% of the starting flux of the first membrane. The flux
depends on the operating pressure, the operating temperature,
as well as on the salt concentration. Different membranes are
available in the market; yet the order of magnitude of flux is
up to 40 l m
À2
h
À1
. The difference in driving force causes un-
even load on the different membranes, that is, higher pressure
drop at the entrance causes significant concentration polar-
ization (CP) close to the membrane surfaces at the entrance
to the membranes modules, and hence increased fouling.
Operating an increased number of passes allows changes in
the operating pressure to get a better distribution of the
driving force. Theoretically, using a large number of brine
stages while maintaining low operating pressure, just above
the osmotic pressure, may save some energy in the process,
down to the theoretical minimal thermodynamic energy for
separation, but at the expense of the equipment, which would
have to bear a high number of membranes and pressure
vessels. Between the two extremes, it is possible to use two or
three passes to gain some energy reduction and improved
operational conditions. A two-stage operation can be used
with two pumps that feed the two stages in a series; the first
pump elevates the feed to 35–45 bars, while the second pump
takes the concentrate of the first stage and increases the pres-
sure for the second stage. The second stage may be operated by
a turbine that is based on the brine of the first stage to increase
the pressure to the second stage (e.g., Tuas SWRO Plant,
Singapore).
Membrane fouling and cleaning. Despite all precautions
taken to improve the quality of water entering the membranes,
membrane fouling occurs and frequent cleaning is required.
While salt precipitation mainly occurs in brackish-water
membranes, corrosion products may also accumulate, usually
close to the spacer between the membranes. Suspended matter
that was not removed during the pretreatment process may
also accumulate on membrane surfaces, along with dissolved
organic matter that concentrates in the thin layer close to
the membrane skin. The latter may enhance biofilm growth
on membranes if bacteria also reach the membrane surface.
Accumulation of a fouling layer on the membrane is a process
that enhances itself, with the rate of fouling increasing as
fouling progresses. Clogging of a membrane reduces the flux
through the membrane and the overall performance of the
plant. All this calls for frequent membrane cleaning. The exact
timing is dictated by the need to control fouling to a low level,
while reducing the frequency of cleaning to maintain pro-
duction capacity and minimize the consumption of chemicals.
Initial acidification of the seawater feed may release CO
2
from the water and may reduce the possibility of CaCO
3
precipitation. The accumulation of organic matter may be
removed partially by using sodium hydroxide (saponifi-
cation). Membranes are also frequently cleaned with acid
that releases some contaminants from membrane surfaces,
particularly inorganic foulants. The cleaning process needs to
be performed while the solutions are flowing along the
membrane in order to remove fouling species that are released
84 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
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during the cleaning process. Excessive suspended solids in this
stage may accumulate in the spacer between the membranes
and clog the flow path.
Unlike other filters and even MF/UF membranes, NF and
RO membranes are not subjected to a backwashing process.
The main reason is the fear that the delicate layer that deter-
mines the separation properties of the membrane may be re-
moved during the backwash process, causing severe damage to
the membrane. However, it was found recently, that controlled
osmotic backwashing, applied without damaging pressure,
may be useful in removing contaminants from the membrane.
The technique may be applied in different ways:

Shut down the feedwater occasionally for a short time. This will
allow immediate osmotic backwash of the membrane.
Water will penetrate the membrane at fluxes that are a
function of the local salt concentration along the mem-
brane. More water will penetrate the high-concentration
locations that are more prone to scale deposition and might
dissolve small, precipitated scale on the membrane (Sagiv
and Semiat, 2005; Sagiv et al., 2008).
• Reduce the operating pressure of the concentrate side of the
membrane to a pressure below the osmotic pressure in the system.
Water will penetrate the membrane but the backwash flow
rate will be reduced.

Allow a wave of highly concentrated solution to pass through the
feed channel without changing the operating condition. Back-
wash flow will increase but it is necessary to maintain a
stock of a highly concentrated solution for this task (Lib-
erman, 2004a, 2004b).
• Increase the permeate pressure to a level that allows back flow.
This pressure should be below the concentrate side pressure
on the feed side. Masaaki and Toshiyuki (2001)issued pa-
tents on a similar backwash using air pressure from the
permeate side. However, this requires high-pressure piping
on the permeate side of the membrane as well, and this will
increase equipment cost significantly.
4.04.2.4 Desalination Process Costs
Most of the evaporation processes were built along the coast of
the Persian Gulf and some were also built on remote islands.
Usually, they are connected to power stations. The real cost of
these systems is not clear due to different calculations based
on the real cost of energy. Estimations for SWRO are about
US$0.55–1 m
À3
of freshwater produced.
There are promising signs for reducing desalination costs
by analyzing the cost components. Table 2 presents an esti-
mated cost breakdown of desalinated water produced in a
modern plant, taking into account partially, the changing
trend of energy costs. The main constituent is, of course, the
capital and financial cost. This is composed of the cost of the
main items of the equipment: feed tanks, pretreatment fil-
tration units, pumps, turbines and piping, controls, mem-
branes, and membranes housing post-treatment and product
tanks. One way to reduce desalination costs is to seek possi-
bilities for cost reduction in each of the above items of
equipment. Some items of equipment are restricted to the
desalination industry and their cost may simply go down due
to market forces. Investment in sophisticated automation and
control equipment can result in lower water costs by main-
taining stable high throughputs and savings in manpower
costs. As can be seen from Table 2, manpower costs are
no longer significant, since modern desalination plants may
operate largely unattended.
Energy is the main cost component to consider. The energy
cost can be reduced by the use of a dedicated gas-turbine
power station. A dedicated power station is more efficient than
the grid because it is insensitive to the familiar sine-curve
power consumption, due to fluctuations between day versus
night and summer versus winter electricity demand. Modern
devices for energy conservation also act to reduce energy cost
though at the expense of increased capital cost. Wilf (2004)
presents in Table 3 all the energy-demand components in
a two- pass RO desalination plant. Others may claim that
the relative low-pressure pumping costs are higher due to the
distances to and from the plant. More information on RO
costing history can be found in Glueckstern (2004). Costing
information on the Ashkelon plant, which has been the largest
RO desalination plant in the world for the last 4 years may
be found in Kronenberg (2004) and Velter (2004). Figure 10
shows a picture of the Ashkelon plant, which has an operating
capacity of 108 million m
3
yr
À1
.
Compliance with proper operational procedures and
implementation of a careful maintenance program can also
reduce desalination costs by minimizing replacements of
damaged membranes, lessening the use of cleaning chemicals,
and reducing the inventory of membranes and spare parts.
Membranes are often replaced after 5 years, but good pre-
treatment and cleaning practices can extend membrane life to
10 or more years (Montgomery et al., 2006).
The design of a desalination plant in which it is envisaged
that the operators are insufficiently trained, will invariably
be based on exaggerated safety factors. Well-trained and
Table 2 Cost estimation – modern project
Item Cost (%)
Capital 34
Energy 38
Chemicals 5
Manpower 3
Replacement parts 9
Membranes replacement 5
Insurance 1
Overhead 5
Table 3 Power usage in RO sweater plant with partial second stage
Item Cost (%)
High-pressure pump 80.6
High-pressure pump, 2nd unit 3.8
Product transfer pumps 6.7
Seawater supply 4.5
Pretreatment system 2.6
Miscellaneous 1.8
From Wilf M (2004) Fundamentals and cost of RO–NF technology. In: Proceedings of
the International Conference on Desalination Costing, pp. 18–31. Limassol, Cyprus.
86 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
experienced operators can extract a higher production
capacity from a desalination plant by identifying and debug-
ging bottlenecks.
Electrodialysis (ED), or EDR, is operated by applying a
direct current (DC) electrical field across membrane stacks.
Ions are transferred through semipermeable membranes into
concentrated streams, leaving behind dilute salt solution. This
was considered to be a promising technique, mainly attributed
to the relative insensitivity of the membranes for fouling,
and due to the thermodynamic transfer properties of this
technique. Unfortunately, the technique did not succeed in
taking the naturally expected position among other processes.
Currently, the technique is used mainly for brackish-water
desalination, and water purification (Thampy et al., 1999).
EDR membranes are also used to remove special salts such as
nitrates from slightly polluted waters. Strathmann (2004)
reports the costing of the ED process.
4.04.2.5 Quality of Water Produced
Thermal processes typically produce water containing between
5 and 50ppm of TDS, with the relative concentration ratios of
mineral ions similar to that in the feed seawater. Therefore, the
problem of high boron concentrations in the product water
does not exist. Feedwater containing dissolved volatile organic
compounds, however will generate, unless special care is
taken, water contaminated with the same components. This is
true for both RO and evaporation techniques.
4.04.2.5.1 Increase in water hardness/water stabilization
The product water of both thermal and membrane-desalin-
ation process is aggressive, tends to corrode iron pipes, and
dissolves protective layers containing calcium and other salts
on the inner sides of the mains. This may result in the phe-
nomenon called ‘red water’, which is a release of corrosion
products by water that dissolves the pipes’ protective layer of
CaCO
3
. Water needs, therefore, post treatment that usually
includes an increase in the pH level, addition of Ca (up to the
level of about 100 ppm as CaCO
3
), and alkalinity, namely
HCO
3
À
(also to a level up to 100ppm as CaCO
3
), according
to local water regulations. This is often achieved by carbon
dioxide addition or sulfuric acid addition to limestone. The
need for addition of magnesium salt is currently under review
by the WHO, as magnesium helps prevent heart disease.
Additionally, trace amounts of sulfur are required to ensure
good plant growth.
Desalinated seawater contains bromide, and when dis-
infected with chlorine, brominated by-products such as
bromochloroacetonitrile may form. In most applications, the
presence of these compounds is sufficiently low so as to not
compromise the final water quality (Agus and Sedlak, 2009),
but it should be considered when using seawater desalination
plants.
4.04.2.6 Environmental Aspects
Desalination processes may be characterized by their effluent
discharges to the environment, the air, the nearby land, and
to the seas. Desalination is dependent on energy and usually
uses energy derived from fossil-fuel sources. Air pollution is
associated with energy production, that is, emission of NO
x
,
SO
2
, volatile compounds, particulate, CO
2
, and water, etc.,
either by using electricity produced by a conventional power
station or by using a dedicated power station. Operation of
dedicated gas turbines at high-efficiency levels will reduce the
amount of contaminants to the atmosphere. Several desalin-
ation plants in Australia have offset their energy use with
renewable energy, such as the Perth desalination plant (Crisp,
2009). The Perth plant included the construction of an
82-MW wind farm. While this produces sufficient power to
drive the desalination plant, the intermittent nature of
the power source means that base-load power sources are
still required. This increases the cost of water as electricity
is a significant cost in desalination operations, but it is
Figure 10 The Ashkelon plant – 100 million m
3
yr
À1
during 2005. From IDE Technologies Ltd. http://www.ide-tech.com/projects/ashkelon-israel-bot-
swro-plant (accessed April 2010).
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 87
used to offset the carbon dioxide emissions associated with
desalination.
Effluents of desalination plants contain relatively highly
concentrated water, which depend on the water recovery
from the feed brine. In case of seawater desalination, rejected
brine is concentrated almost to twice the concentration of
the original seawater solution. The concentrate also contains
chemicals used in the pretreatment of the feedwater. The latter
may contain low concentrations of anti-scalants, surfactants,
and acid added to the feedwater that reduces the pH. To this
may be added occasional washing solutions or rejected back-
wash slurries from feedwater pretreatment. At small-scale
operation, the problem is mild and no serious damage to
marine life is likely. At large scales of water production, the
problem is more serious; however, dilution and spreading of
effluents usually solves the problem. Natural chemicals that
do not harm the environment will probably replace the added
chemicals, in the future. The current trends in concentrate
disposal is to transfer it into the deep sea, sending jets upward
in a few directions, at an angle to the horizon, enabling
the concentrate to be diluted very close to the concentration
of the sweater. Another approach is to mix the concentrate
with the cooling water leaving a large power station before
discharge. These techniques minimize the influence of the
concentrate on the sea environment.
4.04.2.7 Energy Issues
Desalination, as a separation process, needs energy. The cur-
rent specific energy for RO desalination was reduced signifi-
cantly during the last decade and it is now not far from the
limiting theoretical thermodynamic minimum. This has been
achieved by the development of large pumps with efficiencies
as high as 92%, and modern efficient turbines and energy-
recovery devices. The newer devices are the turbocharger,
pressure exchanger, or work exchangers – the names adopted
by different producers represent efficient ways to recover the
energy content of the high-pressure concentrate. More details
on energy-recovery devices may be found in Voutchkov and
Semiat (2008).
Turbines are used to turn the concentrate pressure into the
velocity of jets that spin a wheel. This is used either to reduce
the power consumption of the motor that drives the pump, or
in conjunction with the turbine pump, to boost the pressure
of the feed to a second stage. There were other methods that
were used to exchange the pressure of the brine concentrate by
simple devices that transfer the pressure to the seawater feed.
Using these new techniques, significant reductions in power
consumption have been achieved. For example, processing
of Mediterranean seawater at a recovery of 50% needs
only 2.7 kWh
À1
m
À3
produced by recovering the concentrate
energy with turbines. Pressure exchangers can go even lower
to 2.2 kWh
À1
m
3
water produced. Since more energy is con-
sumed for the feed and concentrate pumping and for the
pretreatment stages, the overall energy needs are below
3.7 kWh
À1
m
À3
produced from seawater.
The energy cost of an optimized desalination plant is
around 30–40% of the total cost of water. The cost is based
on optimization of the operation and the exchange between
energy and equipment. This optimization is made during the
design of the plant; yet, the cost of energy may vary signifi-
cantly during the lifetime of the project. During the course of
writing this chapter, the cost of natural oil increased signifi-
cantly in comparison with the cost at the design stage of, say,
the Ashkelon plant. It is difficult to change the optimal design
of the plant after it is built. However, using RO membranes
while considering possible changes of energy cost, it is pos-
sible to minimize the losses by designing for lower possible
energy consumption at the expense of equipment costs.
A 100-million m
3
RO based seawater desalination plant
demands an electrical energy supply of less than 40 MW.
A dedicated power station can work at much higher efficiency
than a regular power station for this purpose, since it is
operated constantly without the known sine wave that repre-
sents day–night and summer–winter changes in consumption.
Higher efficiency is expected for gas turbines, since the high
temperature of the gases may also be used. Therefore, the real
energy needed is lower than that for other common uses.
Environmentalists are often heard criticizing the levels of en-
ergy consumption for water desalination. Water is needed for
the many people on Earth and for meeting their basic needs.
This is of higher priority for the use of energy compared to its
use in air-conditioning and/or large, high-energy consuming
cars. More on energy consumption and comparison with other
forms of energy usage may be found in Semiat (2008).
Environmental concern arising from the CO
2
green-house
effect associated with the use of hydrocarbon fuel, has led to
the goal of supplying desalination energy from renewable
energy sources. While writing this chapter, the cost of a barrel
of oil is higher than US$70. With this trend, renewable energy
sources may be soon compatible and economic for general
electricity production. At this stage, they will also be suitable
for desalination purposes.
No doubt, more effort should be directed toward the use of
renewable sources of energy. The real test, however, for any
new source of energy is its acceptance as a common source of
energy. The savings on CO
2
emissions need to replace other
forms of energy use and not be used for the very delicate issue
of desalination for freshwater production. Using nuclear
energy, which is currently more expensive than fossil-fuel-de-
rived energy, is dangerous in areas where political instabilities
exist. It is also problematic where the technology is not
available locally and the technology, expertise, and skilled
manpower need to be imported.
A possible way for efficient use of energy in a sufficiently
large desalination plant is to design a hybrid plant consisting
of a membrane unit and/or a VC unit (Awerbuch, 1997b),
using electrical energy, and a multi-effect evaporation plant,
using heat. Such an operation is common in the chemical
industry. The energy costs are minimized by coupling the
desalination plant with a dedicated power plant generating
electricity and waste heat at optimal economic conditions.
One of the benefits that can be claimed from the day–
night, summer–winter electricity-production cycle is that
it can produce desalinated water during the night when lower
power is consumed. The main disadvantage is that the de-
salination equipment will not be in use for a high percentage
of the time. This is unlikely to be economical, since, as in
any modern plant, the production cost is more expensive if
the equipment is not in full use. In other words, an efficient
88 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
desalination plant needs to be operated round the clock, 24 h
a day, 365 days a year, with exceptions for maintenance only.
During this time, it needs the full supply of energy, at the
lowest cost.
Since energy is so important for desalination, a few com-
ments on possible energy use that may significantly reduce
desalination costs are made.
With respect to the use of spent energy from large steam-
power plants, it is well known that steam cycle power stations
purge large amounts of energy at the steam-condensing stage
at the turbine exit. This source of heat may be combined with
a thermal desalination technique in order to supply the pri-
mary steam, as in MSF and MED (Awerbuch, 1997a, 2004).
A modern, efficient power station releases the exhausted steam
at around 35–40 1C, which is too low for the proper operation
of the desalination plant. It is required, therefore, to release
steam at elevated pressure and temperature using back-
pressure turbines that fit in with the desalination-plant needs.
This, of course, will cause some loss of production at the
power-generation plant; therefore, there is a need to integrate
and optimize the two processes together. Such designs are
extremely difficult to perform if two different authorities are
involved – power and water production (El-Nashar, 1997).
This type of hybridization was successfully employed in the
Persian Gulf countries when the same authority controlled the
two industries. However, there is always a difference between
the demand for electricity and the demand for water, and this
is the main reason it is not implemented in other places.
4.04.3 Brackish Water
4.04.3.1 Brackish Water Desalination Applications
Brackish water, generally defined as water with TDS content
between that of freshwater (r500mg l
À1
TDS) and seawater
(33000–48 000mg l
À1
TDS), can occur naturally as brackish
groundwater in subsurface saline aquifers, as surface water
due to natural erosion, or as a result of seawater mixing with
river water (in estuaries) or groundwater (in coastal aquifers).
Natural brackish water, particularly brackish groundwater,
exists in most continents in quantities almost equal to or
more than fresh groundwater and surface waters combined
(Shiklomanov, 1993). Human activities can also cause fresh
surface water and groundwater resources to become brackish
through consumptive use and increase in their salt loading.
For example, excessive groundwater pumping from coastal
aquifers can cause salt-water intrusion that extends the
brackish water zone of mixing inland, while saline return
flows from irrigated agricultural lands can increase the salt
loading of surface waterways. Some agricultural irrigation
practices such as subsurface tile drainage often generate agri-
cultural drainage waters that are highly brackish. Similarly,
mining activities can also generate mine-drainage waters that
are brackish and contaminated with heavy metals.
In the past, brackish-water desalination applications have
been limited to small-scale municipal and industrial appli-
cations. It is especially popular in the USA as it accounts for
the majority (B77%) of the nation’s total online-desalination
capacity (Committee on Advancing Desalination Technology,
2008). One of the early large-scale inland brackish-water
desalting plant, the Yuma Desalting Plant in Arizona (USA)
(Lohman, 2003), was completed in 1993 for the purpose of
supplementing Colorado River water deliveries to Mexico (via
desalting brackish agricultural water return flows; B2500mgl
À1
TDS). Although its production capacity remains the largest in
the world for a brackish-water desalting plant (272 500m
3
d
À1
or 72 million gallons a day (MGD)), the plant was operational
for only two occasions in 1994 and has remained offline
(although well maintained). With dwindling freshwater
supplies and maturing RO/NF and ED/EDR process technol-
ogies, desalting of under-utilized brackish groundwater
and surface-water resources has attracted significant interest.
Some recent (2000–10) large-scale brackish-water desalting
installations include the Aigu¨ es Ter-Llobregat’s (ATLL) Plant
(Spain; 220000m
3
d
À1
), the Al Wasia Plant (Saudi Arabia;
200000m
3
d
À1
), the El Atabal Plant (Spain; 165000m
3
d
À1
),
the Wadi Ma’in Plant (Jordan; 135000m
3
d
À1
), and the K. B.
Hutchison Plant (USA; 104 000m
3
d
À1
). All of these are RO
plants, except for the ATLL plant, which is an EDR plant.
Feedwater quality plays a major role in both the design and
operation of brackish-water desalination processes. Brackish
waters vary greatly in ionic composition and content, both
temporally and geographically, depending on hydrogeologic
conditions and related human activities (i.e., industrial or
agricultural). For example, in California’s San Joaquin Valley,
one of the most productive agricultural regions in the US, tile
drainage of irrigated agricultural lands generates brackish
waters with a wide salinity range (3000–30000mg l
À1
TDS).
In Texas (USA), subsurface aquifers with salinity ranging from
1000 to 10 000mg l
À1
TDS have been estimated to hold as
much as 3 trillion m
3
of brackish groundwater. Major solutes
in brackish waters, such as sodium, chloride, calcium, sulfate,
and bicarbonate ions, typically originate from water reactions
with minerals such as halite, gypsum, anhydrite, calcite, and
dolomite. Other common minor solutes include silicates,
iron, strontium, barium, fluoride, selenium, and boron. Some
examples of brackish-water composition are listed in Table 4.
4.04.3.2 Brackish Water Desalination Technologies
The choice of brackish-water desalination technologies and
process configuration is a site-specific combination of many
factors, including source-water quality, target productivity,
product-water quality requirements, brine-disposal options,
and other local conditions and regulations (e.g., permits).
Pressure-driven membrane processes of RO and NF are pre-
dominant brackish-water desalting technologies, while elec-
trochemically driven membrane processes of ED and EDR still
maintain important niche applications. In applications where
high-purity product is of importance, electrodeionization
(EDI) processes have been integrated for product water
polishing.
Cross-flow RO/NF operation relies on applying sufficient
pressure at the feed side of ion-rejecting RO/NF membranes to
overcome the hydraulic resistance of water permeation, as well
as the osmotic pressure difference between the feed and per-
meate side of the membranes. The world’s first municipal RO
plant was commissioned in 1965 in Coalinga (CA, USA) for
desalting brackish water, just shortly after the first cellulose
acetate RO membrane (with practical hydraulic resistance and
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 89
salt rejection) was invented at the University of California, Los
Angeles (UCLA) (Loeb, 1984). Over the past two to three
decades, significant advances in polyamide thin-film-com-
posite (TFC) membranes have resulted in a new class of RO
and NF membranes with high water permeability (i.e., low
hydraulic resistance) and salt rejection, enabling cross-flow
RO/NF to operate at applied pressure levels approaching the
limit imposed by thermodynamics (i.e., the osmotic pressure
difference at the concentrate end). With larger pores than the
ones in RO membranes, NF membranes can selectively reject
divalent ions and molecular solutes over monovalent ions.
Although fouling-resistant RO/NF membranes remain elusive,
improvements in TFC membrane designs (i.e., lower surface
roughness and near-neutral surface charge) have made present
membranes less prone to fouling by suspended particulates/
colloids. Present commercial RO/NF membranes are packaged
as modular spiral-wound membrane elements of standardized
dimensions, with fluid channels formed by feed and permeate
spacers. An RO element can typically operate up to 15% water
recovery with a nominal salt rejection of about 98–99.7%.
Operating pressures are normally in the range of 10–41 bars
(150–600 pound force per square inch (psi)) for brackish
water RO membrane elements, depending on feedwater
salinity (i.e., osmotic pressure). Due to its relative simplicity
and ease of operation and maintenance, RO has become the
primary workhorse in brackish-water desalting. NF elements
usually operate at much lower pressures (B7 bar/100 psi),
with divalent ion rejection of 50–98% and monovalent ion
rejection of 20–75%. As a stand-alone or a feedwater-
pretreatment system, NF is increasingly being applied for the
removal of hardness ions (e.g., calcium and magnesium),
organics, and specific contaminants (iron, nitrates, pesticides,
herbicides, etc.).
As alternatives to RO and NF, electrodialysis (ED, EDR, or
EDI) relies on electric field to transport ions from diluate
(feed) compartments to concentrate compartments across
flat-sheet ion-exchange membranes. In an array of alternating
cation and anion membranes, separated by alternating diluate
and concentrate compartments, anions/cations migrate from
diluate compartments toward anode/cathode plates, passing
through anion-exchange/cation-exchange membranes, and
become trapped in concentrate compartments due to rejection
by adjacent cation-exchange/anion-exchange membranes.
With the development of the first ion-exchange membranes in
1948, the first commercial ED unit was built by Ionics and
deployed at an oil-field campsite in Saudi Arabia in 1953
(Reahl, 2006). The first ED plant in the USA was erected in the
city of Coalinga (1958) (Reahl, 2006) less than a decade
before the operation of the world’s first RO plant at the same
city (1965) (Loeb, 1984). In the mid-1970s, Ionics introduced
the EDR process as an improvement on its ED process,
whereby DC flow through the ED membrane stack is period-
ically reversed, along with simultaneous interchange of the
product and brine stream flows (Reahl, 2006). The periodic
reversal is touted to minimize the formation of mineral scale
on ion-exchange membranes. Furthermore, uncharged ma-
terials (e.g., some forms of silica) do not accumulate near
membrane surfaces. As ion removal is readily controlled by
the applied voltage, ED/EDR processes are also relatively more
flexible for producing a wider range of product-water purity
than RO. ED/EDR processes, however, become less efficient
with increasing product-water purity (i.e., due to reduced
Table 4 Composition of brackish water from a variety of sources (USA)
Analyte (mg l
À1
) El Paso Water Utilities, TX
Airport Wells
a
Panoche Water District
(San Joaquin Valley, CA),
DP-25 Well
b
Indian Wells Valley Water
District, CA
a
Colorado River Water,
Yuma, AZ
c
TDS 3170 8500 1630 941
Arsenic - - 0.0052 -
Barium - - - 0.1
Bicarbonate 75 274 370 212
Boron - 23.5 1.74 -
Bromide 0.05 - - -
Calcium 176 492 164 95
Chloride 1370 1190 236 164
Fluoride 0.61 - 1 -
Magnesium 38.4 255 49 34.5
Nitrate 0.11 337 72 -
Potassium 15.9 4.3 6.1 -
Selenium - 0.47 0.059 -
Silica 29.4 31.4 45 11.6
Sodium 745 1810 333 165.5
Strontium - 78 1.55 1.24
Sulfate 301 4080 570 322
a
Data on ElPaso Water Utilities, TX and Indian Valley Water District, CA, form Committee on Advancing Desalination Technology (2008) Desalination a National Perspective, Science
and Technology Board, National Research Council. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
b
Data on Panoche Water District, CA, from Cohen Y and Christofides P (2010) Reverse Osmosis Field Study, Final Report, DWR-WRCD Agreement 46000534-03, Task Order No.
22, California Department of Water Resources, 16 June 2010.
c
Data on Colorado River Water, Yuma, AZ, from Rahardianto A, Gao J, Gabliech CJ, Williams MD, and Cohen Y (2007) High recovery membrane desalting of low-salinity brackish
water: Integration of accelerated precipitation softening with membrane RO. Journal of Membrane Science 289: 123–137.
90 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
solution conductivity); ion removal is therefore typically in
the range of 50–95%. ED and EDR processes remain import-
ant in niche applications, especially for treating low-salinity
brackish-water sources (o3500–4000mg l
À1
TDS) where a
cost advantage over RO/NF may be present. EDR is sometimes
chosen over RO in desalting challenging feedwaters with high
membrane fouling/scaling tendency (e.g., waters with high
silica content) at high water-recovery levels.
Another important development in electrodialysis was in
the late 1980s, when EDI was first commercialized (Grebe-
nyuk and Grebenyuk, 2002). EDI incorporates ion-exchange
resins within ED compartments to enhance ion transport and
provide a substrate for electrochemical reactions. Specifically,
target ions displace H
þ
and OH
À
ion sites at ion-exchange
resins within the feedwater (diluate) compartments before
migrating through the anion-exchange/cation-exchange
membranes into the concentrate compartment. In addition to
driving the migration of ions, the applied electric field also
drives water-splitting reactions that continuously regenerate
ion-exchange resins in situ (with H
þ
and OH
À
ions), elimin-
ating the need to regenerate ion-exchange resins using add-
itional chemicals. While EDI cannot be reliably used to
directly desalt brackish water, it has important applications
in RO permeate water polishing with respect to specific
contaminants – a less-chemical intensive alternative to con-
ventional mixed-bed ion-exchange process.
4.04.3.3 Common Process Configuration
The present RO/NF and ED/EDR systems consist of modular
building blocks that can be configured to meet productivity
and product-quality requirements. These configurations are
briefly discussed next.
4.04.3.3.1 RO/NF process configuration
A typical RO/NF system for brackish water desalting consists
of two or more stages, with each stage consisting of pressure
vessels arranged in parallel (Figure 11). Each pressure vessel
can usually accommodate up to six to seven spiral-wound RO/
NF elements. The system is typically designed so that the
number of pressure vessels decreases from one stage to an-
other in order to compensate for the decline in the retentate
stream cross-flow velocity in the axial downstream direction
(i.e., due to water recovery). In order to cope with increasing
osmotic pressure in the downstream direction, inter-stage
booster pumps in multistage processes can be employed to
operate RO/NF stages at increasingly higher pressure ranges.
Such use of inter-stage booster pumps, from a thermodynamic
viewpoint, allows RO/NF to operate closer to the reversible
process and thus consume less energy for desalting (Zhu et al.,
2008).
A two-stage system with a 2:1 array (i.e., the first stage
has twice as many pressure vessels than the second stage)
is common for brackish water desalting at water-recovery
levels in the range of 60–80%, while three stages (3:2:1 array)
are needed for higher water-recovery levels (Figure 11). If an
inter-stage booster pump in a two-stage systems is used, per-
meate production at equal water recoveries in the first and
second stage would correspond to the energy-optimal oper-
ation (Zhu et al., 2008). It is noted that, a two-stage con-
figuration with a booster pump may require a larger total-
membrane area than without a booster pump in order to
achieve the same product water recovery. However, when high
water recovery is targeted in brackish water desalting, the
additional membrane cost is usually offset by the reduction in
energy cost associated with using an inter-stage booster pump
(Zhu et al., 2008).
4.04.3.3.2 ED/EDR process configuration
A typical ED/EDR process employs plate-and-frame stacks
of membrane cell pairs, with each cell pair consisting of an
anion-exchange and cation-exchange membrane that are sep-
arated by concentrate and diluate stream spacers. These plate-
and-frame membrane stacks can be arranged as a series of one
or more hydraulic stages (Figure 12). Electrical staging can
also be done to improve system performance and flexibility
(Figure 12). The number of stacks in series (and thus mem-
brane surface area), in addition to current density, determines
the product (the final diluate stream) quality and thus the
P
C
F
F
Single stage
Two-stage (2:1 array)
Pump
Pump
F
Booster pump
P
C
C
Three stage with booster pump (3:2:1 array)
P
Figure 11 Typical arrangements of pressure vessels for RO/NF membrane elements. F, Feed; C, concentrate; P, Permeate.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 91
water recovery. Each membrane stack can typically reduce
salinity by up to about 60% (Reahl, 2006). Single- and two-
stage systems are most common, but three- and four-stage
systems can also be competitive (compared to RO/NF; Reahl,
2006).
4.04.3.4 Major Challenges
Achieving and maintaining optimal product-water-recovery
levels (with respect to overall desalination operating costs)
are perhaps the most important challenges in the application
of membrane technology (RO, NF, ED, and EDR) for brackish-
water desalting. Product-water-recovery level dictates the
volumetric rate of desalted water production relative to
that of residual concentrate waste generation. With increasing
product water recovery, the volume of residual concentrate
waste is reduced, increasing the available options for residual
concentrate management (i.e., treatment and disposal). Op-
timal product-water-recovery levels in brackish-water desalting
are highly dependent on feedwater quality, target production
capacity, and locally available methods of concentrate dis-
posal. As the costs associated with managing residual de-
salination concentrate is typically high, especially at inland
locations, high levels of product water recovery (85–95%) are
often required for optimal desalting operations.
Effective feedwater pretreatment for preventing membrane
fouling (i.e., colloidal/particulate deposition on membranes
and feed-spacer blockage) is an operational prerequisite in
membrane-based desalting (i.e., RO/NF/ED/EDR) of brackish
water. Typical foulants in brackish water include suspended
and colloidal particulates/organic matter, as well as dissolved
organics and biological entities (that may contribute to
organic fouling and biofilm formation). Particulates/organic
matter removal via conventional coagulation, flocculation,
and sedimentation processes followed by media filtration are
common in brackish-water desalting applications. MF and UF
processes, however, are increasingly being applied due to their
superiority in providing stable influent quality to membrane-
desalting operations with respect to particulates, colloids, as
well as bacteria. In-line coagulation and media filtration
are sometimes used in conjunction with MF/UF in order to
enhance contaminant removal, minimize MF/UF pore plug-
ging, and reduce MF/UF particulate loading (Huang et al.,
2009). In some cases, media filtration may be sufficient to
remove particulates due to very low concentrations of sus-
pended solids and organic matter (e.g., as in the case of some
brackish groundwater). In other cases, pretreatment to remove
specific constituents such as dissolved iron, manganese,
and sulfides may be necessary as their oxidation may lead
to in situ precipitation in membrane systems (US Bureau of
Reclamation, 2003). Feedwater disinfection by chlorination/
chloroamination is also used sometimes when biofouling
is of a concern (e.g., in brackish wastewater). However, de-
chlorination may be necessary prior to membrane-desalting
operations because, unlike present EDR membranes which
have high chlorine resistance, present polyamide TFC RO
membranes can only tolerate very low levels of chlorine/
chloroamine residuals (i.e., carryover from pretreatment)
due to oxidation of the polyamide active layer. Careful selec-
tion of plant equipment and piping materials are also
necessary to avoid material leaching that can contaminate
feedwater with foulants or membrane-damaging substances.
For example, contamination of RO feedwater with phthalate
ester from reinforced polyester pipe have been shown to
cause fouling and damage to RO membranes (Hasson et al.,
1996).

+
+

+


+
HS-1
HS-1
HS-1
HS-2
HS-3
ES-1
ES-2
HS-2
Figure 12 Examples of hydraulic staging (HS) and electrical staging (ES) of ED/EDR membrane stacks. Adapted from US Bureau of Reclamation
(USBR) (2003) Desalting Handbook for Planners, 3rd edn. Washington, DC: USBR.
92 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
Effective feedwater pretreatment methods for mitigating
membrane fouling (particulates/colloidal fouling, as well as
biofouling) are available and routinely employed in RO
desalination. However, the main bottleneck that remains
to achieving high product water recovery in brackish water
desalting is membrane mineral scaling – the deposition and
crystallization of sparingly soluble mineral salts on membrane
surfaces (e.g., gypsum (CaSO
4
Á 2H
2
O), BaSO
4
, SrSO
4
, CaCO
3
,
SiO
2
, etc.). Mineral scaling can occur in pressure-driven
(RO/NF) and electrochemically driven (ED/EDR) membrane
processes when dissolved mineral-salt concentrations near
membrane surfaces are brought above solubility limits with
increasing product water recovery. Mineral scale blocks
membrane surfaces and thus degrades membrane perform-
ance (e.g., permeate flux decline in RO/NF and increase
in electrical resistance in ED/EDR). The primary strategy
of membrane-scaling mitigation is feedwater conditioning,
which involves dosing of chemical additives to alter feedwater
chemistry. Common feedwater conditioning methods include
feedwater pH adjustment and anti-scalant treatment. Feed-
water pretreatment to remove inorganic and organic particu-
lates/colloids is also critical not only to minimize blockage of
feed channels and particulate/colloidal fouling, but also to
minimize the presence of solid surfaces that can promote the
nucleation of mineral-salt crystals.
Common feedwater pretreatment/conditioning methods
do not remove mineral-scale ionic precursors of mineral sca-
lants. These methods typically allow membrane-desalting
operations to concentrate feedwater to limited solution
supersaturation levels with respect to mineral scalants
(Hydranautics, 2008). The upper limit of solution super-
saturation levels, as constrained by the effectiveness of feed-
water pretreatment and conditioning methods, impose a limit
on product water recovery (i.e., the membrane mineral scaling
threshold) at a level that is often suboptimal with respect to
overall desalination operating costs. Furthermore, the dif-
ficulty in identifying membrane-scaling threshold in real time,
coupled by temporal variations in feedwater quality, often
leads to operation of RO/NF or ED/EDR processes at water-
recovery levels well below the membrane mineral scaling
threshold. In order to achieve and maintain desalting oper-
ation at optimal water-recovery levels, several key challenges
must be addressed, including managing the impact of feed-
water-quality variability, early detection and mitigation of
membrane mineral scaling, methods for enhancing water
recovery, and management of residual-desalination concen-
trate (i.e., treatment and disposal).
4.04.3.4.1 Concentration polarization and membrane
mineral scaling
One of the primary factors affecting membrane fouling and
mineral-scale formation in RO/NF and ED/EDR processes
is CP. As separation process takes place at the membrane–
solution interface, the concentrations of solutes near the
membrane surface are higher relative to the bulk solution. In
cross-flow RO/NF processes, pressure-driven convective flux of
solution toward the membrane, coupled by ion rejection and
water permeation at the membrane–solution interface, leads
to the accumulation of solute near the membrane surface,
generating a concentration-boundary layer along the axial
flow direction (Figure 13). CP enhances the osmotic pressure
difference across the membrane, reducing the net pressure
driving force for water permeation. In the case of ED/EDR
processes, ions are transported from one solution compart-
ment to another under the influence of an applied electric
field, passing through or rejected by ion-exchange membranes.
The rate of ion transport to ion-exchange membranes, and
thus the efficiency of the separation process, is limited by mass
transfer in the concentration-boundary layer that develops
near the membrane–solution interface. In both RO/NF and
ED/EDR processes, local hydrodynamics strongly affect CP,
leading to spatial variation of solute concentrations near
membrane surfaces. Mitigation of membrane mineral-scale
formation must therefore consider not only average CP levels
in membrane systems, but most importantly the local CP
extremes that may occur, particularly at flow-stagnation points
(Lyster et al., 2009; Rahardianto et al., 2006). Advanced
numerical methods (e.g., two-dimensional (2D) and 3D
computational fluid dynamics) can be used to elucidate the
impact of CP on scale formation (Lyster et al., 2009; Lyster and
Cohen, 2007). A simple experimental procedure has also been
developed for predicting average CP levels in RO membrane
elements, based on measurements of permeate-flux decline
induced by the osmotic pressure of saline solutions (relative to
a salt-free solution) (Sutzkover et al., 2000).
With the establishment of solution supersaturation due to
CP, the process of membrane mineral-scale formation can take
place. Specifically, crystal nucleation and growth may occur in
the concentration-boundary layer and directly on the mem-
brane surface (Gilron and Hasson, 1987; Lee et al., 1999).
Growth of deposited or surface-nucleated precipitates leads to
the formation of impermeable mineral scale that progressively
blocks membrane-active area. Mineral scalants commonly
encountered in brackish-water desalting include gypsum, cal-
cium carbonate, strontium sulfate, barium sulfate, silicates,
U(x)
Feed
Q
f
,C
f
P
p H/2
Concentrate
Permeate
J
w
(x)
C
m
(x ) RO membrane
Feed
H/2
Q
c
,C
c
Permeate
Q
p
,C
p
P
p
Concentration-
boundary layer
C
b
Figure 13 Cross-flow RO in a membrane channel. Q
f
, Q
c
, and Q
p
refer to volumetric flow rates of feed, concentrate, and permeate streams,
respectively; C
f
, C
c
, and C
p
represent solute concentration in feed, concentrate, and permeate streams, respectively; C
m
(x) is the solute concentration
at the membrane surface; C
b
is the solute concentration in the bulk solution; and U(x) is the cross-flow velocity.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 93
and calcium phosphate. The kinetics and thermodynamics
of mineral-scale formation and the resulting scale structure
and morphology are influenced by water chemistry, solution
composition, solution saturation levels, temperature, pressure,
surface properties, and near-surface hydrodynamic conditions
(So¨ hnel and Garside, 1992), as well as the presence of crys-
tallization retarders (e.g., antiscalants). Coagulant carryover
(e.g., alum) from pretreatment coagulation can cause mem-
brane scaling by associating with other components such as
silica (e.g., aluminum silicates).
4.04.3.4.2 Mitigation of membrane mineral scaling
The most common feedwater conditioning methods for
mitigating mineral-scale formation are feedwater pH adjust-
ment and antiscalant treatment (Taylor and Jacobs, 1996).
Owing to the acid–base chemistry of carbonic acid, pH
adjustment via acid dosing (HCl or H
2
SO
4
) can lower the
supersaturation level of carbonate minerals by keeping car-
bonate ions protonated. Antiscalant treatment involves dosing
of antiscalant chemicals that kinetically retard scale formation.
Antiscalants do not prevent crystallization but delay nucle-
ation and retard growth of mineral salt crystals to an extent
that depends primarily on solution supersaturation level and
antiscalant type and dose. Most antiscalants are formulations
of polyelectrolytes (e.g., polyacrylic acids, carboxylic acids,
polymaleic acids, organo-phosphates, polyphosphates, phos-
phonates, etc.) with molecular weight ranging from 2000 to
10000 Dalton (Hydranautics, 2008). Dispersants are also
commonly included in antiscalants formulations; their func-
tion is to keep bulk-formed crystals and colloids in suspen-
sion, minimizing their deposition and contribution to scale
formation.
The upper limits of antiscalant treatment effectiveness are
usually specified by manufacturers in terms of a maximum-
solution supersaturation level with respect to the specific
mineral scalant of concern, quantified as SI
x
¼IAP/K
sp
(where
IAP and K
sp
are the activity and solubility products for ions
that form mineral salt x, respectively). Antiscalant manu-
facturers, for example, typically recommend that SI
g
(gypsum)
and SI
b
(barium sulfate) be kept below 2.3–4 and 60–80,
respectively, in order to ensure effective antiscalant treatment
(Hydranautics, 2008). As membrane scaling is often a slow
kinetic process that may involve multiple types of mineral
scalants, solubility considerations alone may be insufficient
for determining the appropriate type and optimal dosing of
antiscalants. It has been reported that overdosing can cause
certain antiscalants to precipitate out of solution (Hydranau-
tics, 2008), as well as to increase biofouling potential (van der
Hoek et al., 2000). Therefore, it is often necessary to resort to
experimental methods to determine the specific antiscalant
effectiveness for the water source under consideration. Anti-
scalants, for example, can be ranked based on dosage-in-
duction time relationships for the expected maximum levels of
supersaturation in the membrane systems of interest, using
solution conditions of interest (e.g., composition, pH, and
temperature) (Shih et al., 2004). The effectiveness of various
types of antiscalants in preventing membrane mineral scaling
has been assessed in membrane systems for the case of cal-
cium carbonate (Hasson et al., 1998; Drak et al., 2000; Lisitsin
et al., 2005; Lisitsin et al., 2009), gypsum (Hasson et al., 2001,
2003), silica (Semiat et al., 2001, 2003a, 2003b), and calcium
phosphate (Greenberg et al., 2005). Novel methods have also
been developed to assess the effectiveness of antiscalants via
direct optical imaging of membrane surfaces in real time
during the membrane-separation process (Kim et al., 2009), as
well as for rapid off-line membrane analysis (Rahardianto
et al., 2006). In Figure 14, for example, the impact of alu-
minum chlorohydrate (ACH), ferric chloride, and poly-DAD-
MAC (poly-diallyldimethylammonium chloride) flocculants/
coagulants on antiscalant effectiveness (Flocon 260) in re-
tarding gypsum scale formation is compared based on optical
images from membrane-scaling runs conducted at the same
initial CP level (Kim et al., 2009).
In addition to feedwater conditioning (i.e., antiscalant
treatment and feedwater pH adjustment), adjustment of
operating conditions to alter CP levels can also facilitate the
mitigation of membrane mineral scaling. In EDR processes,
for example, polarity reversal with simultaneous interchange
of feed and concentrate flows periodically renews the CP layer
and can therefore reset the crystallization induction time.
In RO/NF processes, CP level is typically minimized by
maintaining a reasonable level of permeate flux near the
membrane-element-concentrate fluid exit and providing a
sufficiently high value of cross-flow velocity. Recently, feed-
flow reversal in RO/NF operation has been demonstrated as
an effective approach for mitigating membrane scaling in
some brackish-water desalting applications (Uchymiak et al.,
2009). Using this approach, periodic changes of the feed-flow
direction reverses the axial direction of the concentration–
boundary-layer development. In the forward-flow direction,
membrane areas near the concentrate fluid exit, which are
prone to scale formation (near fluid exit), are exposed to
higher solute concentration. By reversing the flow, just before
scaling occurs, the same membrane area becomes exposed to
lower solute concentration, thereby resetting the crystal-
lization induction times. Feed-flow reversal, however, is most
effective when the feedwater is undersaturated with respect
to the mineral scalants of concern. In addition to feed-flow
reversal, the feasibility and effectiveness of osmotic back-
washing of spiral-wound RO membrane elements have also
been demonstrated (Sagiv and Semiat, 2005; Sagiv et al.,
2008). Unlike pressure-based backwashing in MF and UF
systems, osmotic backwashing involves changes in pressure-
concentration conditions across the membrane to induce os-
motic driving force for periodic reversal in permeate-flow
direction. The method has been shown to be effective in
minimizing membrane fouling without causing delamination
of the polyamide active layer of RO membranes.
4.04.3.4.3 Managing the impact of feedwater-quality
variation
Feedwater-quality variability has important implications for
brackish-water desalting since optimal RO/NF and ED/EDR
plant designs are source-water dependent; plants operate best
when the feedwater quality is consistent. Feedwater quality
governs the required feed pretreatment to prevent membrane
fouling and scaling, and the required applied pressure (for
RO/NF) or electrochemical driving forces (for ED/EDR) for
94 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
achieving a given water-recovery level. In developing a
brackish-water desalting plant, for example, the feedwater-
intake location and hydrogeologic conditions (e.g., salinity
variation with depth and time for groundwater, etc.) must
be investigated carefully given the potential for spatial and
temporal variability in source-water quality. The desalting
process must then be selected, designed, and configured
to cope with site-specific challenges with respect to energy
requirements, membrane-scaling mitigation, and residual
concentrate waste management. Plant-operating conditions
must be selected and adjusted to cope with temporal fluctu-
ations in water-production level that may be imposed
due to feedwater-quality variations, which in turn can sig-
nificantly affect CP, membrane-scaling tendency, and energy
consumption.
Present RO/NF and ED/EDR plants commonly manage
temporal variability in source-water quality by applying process
control (automated or manual) for the sole purpose of main-
taining process productivity. Process-control systems, however,
can be designed to enable adaptive operation of these pro-
cesses. For RO/NF processes, for example, optimal time-varying
operating policy with respect to energy consumption has been
proposed (Zhu et al., 2009). Specifically, recent work has
demonstrated that, in order to maintain a constant permeate
flow in the presence of feed-salinity fluctuation, feedwater-
flow rate and operating pressure can be selected to minimize
energy consumption. The work suggests that, by applying
a real-time optimization routine in a control system, adaptive
operation of RO/NF processes with respect to temporal feed-
water-quality variation can keep energy consumption at
minimum.
Present RO/NF and ED/EDR plants commonly operate at
reduced water-recovery levels in order to enable safe operation
when feedwater quality can drive the process toward the
fouling and/or mineral-scaling thresholds. This conservative
process operation is a precaution that must be taken since
present traditional measures of plant-performance trends (e.g.,
primarily permeate-flux decline and salt passage in RO/NF
desalting) do not guarantee sufficient early detection of
membrane fouling and mineral scaling. Although various
methods of scale and fouling detection have been proposed
(Chen et al., 2004), it is only recently that real-time early de-
tection of the onset of scale formation has become possible
(Uchymiak et al., 2007). For RO/NF processes, for example,
Figure 14 Optical images of membrane surfaces at three different times during membrane scaling tests: (a) without additives, and with the addition
of (b) with antiscalant and aluminum chlorohydrate (ACH) H (c) antiscalant and ferric chloride, and (d) antiscalant and poly-DADMAC. Adapted from
Kim M-M, Au J, Rahardianto A, et al. (2009) Impact of conventional water treatment coagulants on mineral scaling in RO desalting of brackish water.
Industrial and Engineering Chemical Research 48: 3126–3135.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 95
the use of a high-pressure flat-sheet membrane cell, either
with a transparent window (Uchymiak et al., 2007) or a
completely transparent RO/NF cell (Rahardianto et al.,
2008), allows real-time digital imaging of the membrane
surface. For scale detection, the membrane monitor would
typically receive a sidestream from a tail element of the
RO plant where the retentate concentration is highest. The
system can be adjusted such that the level of solution
supersaturation at the membrane monitor’s membrane surface
is at or higher than that for the last RO membrane module,
thereby ensuring that mineral scale would be detected first
on the monitor’s membrane surface. An illustration is shown
in Figure 15 of early detection of gypsum crystals on the
membrane surface prior to the detection of measurable
flux decline. This type of scale detection in RO/NF processes
can potentially be adapted to ED/EDR processes and can
provide an important monitoring capability to enable safe
membrane-desalting operations that adaptively vary water-
recovery levels close to temporally varying membrane-scaling
threshold levels (resulting from water-quality variation). Ex-
tending membrane monitoring for online-biofouling de-
tection is also a challenge that merits pursuit in order to
enable the design of effective RO/NF and ED/EDR operational
strategies.
4.04.3.4.4 Enhancing water recovery
At inland locations, it is desirable to operate brackish-water
desalting at high water recovery in order to reduce the volume
of generated residual concentrate for locally feasible options
of concentrate disposal to become cost effective. To achieve
high levels of water recovery, coupling of RO and EDR pro-
cesses in a series configuration have proven to be effective
in some industrial applications (Reahl, 1990, 2006; e.g.,
Figure 16). In such cases, the use of EDR to desalt RO con-
centrate is particularly effective when silica is the primary
mineral scalant of concern since EDR is not constrained by
uncharged species. RO/NF, ED/EDR, and their integrated
processes, however, still require scale-mitigation methods; the
traditional scale-mitigation methods only retard the onset of
mineral scaling (antiscalants, polarity reversal, etc.), but do
not remove scale precursors, and thus are constrained to a
threshold recovery limit. To overcome this limitation, the in-
tegration of intermediate concentrate demineralization (ICD)
in a two-step membrane-desalting operation is a promising
strategy (e.g., Figure 17). The function of ICD is to remove
mineral-scale precursors and thus reduce the membrane-
scaling potential of the concentrate from a primary-membrane
desalting step, allowing a secondary RO desalting step to en-
hance product-water recovery.
A
1
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
0.8
0.6
0.4
0 5 10 15
Time (h)
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

p
e
r
m
e
a
t
e

f
l
u
x

(
F
/
F
0
)
20 25 30 35
B
C
D
1 mm
Figure 15 Optical images of gypsum scale (a–d) and flux decline (bottom) for the corresponding RO scaling test for which initial gypsum saturation
index (GSI) at the membrane (LFC-1) surface was 2.09. The images, a–d were taken at 0, 5, 20, and 30 hs. Adapted from Uchymiak M, Bartman AR,
Daltrophe N, et al. (2009) Brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO) operation in feed flow reversal mode using an ex situ scale observation detector
(EXSOD). Journal of Membrane Science 341: 60–66.

+
Clarifier
(for SiO
2
reduction)
RO
MgO
UF
EDR
Feed
Product water
Concentrate
waste
EDR diluate
Figure 16 Coupling of RO, EDR, and chemical precipitation for high-recovery desalting. Adapted from Reahl E (2006) Half A Century of Desalination
with Electrodialysis, Technical Paper TP1038EN. GE Water and Process Technologies.
96 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
The two methods of ICD via chemical precipitation and
seeded precipitation are discussed in the following.
ICD via chemical precipitation. A two-step RO system with
ICD (Figure 17) via chemical precipitation of calcium car-
bonate as a scale-precursor-removal step has been evaluated
(Rahardianto et al., 2007) and pilot-tested (Gabelich et al.,
2007) for the desalination of Colorado River water (B700–
1000mg l
À1
TDS). The precipitation process is analogous to
the classical lime-soda or caustic softening processes (i.e.,
precipitation softening) (AWWA, 1999). Alkaline dosing (e.g.,
pH adjustment with NaOH, lime, or soda ash) of the primary
RO concentrate in a precipitation reactor (e.g., solid contact
reactor) induces precipitation of primarily calcium carbonate,
depleting the concentration of calcium in the aqueous phase,
thus reducing the RO concentrate saturation index with
respect to calcium-bearing mineral scalants (e.g., calcium
carbonate and gypsum) to well below saturation. As an
alternative to alkaline dosing, CO
2
stripping has also been
shown to be effective for inducing CaCO
3
precipitation in
brackish waters (Lisitsin et al., 2008). An added benefit of ICD
via precipitation softening is the potential co-precipitation of
other mineral-scale/fouling precursors, such as of Ba

, Sr

,
silica, and also adsorptive removal of natural organic matter.
The permeate production with the above approach demon-
strated overall water recovery of up to 95%, provided that
good pH control was maintained in the precipitation reactor
along with antiscalant makeup to control silica scaling in the
secondary RO step. In cases in which silica is the mineral
scalant that limits water recovery, the use of EDR instead of RO
for the secondary RO desalting step may be beneficial. To
improve the efficiency of solid–liquid separation in precipi-
tation softening, fluidized bed reactors and integrated pre-
cipitation–filtration systems have been proposed (Graveland
et al., 1983; Oren et al., 2001; Sluys et al., 1996).
ICD via seeded precipitation. Primary RO (PRO) desalting
can potentially generate concentrate that is in meta-stable
supersaturation with respect to various mineral salts. Such
behavior is attributed to slow crystal-nucleation kinetics and/
or the application of antiscalant treatment (which retards
precipitation). The generated supersaturation level in the PRO
concentrate can be utilized to drive precipitation by crystal
growth in the intermediate concentrate-demineralization
stage, initiated by crystal seeding. In this case, seed-crystal
surfaces provide crystal growth sites for precipitation reactions
to occur, which would lead to concentrate de-supersaturation
(Rautenbach and Linn, 1996; Bremere et al., 1999; Yang et al.,
2008). The de-supersaturated PRO concentrate can then be
further desalted in a secondary RO step. Thus, unlike de-
mineralization by chemical precipitation, de-supersaturation
by seeded precipitation avoids the use of dissolved chemical
reagents to generate the precipitation driving force. Antiscalant
carryover from the PRO, however, may retard seeded precipi-
tation and significantly reduce the rate of de-supersaturation.
Methods have been proposed for deactivating antiscalants
prior to crystal seeding, such as the use of coagulants (Yang
et al., 2007, 2008) and low-dose lime pretreatment (Rahar-
dianto et al., 2010). The rate of de-supersaturation can also be
enhanced by integrating a membrane-concentrator unit to
increase solution supersaturation above preexisting levels in
the PRO concentrate. In this case, a specially designed mem-
brane-concentrator unit is required in order to avoid mem-
brane fouling and/or scaling. For example, Rautenbach and
Linn (1996) described the use of disk-tube NF modules on
concentrate primary RO concentrate generated from desalting
of dumpsite leachate (Figure 18). High overall RO recovery
(495%) was achieved, but periodic NF feed-channel flushing
(every 30s) and alkali cleaning (every 250–300 h) were
required as preventive actions against fouling and/or scaling.
4.04.3.4.5 Concentrate disposal
An extensive survey in the USA revealed that brackish-water
desalting plants employ the following methods for concentrate
disposal, in the order of decreasing frequency of use: surface
Feed
Antiscalant
Antiscalant
MF
Secondary RO
desalting (SRO)
Primary RO desalting (PRO)
MF
Product
water
Soda
ash
PRO concentrate
Solids (CaCO
3
)
Intermediate concentrate
demineralization (ICD):
Brine
Figure 17 Schematic of a brine-treatment process for RO concentrate volume reduction from a primary RO desalting process. Brine treatment
process consists of intermediate concentrate demineralization (ICD) via chemical precipitation and microfiltration (MF), followed by secondary RO
desalting. Adapted from Zhu A, Rahardianto A, Christofides PD, and Cohen Y (2010) Reverse osmosis desalination with high permeability membranes
– cost optimization and research needs. Desalination and Water Treatment 15: 256–266.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 97
water discharge, discharge to sewers, deep-well injection,
evaporation ponds, spray irrigation, and zero liquid discharge
(ZLD) (Mickley, 2006). Concentrate discharge to surface water
and sewers accounts for about B70% of plants surveyed,
while deep-well injection accounts for B20% (Mickley, 2006).
Most of the plants (B80%) do not treat the concentrate waste
before disposal, while the rest apply minimal treatment such
as aeration, pH adjustment, degassification, air stripping, or
defoaming.
Concentrate discharge into surface water/sewers are typi-
cally available only in the case of desalting plants that are
small or located near coastal areas (e.g., ocean outfall), while
deep-well injection systems are typically used in larger inland
desalting plants and in remote locations. Nevertheless, con-
centrate conveyance over long distances for ocean outfall,
while costly, has also been practiced in inland desalting. To
avoid precipitation of mineral salts (due to supersaturated
concentrate) in long-distance concentrate-disposal pipelines,
antiscalant treatment, concentrate-stream isolation from the
atmosphere (to prevent CO
2
release to air), and avoidance of
particulate contamination are important (Semiat et al., 2004).
Evaporation ponds and spray irrigation have also been used
for concentrate disposal, but are land intensive and thus are
used less frequently. A system for enhancement of evaporation
pond performance known as the wind-aided intensified
evaporation (WAIV) process, involves periodic circulation of
pond brine over wettable surfaces, designed to increase the
effective evaporative surface area (Gilron et al., 2003). This
results in enhanced evaporation, which also depends on wind
speed and direction in addition to relative humidity. It has
been reported that with the above approach, evaporative
capacity per area footprint can be increased 450% in a typical
Middle East dry climate. Concentrate disposal via ZLD pro-
cesses typically employ industrial evaporation methods (e.g.,
single-/multiple-effect evaporators, VC evaporators, evapora-
tive crystallizers, and spray dryers) that can be readily de-
ployed but at high energy and capital costs.
4.04.3.4.6 Specific contaminant removal
Brackish-water sources, especially those impacted by human
activities, often contain specific contaminants that must be
removed in brackish-water desalting. Brackish water impacted
by agricultural activities, for example, may contain elevated
concentrations of boron, nitrates, pesticides, and selenium,
while those impacted by mining operations may contain ele-
vated concentrations of arsenic and other heavy metals. Most
of these contaminants are readily removed in desalting oper-
ations by RO/NF or ED/EDR. In some cases, the generated
concentrate may require treatment before disposal, but it
depends on the concentrate-disposal methods and related
permitting/environmental issues. In addition, polishing the
permeate (or diluate) water may be required in order to
comply with strict water-quality regulations. For example, ion
exchange or EDI are common for removal of specific con-
taminants. In the case of boron, RO/NF and ED/EDR pro-
cesses are typically ineffective when operated at near-neutral
pH as boron primarily exists as uncharged boric acid. The
deprotonated form of boron (borate) is highly rejected in
RO/NF processes (490–95%), but this requires operation at
high pH (pH 410) that may increase the tendency for
membrane scaling by carbonate minerals. To allow operation
at high pH for enhanced boron removal, a multi-pass RO/NF
configuration (e.g., Figure 9) can be utilized in which the
permeate from a primary RO/NF is desalted at an elevated pH
level in a secondary RO process. It is noted, however, that EDI
can also be effective for product-water polishing for boron
removal (Wen et al., 2005).
4.04.3.4.7 Cost of brackish-water desalination
Major cost items in brackish-water desalination typically in-
clude costs of electrical energy, chemical additives (antiscalant
and acid for scale mitigation), membrane replacement, con-
centrate treatment for recovery enhancement, brine disposal,
capital depreciation, and financial interests. It is not feasible to
arrive at generalization of the cost structure of brackish-water
desalination because capital, operating, and financial costs are
highly site specific. Nevertheless, one should expect that the
energy cost of brackish-water desalting to be much lower than
seawater desalting due to lower salinity of brackish water.
Therefore, the cost of chemical additives (e.g., antiscalants)
can become a significant portion of the total operating cost.
Concentrate management (treatment and disposal), however,
RO
RO
NF
RO
Crystallizer
Concentrate reject
RO
Purified water
Feed
water
Figure 18 Process schematic for high-recovery desalting of dumpsite leachate. Adapted from Rautenbach R and Linn T (1996) High-pressure reverse
osmosis and nanofiltration, a ‘‘zero discharge’’ process combination for the treatment of waste water with severe fouling/scaling potential. Desalination
105: 63–70.
98 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
tends to be the primary cost component in brackish-water
desalting, especially at inland locations where disposal op-
tions are limited.
An illustration of the significant impact of brine manage-
ment (treatment and disposal) on operating costs is illustrated
in Figure 19 for the case of agricultural-drainage-water de-
salting (8500mg l
À1
TDS; Zhu et al., 2010). In this example,
the effectiveness of antiscalants against gypsum scaling is
expected to limit RO water recovery to 58%, leading to a large
volume generation of RO concentrate. The operating cost is
estimated to be high at US$0.71 m
À3
product; a large portion
of this cost is for concentrate management (81%), given an
estimated brine-disposal cost of US$0.8m
À3
brine (e.g., via
deep-well injection, western San Joaquin Valley; Johnston
et al., 1997). Recovery enhancement to 92% recovery via ICD
and secondary RO can reduce the total operating cost to
BUS$0.45 m
À3
product. Although the contribution of con-
centrate-management costs (i.e., ICD chemicals for concen-
trate treatment and brine disposal via deep-well injection) to
the total operating cost is lowered to 64%, this concentrate-
related cost remains significant.
Total costs of present brackish-water desalting plants
vary significantly, representative of the high variability of local
resources (e.g., feedwater quality and availability of concen-
trate-disposal sites). For example, a survey of six brackish
groundwater RO desalting plants built during the past decade
in Texas (4500–104 000m
3
d
À1
or 1.2–27.5MGD production
capacity) revealed total production costs between US$0.33
and 0.69 m
À3
product, with approximately 60–70% attributed
to operation and maintenance (O&M) costs and the re-
mainder being financial-interest costs (Arroyo and Shirazi,
2009). Of particular interest in the plants surveyed is the K. B.
Hutchison plant (capacity of 104 000m
3
d
À1
; total permeate
production cost of US$0.65 m
À3
), in which almost 30% of the
capital expenditure was associated with the deep-well in-
jection system for brine disposal (Committee on Advancing
Desalination Technology, 2008). Finally, it is noted that
comparative analysis has shown that ED/EDR plants may
be more cost effective than RO/NF plants when feedwater
salinity is less than about 3700 mg l
À1
TDS (US Bureau of
Reclamation, 2003).
4.04.3.5 Future Developments
Significant improvements in the performance and cost effect-
iveness of pressure- and electrochemical-driven desalting
technologies over the past two decades have enabled brackish-
water desalting applications to meet anticipated water de-
mands, while moving forward toward water sustainability. To
sustain this growth, further technology developments are
needed for optimal use of brackish-water resources, con-
sidering the spatial distribution and temporal variability of
source-water availability and characteristics, energy sources,
and concentrate-management options. Concentrate manage-
ment, in particular, continues to be the primary cost impedi-
ment in many brackish-water desalting applications, especially
at inland locations. Improvements are needed in the treatment
and utilization of desalination concentrate (i.e., brine). Less-
chemical intensive methods for scale-precursor removal, for
example, would reduce costs associated with water-recovery
enhancement in brackish-water desalting. There is also po-
tential for chemical recovery from brine streams, such as acid/
base chemicals and mineral commodities.
Significant opportunities exist for the development of
smart membrane systems that can operate autonomously and
remotely for optimal desalting of brackish-water resources.
Such systems could be suitably located at sites that would
match local water demands with availability of local brackish-
water resources, as well as minimize costs associated with
concentrate disposal and chemical and energy use. For ex-
ample, smart membrane systems that can operate adaptively
near fluctuating membrane fouling and scaling threshold
levels, due to feedwater-quality variations, could enable one
to maximize water recovery in real time and thus reduce
Electrical
energy
RO
membrane
Antiscalant
MF
operation
Brine
disposal
ICD
chemicals
(a) Single-step RO desalting
58% Water recovery
operating cost: US$0.71 m
−3
(b) Multi-step RO desalting w/ ICD
92% Water recovery
operating cost: US$0.45 m
−3
Electrical
energy
RO
membrane
Antiscalant
MF
operation
Brine
disposal
Figure 19 Operating cost estimates for (a) single-step RO desalting at 58% water recovery and (b) multi-step RO desalting with ICD at 92% water
recovery (see Figure 17). Cost estimates are for desalination of San Joaquin Valley agricultural drainage water (8500 mg l
À1
TDS), assuming deep-well
injection for concentrate disposal. Data from Zhu A, Rahardianto A, Christofides PD, and Cohen Y (2010) Reverse osmosis desalination with high
permeability membranes – cost optimization and research needs. Desalination and Water Treatment 15: 256–266.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 99
concentrate-disposal costs. This would require further devel-
opment of software and devices that can provide high-fidelity
sensing of membrane fouling and scaling and timely auto-
matic actuation of preventive actions. Integration of fouling
and scaling mitigation methods that are less chemical inten-
sive would also be highly beneficial for smart water systems.
Development of high-permeability membranes for RO/NF
desalting is not expected to lead to significant reduction in the
cost of brackish-water RO desalination, especially since recent
RO/NF membranes already allow for cross-flow RO/NF op-
eration near the thermodynamic restriction (Zhu et al., 2008).
Further developments of membranes and membrane pro-
cesses that are fouling/scaling tolerant are needed, as well as
membranes and processes that are highly selective for targeted
contaminants.
4.04.4 Desalination of Wastewater for Reuse
Wastewater reclamation is increasingly practiced around the
world to meet industry, domestic, and agricultural needs.
When the salinity of the reclaimed wastewater is too high for
its intended use, a desalination stage may be required to
produce water of appropriate quality. The cost of desalination
processes means that desalination of reclaimed wastewater for
agricultural purposes is rarely practiced, and the main uses of
desalinated reclaimed water are for industrial and domestic
uses. RO desalination is the dominant desalination technique
used, as it requires far less energy (0.7 kWh
À1
m
À3
; Leslie and
Myraed, 2009) than thermal processes for this application.
Therefore, the discussion in this section focuses on mem-
brane-based desalting processes.
4.04.4.1 Water Quality
Desalination of reclaimed wastewater and brackish ground-
water are similar in some respects, as both have similar TDS
concentrations, particularly when compared to seawater.
However, the higher concentration of organic compounds and
the large variability in their nature means that the operational
issues are significantly different, with a high tendency for
biofouling existing in reclaimed wastewater systems. Add-
itionally, the higher concentration of phosphates in reclaimed
wastewaters may also lead to scaling by calcium phosphates
rather than calcium carbonate and gypsum, as is the case for
brackish water systems.
The quality of water feed to a wastewater reclamation plant
depends upon the level of treatment in the preceding waste-
water treatment plant, and only secondary or tertiary waste-
water effluents would be considered suitable for processing in
a reclamation plant. Secondary treated effluent refers to was-
tewater that has been treated by sedimentation followed by a
biological process such as treatment in an activated sludge
plant. Tertiary treatment refers to secondary treatment fol-
lowed by a filtration step, such as media filtration, so that the
turbidity and TOC concentrations are generally lower, and if
coagulation with metal salts is used, then the phosphate
concentration will also be reduced (Henriksen, 1963).
Table 5 shows typical water qualities for secondary and
tertiary wastewater treatment plant effluents.
4.04.4.2 Pretreatment
Water Factory 21 in Orange County, California, USA, was an
early successful example of wastewater reclamation. It began
operation in 1976 and operated for approximately 30 years.
Its pretreatment system initially consisted of chemical clarifi-
cation and settling, ammonia stripping, re-carbonation, multi-
media filtration, and activated carbon adsorption prior to
being fed into RO membranes. However, extended operation
of this plant revealed that carbon fines blocked the entrance to
the spiral wound RO elements, while the ammonia stripper
cooled the water leading to lower productivity through the
RO membranes. Additionally, residual ammonia is converted
to chloramines and assists with biofouling control. The pre-
treatment process before RO was then altered to lime clarifi-
cation, re-carbonation, chlorination, and media filtration
(Asarno, 1998).
Water Factory 21 has now been replaced by the Ground-
water Replenishment Scheme, in which the pretreatment
process is now MF (Montgomery et al., 2006). The change in
pretreatment trends to the use of MF and UF systems is a result
of the very high quality of water produced, improvements in
the operability of MF and UF systems, and relative reductions
in their price. A 2006 survey of desalination systems by
Montgomery Watson Harza (2006) showed that of the 14
wastewater-reclamation plants included in the survey, only
one had a conventional pretreatment stage (coagulant, sedi-
mentation, and media filtration), whereas nine had only MF
or UF, two had both conventional and membrane pretreat-
ment; and the remaining two had only cartridge filtration. The
high number of plants with only membrane pretreatment
shows that this is the recent trend, and it is increasing in
popularity.
Water quality from MF or UF systems is usually o0.2 NTU
and often consistently lower than 0.1 NTU, and TOC con-
centrations are reduced from 5–15 mg l
À1
to 3–14mg l
À1
.
Greater TOC reductions can be achieved if coagulant is used,
with ferric chloride or ferric sulfate more commonly used
than aluminum-based salts. It is noted that high TOC content
may suggest high concentrations of biopolymers, such as
Table 5 Typical wastewater treatment effluents
a
Secondary treatment Tertiary treatment
pH 6.5–8.2 6.5–8.2
Turbidity (NTU) 5–25 o3
Total suspended
solids (mg l
À1
)
25–35 5–10
TOC (mg l
À1
) 10–20 4–10
TDS
a
500–1500 500–1500
Nitrate (mg l
À1
) 20–30
a
5–20
NH
3
– N (mg l
À1
) 3–10
a
0.4–5
Phosphate (mg l
À1
) 3–8
a
0.5–5
a
Lower limits for biological nutrient removal plants: Note: TDS concentrations lower
than 500 mg l
À
would not usually be considered for desalination.
From Montgomery Watson Harza (Adham S, Burbano A, Chiu K, and Kumar M) (2006)
Development of a reverse osmosis/nanofiltration (RO/NF) knowledge base. Report of
the California Energy Commission. Pasadena, CA: California Energy Commission; and
Water Corporation (1999) Personal communication, Water quality data from waste-
water treatment plants.
100 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
polysaccharides and proteins (Jarusutthirak et al., 2002),
which are strong foulants of MF and UF systems and are
easily biodegradable, thereby promoting biofilm growth. Flux
through the MF/UF membranes is typically 30–40l
À1
m
À2
h
À1
.
Either pressure driven or submerged MF or UF membranes
may be used in the pretreatment stage (see Figure 20). The
decision to choose either pressurized or submerged MF or UF
is based on cost and operability. Submerged systems can be
easily fitted into a tank, and so are cheaper for large units or
when retro-fitting to an existing tank. However, pressurized
systems can be packaged in the manufacturer’s plant and
have greater capacity to increase throughput during peak-flow
periods.
Hypochlorite is often added before MF or UF, as it reacts
with ammonia in the wastewater to form chloramines that
limit biofilm growth on the membranes. If the concentration
of ammonia in the feedwater is low, ammonia may be added
before the addition of hypochlorite although this is seldom a
necessity. Chloramines have been the preferred disinfectant
for controlling biofilm growths on MF, UF, and RO mem-
branes because of their lower oxidizing potential relative to
chlorine and hypochlorite. Reasonably low but effective
chloramine doses (1–4 mg l
À1
) may be applied safely to sup-
press biofilm growth while minimizing oxidative degradation
of membranes. As chloramine tolerance of membranes may
vary due to the catalytic effects at high temperature, low pH, or
presence of transition metals, optimal chloramine dose
should be determined for the specific source water of interest,
membrane type, and operating conditions.
New membrane materials such as polyvinylidene fluoride
(PVDF) and polyethersulfone (PES) systems are chlorine tol-
erant, and chemically enhanced backwashing (CEB) strategies
are in use currently. Chlorine in concentrations between 25
and 100 mg l
À1
is added to the backwash water and the
membranes are soaked in the chlorine solution for 5–10min.
This would typically occur 1–2 times a day, and decreases the
requirement for chemical cleaning of the membranes.
Chemical cleaning is often required as contaminants can
irreversibly foul the membranes with extended filtration times.
Chemical cleaning is usually performed with caustic surfactant
solutions to remove organic contaminants, while ethylene-
diaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and/or citric acid may be
added to remove inorganic foulants. Chemical cleaning
would typically take place every 6–8 weeks without chemically
enhanced backflush (CEB) and after more than 6 months
with CEB.
Membrane bioreactors (MBRs) are also being considered
for use in pretreatment before RO membranes for wastewater-
reclamation plants. Qin et al., (2006) have demonstrated
the use of an MBR RO system in place of a conventional
wastewater-treatment plant followed by MF or UF pretreat-
ment. They were able to demonstrate that the MBR pretreat-
ment produced water with lower TOC concentrations than
the conventional wastewater-treatment plant–MF system,
producing TOC in the range of 4.9–5.1 mg l
À1
compared with
6.8–6.9 mg l
À1
for the conventional-MF pretreatment. This
improved water quality, although only slightly, enabled the
RO system to operate at higher fluxes of 22 l m
À2
h
À1
com-
pared to 17 l m
À2
h
À1
when fed with conventional-MF treated
water. The final RO permeate also improved, with TOC values
of 24–33 ppb rather than 33–53 ppb. Again, while this was
only a slight improvement in water quality, it was significant
for the semiconductor industry using the reclaimed water as
their requirement was for ultrapure water. Additionally, if
being used for potable purposes, the lower TOC value indi-
cates reduced organic components present in the wastewater,
Wastewater
treatment
To RO
Dual-media
filtration
Air
Lime
sludge
Lime
Cl
2
re-carbonation Lime clarification
Cl
2
Cl
2
, backwash
Coagulant, pH
To RO
MF/UF
Backwash
To RO
MBR Air
Figure 20 Various options for pretreatment stages before wastewater-reclamation desalination.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 101
lessening the potential health risks associated with trace
organic compounds, such as endocrine disruptors, in the final
product water.
Acid and antiscalant addition occurs after the MF/UF or
MBR pretreatment stage, to reduce the likelihood of scaling in
the RO stage. Addition of acid to lower the pH to around 6.5 is
common (Zach-Maor et al., 2008), and the antiscalant type
depends upon the likely mineral scalant.
4.04.4.3 RO Processes
RO desalting of wastewater can usually achieve 70–90%
water recovery using a multi-stage process configuration (e.g.,
Figure 11). Recovery levels of 70–75% are typically achieved
using a two-stage RO desalting process, while recovery levels
between 75% and 88% typically require a three-stage RO de-
salting process. Brackish-water membranes are used for was-
tewater treatment, as wastewater has salinity levels similar to
those of brackish water. The operating pressure varies between
7 and 25 bar, with greater pressures required to achieve high
recoveries because of the increase in the final salt concen-
tration. Flux through the membranes varies considerably, with
reported values between 14 and 27 l m
À2
h
À1
(Montgomery
et al., 2006). The recommended design flux is usually quoted
as between 15 and 20l m
À2
h
À1
.
Fouling in wastewater-reclamation plants can vary from
that in brackish water, as the higher organic carbon content of
the feed increases the potential for biofilm growth, specific
organic compounds in the feedwater may foul the membrane,
and higher phosphate concentrations may lead to calcium
phosphates precipitating rather than calcium carbonate or
gypsum.
The addition of chloroamine before the MF or UF process
enables the disinfectant to control biofilm growth in both the
pretreatment and desalination stages. This strategy is generally
successful, with cleaning of membranes required between 3
and 6 months. Other approaches to biofilm control, such as
chlorine dioxide dosing (Wise et al., 2004) and UV dis-
infection prior to the RO unit (Lo´ pez-Ramı ´rez et al., 2003)
have been suggested but further studies are required before
they can be implemented.
Treatment of wastewater from domestic sources does not
usually pose any significant problems, but industrial waters
contain a wide range of compounds not generally present in
domestic sewage and perhaps only present in the particular
wastewater catchment. This has caused problems for a number
of commercial systems, such as the Wollongong Recycled
Water Plant, NSW, Australia (Borse et al., 2009). The Wol-
longong wastewater contained specific organic compounds,
tert butyl phenol, 2-methylthio-benzothiazole, trichlorphenol,
and trichlorocresol, that have the potential to foul membranes
even when present in small doses and which may not be easily
detected by membrane autopsies. Generally, these fouling
issues can only be managed by operating at higher pressures or
lower fluxes and by developing specific cleaning regimes.
Additionally, these specific fouling issues are difficult to detect
because of the low concentrations of the specific foulants, the
difficulty in detecting them via membrane autopsies, and
on occasions due to the intermittent presence of the con-
taminants. Bench- and pilot-scale field studies are therefore
recommended when treating wastewaters from industrial
sources because this is the most reliable approach for detecting
such issues.
Mineral scaling of membranes is an issue, particularly
when operating at high water recoveries. The control of min-
eral scaling is similar to that for brackish water systems, with
acid addition prior to RO treatment to increase the solubility
of inorganic mineral scalant, and the use of antiscalants.
Calcium phosphate scaling arising from the high concen-
trations of phosphate in the feedwater, however, is more dif-
ficult to control with antiscalants (Greenberg et al., 2005);
presently, feedwater pH adjustment appears to be the best
available option for controlling calcium phosphate scaling.
Alternatively, control of phosphate via coagulant addition in
the pretreatment stream is also an option, but higher doses of
coagulants are required than that for turbidity removal alone
(Henriksen, 1963).
4.04.4.4 Final Water Quality
Permeate TOC concentrations are low, around 50ppb, and
TDS concentrations are approximately 20–30mg l
À1
. Water of
this quality is corrosive, and stabilization of permeate by
mixing with nondesalination effluent is frequently practiced
along with the addition of a residual disinfectant such as
chlorine. If the water is to be used for industrial purposes,
however, it is sometimes delivered in the high-purity form
to be used in cooling towers and boilers. In Singapore,
the semiconductor industry requires ultra-high-purity water;
therefore, stabilization of recycled water is not in practice. The
Luggage Point recycled water facility in Brisbane, Queensland,
similarly does not stabilize the water delivered to a petroleum
refinery where it is used in cooling towers and a demineralized
water plant.
4.04.4.5 Concentrate Disposal
The presence of nutrients and synthetic and natural organic
compounds in wastewater brine complicates its disposal in
comparison to brackish water brines (CH2M HILL, 2009). The
treatment of wastewater brines in evaporation ponds is usually
unaffected by these contaminants, but discharge to waterways
or coastal marine environments may require additional
treatment. For instance, the Bundamaba advanced water-
treatment plant in Brisbane, Australia, reclaims wastewater
for industrial use and indirect potable-water reuse and releases
the brine concentrate into the Brisbane River that feeds
into Morton Bay. The discharge of nutrients in this region
is regulated because of the sensitive ecology, and treatment of
the brine concentrate for nutrient removal is required. The
pretreatment sludge is thickened with the aid of polymers,
centrifuged, and the centrate mixed with the brine concen-
trate. The combined concentrate is treated via a fixed-film
nitrification process following which it enters a denitrification
stage that requires methanol addition to assist the process
(Davies, 2009).
The Bundamba brine-concentrate treatment process uses a
conventional nitrogen-removal strategy, but there have also
been studies investigating the use of wetlands to remove nu-
trients and metals from brine concentrate (Kepke et al., 2009).
102 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
Sites at Luggage Point, Queensland, Australia and Oxnard,
California, USA have pilot-tested the treatment of wastewater-
reclamation brine by surface flow and vertical-upflow wetland
cells. Initial results demonstrated 70–80% reductions in ni-
trate, up to 50% reduction in selected metals (B, Cu, Cr, and
Mo) under some conditions, and increases in concentrations
of other metals (As, Al, Cd, and Mg) and TDS. The increase in
load of some metals was due to leaching from the soil, while
the TDS increase was the result of plant transpiration reducing
the water volume. Additional trials are required before the
effectiveness of this approach is fully understood.
4.04.5 Alternative Technologies
The large increase in demand for desalination technologies
and the relatively higher energy requirements compared to
other water-treatment processes have led to the intense search
for alternate desalination technologies. The most notable of
these processes are discussed in this section.
4.04.5.1 Membrane Distillation
Membrane distillation (MD) is a desalination process which
brings membranes into thermally based processes such as
MED. Therefore, the theoretical approaches to assess MD
performance, just as in distillation, stem from the enthalpy of
evaporation, and the potential advantages lie in the functions
of the membrane, which include

Containment of the evaporating surface (vapor–liquid
interface) thus allowing more control of the system in
certain applications.

Efficient packing of controlled, regular membrane geometry
for smaller process footprint.
• Novel aspects of fluid handling to allow for more func-
tional setups, such as better heat efficiencies, and further
footprint reduction. For example, in direct-contact MD
(DCMD) mode, higher fluxes are observed due to reduced
resistance allowed by the intimate contact of the cooling
fluid on the permeate side of the membrane. Moreover, in
the air-gap MD (AGMD) mode, a single compact module
performs heat recovery simultaneously during desalination,
providing improved heat recovery when compared with
direct-contact MD.
• Cheaper materials for constructing the membrane modules
(i.e., polymer-based materials) when compared to systems
consisting of corrosion-resistant metals.
However, there are also some disadvantages of MD when
compared to traditional thermal desalination processes such
as MSF, MED, and VC, such as

Lower heat-transfer coefficients and mass-transfer co-
efficients compared to traditional thermal desalination
processes such as MED, MSF, or VC.

The heat efficiency as measured by the GOR is still lower
than that of traditional thermal processes.

For low temperature VC or MED (70 1C), however, alu-
minum transfer surfaces are used and corrosion is not an
issue, thereby reducing any advantage in the use of con-
struction materials made of polymer in MD.
So, while there are some potential advantages in the appli-
cation of MD, it has struggled to find application in the water
industry because of the efficiency of traditional thermal pro-
cesses and RO processes. The recent renewed interest in MD
research will need to find specific applications where the
advantages of MD can be realized. Applications such as
brine treatment, the utilization of available low-grade heat
(o701C), which traditional thermal processes find difficult to
use, or applications requiring a small footprint process appear
to be best suited to MD. Such processes have not been eco-
nomic to consider previously, but with greater pressure on
water resources and increasing costs of brine disposal in some
locations (lined evaporation ponds), this economic equation
may change.
4.04.5.1.1 Brief history
The first patents for MD were filed in the 1960s (Bodell, 1963;
Weyl, 1967), but the process never progressed into commercial
utilization due to the high cost of the membranes and the
process at that time. Moreover, RO was being developed, and
when weighed up at a time of low-cost electricity, RO
was by far superior in producing water at lower-cost per unit
volume. Recently, with rising energy costs and awareness
of greenhouse-gas emissions associated with electricity pro-
duction needed for RO, MD has seen a recent resurgence
(Curcio and Drioli, 2005). This is coupled with an increase of
interest in membrane systems, as there are now numerous in-
dustries manufacturing membranes in commercial quantities at
competitive prices. It is important to note here that these
membrane advancements have been motivated for MF and
application in advanced clothing applications (i.e., Gortex-type
membranes), and not MD specifically. The range of hydro-
phobic membranes including polypropylene, PVDF, and poly-
tetrafluoroethylene that have recently emerged make excellent
candidates for MD. These improved membranes have led to
increased flux and lower fouling, but limitations associated with
energy efficiency have not been assisted by these improvements.
4.04.5.1.2 Membrane distillation configuration
Generally, an MD system is made up of a hydrophobic porous
membrane over which the saline water is passed. As the
membrane is hydrophobic, the liquid feed cannot penetrate
when the pressure is lower than the liquid entry pressure
(LEP) of the membrane. When estimating LEP in MD, it is
important to take the largest pore because any breakthrough
of liquid has significant consequence to salt rejection. For
example, on a 0.5-mm pore-size rated membrane, LEP calcu-
lated would be 270kPa, but in practice, is at least 130kPa.
Such pressures are suitable for most MD setups, but higher
LEPs can be achieved with UF membranes in the MPa region
as their pore sizes are around 20nm. These pressures are
essential for the design of the system whereby the pressure
of the feed must not exceed the LEP. There must also be
an allowance factored into the design to allow increasing
backpressure as a result of module fouling since feed flow is
typically maintained constant for effective MD performance.
As a process, there are four MD configurations: DCMD,
AGMD, sweep-gas (SGMD), and vacuum (VMD), each of
which is shown in Figure 21.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 103
For water treatment, DCMD and AGMD are the most widely
researched MD processes for desalination, while SGMD and
VMD are generally applied for volatile organic compound
(VOC) removal (Curcio and Drioli, 2005). With regard to de-
salination, AGMD shows a lot of promise due to its potential
for high energy recovery resulting from its inherent ability to
allow for simultaneous evaporation and condensation (heat
recovery) within the module, as shown in Figure 22, which is
similar to the MED concept.
4.04.5.1.3 The Memstill project
The Memstill project is a major MD development project
using the AGMD process for its potential as a lower-energy
desalination alternative to RO (Dotremont et al., 2009). It has
been claimed that because of its thermal driving force and
large surface areas, low-grade heat from waste sources makes
it more cost efficient than conventional pressure-driven (i.e.,
electric) RO. However, operating at MD’s optimal energy
efficiency comes at the expense of low flux and high surface
areas, and use of waste heat requires a heat source of com-
patible energy value. Table 6 shows the latest developments of
the Memstill process.
The first Memstill pilot plant with M28 module began
operation at the Senoko Incineration Plant, Singapore, with
raw seawater fed from the Straits of Johor. The second and
third Memstill pilot studies with M32 and M33 modules were
conducted in the Netherlands at the E.ON Benelux power
plant (Dotremont et al., 2009). Both were fed with seawater
from the Port of Rotterdam. Progress in demonstrating im-
proved efficiency for Memstill has seen heat efficiencies come
down to about one-third of the M28 module design.
While the processes in MD are similar to the thermal
processes presented earlier, the use of membranes instead of
metallic heat-transfer surfaces increases the resistance to heat
and mass transfer, and low flux across the membranes results.
This leads to the need for large surface areas, and high packing
densities, as has been achieved for other membrane-based
processes, implying that it could result in a compact device
with lower footprint. However, the energy needs are basically
similar to those of the thermal processes. Special designs may
allow process operation similar to MSF or MED. The thermal
processes are fed by low-value heat sources. However, the
main question is whether it is possible to obtain high GOR
as obtained with the existing thermal processes, particularly
Membrane
F
e
e
d
P
e
r
m
e
a
t
e
V
a
c
u
u
m
S
w
e
e
p
i
n
g

g
a
s
H
o
t

f
e
e
d
C
o
o
l

f
e
e
d
F
e
e
d
F
e
e
d
Membrane
Pore
(a) (b) (c) (d)
Pore Pore Pore
Membrane
Cooling
plate
Membrane
Permeate
Permeate-vapor
Permeate-vapor
Figure 21 Four membrane distillation (MD) setups commonly applied, direct-contact MD (DCMD) (a), air-gap MD (AGMD) (b), vacuum MD (VMD)
(c), and sweep-gas MD (SGMD) (d). From Zhang J, Duke M, Ostarcevic E, Dow N, Gray S, and Li J-D (2009) Performance of new generation
membrane distillation membranes. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply 9(5): 501–508.
Figure 22 Concept schematic of the Memstill process. From
Dotremont C, Kregersman B, Sih R, Lai KC, Koh K, and Seah H (2009)
Seawater desalination with Memstill Technology – a sustainable solution
for the industry. Paper presented to IWA Membrane Technology
Conference, Paper 190. Beijing, China, 1–3 September.
104 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
given the lower temperatures used, which limit the tempera-
ture difference and hence the heat recovery. If cooling water is
used to condense the vapor via cooling devices, it requires
much higher energy than in the regular thermal desalination.
This has led to much higher energy consumption (low GOR
and high pumping energy) and high cost of equipment (large
membranes). Capturing the heat of condensation from the
vapor in these processes, however, has the potential to pro-
duce high GORs. A certain amount of heat recovery from the
permeate is also possible, but the extent of heat recovery is
currently much lower than that from the heat of condensation
(Table 6).
4.04.5.2 Forward Osmosis
4.04.5.2.1 Background
The process of osmosis involves the migration of water from a
less-concentrated saline solution across a water-permeable
(and salt impermeable) membrane to a more concentrated
saline solution. This process is energetically favorable as the
system seeks to increase entropy (i.e., mixing). As shown in
Figure 23, forward osmosis (FO) works on this principle to
harness water, typically from naturally saline sources, such as
seawater, by drawing it through the semipermeable membrane
into a very different synthetic saline solution at a higher
concentration than the original feedwater. The special aspect
of FO is that the high-concentration synthetic saline draw
solution contains different salts that are more practically
separated than the original saline source. Clearly, the energy
input to drive FO is in the regeneration and recirculation of
the draw solution. According to Bolto et al. (2007), FO has
been applied to contaminated waters, drawing water into
fluids containing electrolytes and sugars for military appli-
cations. In such applications, the draw solution is not re-
generated, as the sugars that constitute the draw solution are
consumed along with the clean water in the final product.
Many uses of FO such as this are practical, and a good com-
prehensive review on FO was made in 2006 (Cath et al.,
2006). However, the use of FO as a continuous desalination
process in which the draw solution is recycled has several
obstacles even now, with the major process issues being the
need to develop compact, stable membrane systems specific-
ally for FO, and to improve the ease of regeneration of the
draw solution which must be nontoxic.
4.04.5.2.2 Recent developments
RO has also been used to remove the water from a NaCl draw
solution as shown in Figure 24. RO brine concentrates from a
groundwater source up to 17 500mg l
À1
were further de-
salinated by the FO/RO process. The system’s recovery reached
90% but performance was limited by scaling salts.
FO may not emerge as an energy-saving process, but due to
its operating conditions, may be more suitable in environ-
ments which normally foul membranes in conventional RO.
This is mostly due to its ability to operate in the feed solution
at a much lower pressure and so, for example, in highly turbid
water, particles are not forced into the membrane pores
leading to blockage (Bolto et al., 2007). The assumption that
low-flux FO is economical is yet to be demonstrated. Oppor-
tunities may present themselves in harnessing renewable or
waste energy for desalination, much as in thermal distillation
processes. The draw solution can be regenerated by heat and
thus can be adapted to harness solar thermal energy or
low-grade waste heat. This is the case for the ammonia and
carbon dioxide mixing with the water to form ammonium
bicarbonate, which can be removed by heating to around
60 1C (McCutcheon et al., 2005).
However, energy is needed not only to distil the ammo-
nium carbonate, but also to pump water from the sea, as
in RO processes, and for cooling to remove the heat of
adsorption of the ammonium carbonate to regenerate the
draw solution. Evaporation of water vapor occurs during the
distillation of the ammonium carbonate from the solution,
and distillation down to very clean, ammonia-free product is
Table 6 Summary of previous Memstill pilot installations
Module used M28 M32 M33
Location of testing Singapore, Straits of Johor The Netherlands, Port of Rotterdam The Netherlands, Port of Rotterdam
Duration of testing March 2006 to June 2007 October 2006 to January 2007 April 2008 to October 2008
Absolute flux (l m
À2
h
À1
) 0.25 2.5 3
Internal heat recovery (%) 30 50 90
Heat consumption (kWh
À1
m
À3
) 278–556 111 97–111
From Dotremont C, Kregersman B, Sih R, Lai KC, Koh K, and Seah H (2009) Seawater desalination with Memstill Technology – a sustainable solution for the industry. Paper
presented to IWA Membrane Technology Conference, Paper 190. Beijing, China, 1–3 September.
Saline feed
water
FO membrane
unit
Draw-solute
separation
Diluted draw
solution
Brine
Potable water
Concentrated draw
solution recycle
Figure 23 Forward osmosis (FO) concept processes. From
McCutcheon JR, McGinnis RL, and Elimelech M (2005) A novel
ammonia–carbon dioxide forward (direct) osmosis desalination process.
Desalination 174(1): 1–11.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 105
necessary. This requires considerable energy and needs to be
performed under vacuum conditions, similar to evaporation
desalination techniques. The capital cost of VC is high, as is
the energy demand. An estimation of the energy consumption
for this process has been made by Semiat et al. (2010), who
calculated that it would require 13 7 3 kWh
À1
m
À3
and
that the final permeate would contain 9 mg l
À1
ammonium.
The permeate would require further processing, via a process
such as ion exchange, to reduce the ammonium concentration
to an acceptable level (o1 mg l
À1
).
4.04.5.3 Capacitive Deionization
Capacitive deionization (CDI) is a conceptually simple tech-
nique to remove salts from water. It works by passing the
saline water over a charged electrode surface which literally
causes the ions (e.g., NaCl, CaCO
3
, and CaSO
4
) to stick to the
electrode. This concept is shown in Figure 25.
Once saturated, the charge must be reversed and the re-
leased ions redirected to the discharge brine stream. Clearly,
more surface area available to the ions per unit volume of
material is desired for economical performance. Hoang et al.
(2009) carried out a recent review of the field, identifying
key carbon-based materials being investigated to improve
efficiency: carbon aerogels, activated carbon cloth with metal
oxide nanoparticles, and carbon nanotubes. When treating an
artificial brackish water of 2000mg l
À1
TDS (Welgemoed and
Schutte, 2005), CDI required only 0.59 kWh
À1
m
À3
to recover
70% of the water at a permeate concentration of 500mg l
À1
.
An example of such development is reported by Zou et al.
(2008), who used high-surface-area activated carbon to ef-
fectively reduce the salinity of water in laboratory trials, and
also found that modification of titania nanoparticles increased
the electrosorption efficiency.
There are, however, a number of issues that CDI technol-
ogy must address before it can be an economic alternative to
Feed
T
FO RO
Draw
solution
C
Diluted DS
High
pressure
pump
Product
water
Concentrated DS
Figure 24 Flow diagram of an FO and RO integrated process to purify water From Martinetti CR, Childress AE, and Cath TY (2009) High recovery of
concentrated RO brines using forward osmosis and membrane distillation. Journal of Membrane Science 331(1–2): 31–39.
Treated water
Brackish water
_ _ _ _ _ _
Positive electrode
+ + + + +
_
_
_
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
Negative electrode
Carbon aerogel
Figure 25 Graphical representation of capacitive deionization (CDI) process. From Gabelich CJ, Xu P, and Cohen Y (2010) Concentrate treatment for
inland desalting. In: Escobar IC and Schafer AI (eds.) Sustainable Water For Future Use – Water Recycling Versus Desalination, vol. 2, 1st edn., pp.
295–326. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
106 Seawater Use and Desalination Technology
RO and ED for the treatment of brackish waters. While
sorption capacities of up to 80 mg TDS g
À1
of aerogel have
been claimed, the capacities of carbons in actual application
trials has only managed B8 mg TDS g
À1
of aerogel (Gabelich
et al., 2001). This arises from ion adsorption being based on
ionic hydrated radius, so that only pores greater than 20nm in
diameter are suitable sorption sites (Gabelich et al., 2002).
Additionally, fouling of carbon aerogels by organic com-
pounds readily occurs, which limits the adsorption capacity
of the carbon electrodes (Gabelich et al., 2001, 2002; Lee
et al., 2008).
Commercial systems are now available and are finding
application in polishing ultrapure water or treating low-
salinity brackish or wastewaters (Farmer et al., 1996).
Limitations of CDI as a concentrate-minimization technology
include (1) preference for removal of monovalent ions
over divalent, (2) limited sorption capacity of carbon-based
electrode materials, and (3) organic fouling to which the
electrodes are prone when used on natural waters (Gabelich
et al., 2010).
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Relevant Websites
http://serc.carleton.edu
EarthLabs.
http://www.ide-tech.com
IDE Technologies.
Seawater Use and Desalination Technology 109
4.05 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
PA Wilderer, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Institute for Advanced Study, Munich, Germany
E Davydova and Y Saveliev, Meteo-Systems, Zug, Switzerland
& 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
4.05.1 Introduction 111
4.05.2 Volume of Water in the Atmosphere 112
4.05.3 Fundamentals of Rainfall Generation 112
4.05.3.1 Preliminary Remarks 112
4.05.3.2 Water in the Atmosphere 113
4.05.3.3 Atmospheric Processes of Precipitation Formation 113
4.05.3.3.1 Thermodynamic processes 113
4.05.3.3.2 Unit processes 114
4.05.3.3.3 Thermodynamic approach to explaining precipitation events 115
4.05.3.3.4 Electrical processes 118
4.05.4 Innovative Abstraction Methods 120
4.05.4.1 Condensation Technology 120
4.05.4.1.1 General remarks 120
4.05.4.1.2 Proposed technologies 120
4.05.4.1.3 Research needs 123
4.05.4.2 Fog Collection 123
4.05.4.3 Generating Clouds with the Aid of Heat Islands 126
4.05.4.4 Cloud Seeding 128
4.05.4.4.1 Development of the technology 128
4.05.4.4.2 Evaluations and recommendations 129
4.05.4.5 Rainfall Enhancement by Cloud-Particle Charging 130
4.05.4.5.1 Scientific background 130
4.05.4.5.2 Development of the technology 132
4.05.4.6 Evaluation and Recommendations 133
4.05.5 Rainwater Collection, Purification, and Storage 134
4.05.5.1 Incentives for Action 134
4.05.5.2 Rainwater Collection 135
4.05.5.3 Pollution and Purification of Stormwater Runoff 135
4.05.5.4 Purification of Stormwater Runoff in Decentralized Treatment Units 135
4.05.5.5 Large-Scale Storage of the Collected Rainwater 138
4.05.6 Overarching Aspects 139
References 141
4.05.1 Introduction
Since the middle of the nineteenth century, the number of
people on our planet has been increasing at an unprecedent-
edly high rate. In 1959, 2.5 billion people lived on the Earth.
Within 50 years, the world’s population had risen to about 6.7
billion, with an annual growth rate of about 82 million
(Anonymous, 2008). Even more dramatic is the rate at which
the population of urban areas has increased. In 2008, about
50% of the world’s population lived in urban areas, half of
them in cities of 500000 inhabitants or less, and the other half
in cities of up to even 30 million people. By the year 2035,
more than 70% of the global population is expected to live in
cities. Moreover, a large proportion of the world’s population
today lives in coastal areas, in strips about 100 km wide along
various shorelines (Anonymous, 2006).
As a consequence of such growth in the population, the
demand for water and food, land and infrastructure, and
commodities and energy has also risen, both globally and
locally. Simultaneously, the emission of solid, liquid, and
gaseous wastes has proliferated, polluting not only land and
air, but also aquifers (groundwater), rivers, lakes, coastal areas,
and oceans. These water resources, which are crucial for sat-
isfying the water needs of humans and animals, agriculture,
industry, and the planet’s entire ecosystem, are adversely ex-
ploited by this pollution.
It is universally known that water is the essence of life. In
contrast to all other living beings on the Earth, humans re-
quire water not only for life-enabling functions, but also for a
multitude of other purposes arising from the human desire to
create a lifestyle superior to that offered by nature. We use
water for showering, recreational bathing, running washing
machines and dishwashers, flushing toilets, washing cars, and
many other activities. Farmers use water for growing crops and
quenching the thirst of domesticated animals. Water is needed
to produce paper, steel, and textiles, just to name a few.
111
Additionally, water is used for various cooling purposes. All of
this equates to a global demand for freshwater that grows
overproportionally with respect to the growth of the human
population on the Earth. Thus, it is fair to assume that water
shortages in many parts of the world are caused not only by
changes in climatic conditions and by the enormous growth of
the human population, but even more by the insatiability of
the human race’s demand for and consumption of water,
food, and commodities.
The traditional way of satisfying the human water demand
is to abstract water from natural resources such as aquifers and
surface water bodies (rivers and lakes). Where the water de-
mand has exceeded the capacity of these natural resources,
people have invented and implemented a variety of methods
to capture rainwater or to melt snow and ice. During rainy
seasons, rainwater from roofs and other sealed surfaces is
collected and stored in tanks (cisterns). This method is re-
ferred to as rainwater harvesting. On a larger scale, holding
ponds and dams (reservoirs) are built to ensure water supply
to people, small enterprises, industry, power plants, and, im-
portantly, agriculture during prolonged droughts.
There are four main reasons why these traditional methods
are no longer sufficient to meet the water demands of people,
industry, agriculture, and the biota (plants, animals, and
bacteria):
1. As mentioned above, the growth of the human population
in general and the growth of cities in particular, as well as
people and industry’s unquenchable demand for fresh-
water due to intensification of water usage by all economic
sectors have increased the need for abstraction of water
from natural and man-made water resources.
2. Extensive use of land for human settlements and industrial
complexes has diminished recharge of natural water
resources, groundwater in particular. In many areas, the
groundwater table has dropped to a critical point (Mervis,
2009).
3. Excessive use of fertilizer and pesticides, unintended infil-
tration of leachates from municipal and industrial landfills,
intrusion of seawater into aquifers, and discharge of poorly
treated wastewater into rivers, lakes, and dams have caused
major deterioration of surface water and groundwater
quality.
4. In many regions of the world, global warming and the
subsequent change of climatic conditions have led to se-
vere irregularities of precipitation (Bates et al., 2008). Re-
gions such as California, the Mediterranean countries, and
Australia are reporting unprecedented drought situations.
Dams are empty (Figure 1); rivers, fields, and gardens are
drying up (Pearce, 2006).
To maintain their water supply, many municipalities are now
being forced to consider alternative sources of water. The city
of Brisbane in Australia, for instance, decided to implement
advanced treatment of wastewater, pump it back to and blend
it with the water in the Wivenhoe dam, and use it as a source
of municipal water (Figure 2). This project has been com-
pleted but has not been fully commissioned after rainfall in-
tensity increased in the year 2009, and due to a public
backlash over discharging treated wastewater to the water
supply of Brisbane City. As early as 1998, Singapore embarked
on a program of desalinating treated wastewater for further
use in industry (Anonymous, 2002; Tortajada, 2006). The city
of Perth in Australia, along with many other large cities in the
world, has constructed plants for desalination of seawater.
Desalination of brackish water is being considered in some
other areas.
Figure 1 Low water of Lake Wivenhoe, Australia, after 6 years of drought. Photo taken by the author.
112 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
Although advances in membrane technology have made
these solutions feasible and affordable, the high costs and
high energy consumption limit the broader applicability of
such high-tech solutions.
There is one other source, which needs to be taken into
consideration when looking for solutions to the problem of
water shortages – atmospheric humidity. This chapter sum-
marizes potential methods of harvesting atmospheric hu-
midity, and outlines the technology used to abstract this
humidity for human consumption.
4.05.2 Volume of Water in the Atmosphere
The generic source of freshwater on the Earth is the atmos-
phere (Figure 3; Rekacewicz, 2002). Water reaches the surface
of the Earth as a result of precipitation in the form of rain,
snow, graupel, or hail. Some of the rainwater evaporates on its
way to the surface and thereafter. Thus, it is transferred back to
the atmosphere before it can be used. Some of this water is
taken up by plants and animals, and stored for some period of
time in plant and animal tissues. Another portion of the
rainwater infiltrates geological formations (aquifers) con-
sisting of porous material (gravel and sand), or rock crevices
and caverns. The rest flows above ground toward lakes, wet-
lands, and eventually to the open sea.
The quantity of water in the atmosphere is subject to
constant and highly dynamic changes. As part of the overall
water cycle, atmospheric water is continuously replenished by
evaporation from surface waters (sea, lakes, rivers, swamps,
etc.), and by evapotranspiration performed by global biota in
general, and by plants in particular.
According to estimates published by Gleick (1996), the
total amount of freshwater on the Earth is 34650000 km
3
, of
which 13 200km
3
is present in the atmosphere, either in the
form of gaseous water (water vapor) or as liquid water drop-
lets forming fog or clouds (Figure 4).
In comparison to the overall volume of water on the Earth
(1 385984 000km
3
), the water content of the atmosphere
appears to be rather low. However, if we were to distribute the
water contained in the atmosphere among the 6.8 billion
people on the Earth, at any given time each person would
receive about 2000m
3
. Considering that agriculture requires
about 75% of the freshwater being consumed, and only 6% of
the overall water consumption relates to domestic usage
(drinking, cooking, body care, washing clothes, as well as
water consumption by small enterprises), there is still plenty
of water available in the atmosphere (about 115 m
3
per person
at any given time) to satisfy the basic needs of people on the
Earth. In conclusion, it is well worth considering the water
vapor contained in the atmosphere as a supplementary source
of water – not only for human consumption but for agri-
cultural irrigation and industrial purposes as well.
4.05.3 Fundamentals of Rainfall Generation
4.05.3.1 Preliminary Remarks
The following basic information relates to the various forms of
atmospheric water, the processes leading to fog and cloud
formation, and about methods of accessing atmospheric water
to mitigate water shortages at local and regional scales. It is
not intended to provide an in-depth scientific review. Readers
who are interested in digging deeper into the knowledge base
of atmospheric physics and meteorology are advised to con-
sult the relevant textbooks and scientific journals (e.g., Rogers
and Yan, 1996; Steinfeld and Pandis, 2006).
4.05.3.2 Water in the Atmosphere
Water exists in the atmosphere in all three thermodynamic
aggregate states, as gas, as a liquid, and in the solid state
of ice. The gaseous state of atmospheric water is termed water
vapor or simply vapor. Changes of water-aggregate states drive
a rich variety of atmospheric processes affecting weather and
climate.
The change of aggregate state from vapor to liquid is
termed ‘condensation’, whereas the reverse process of change
from liquid to vapor is termed ‘evaporation’. The change of
aggregate state from liquid to solid is termed ‘freezing’,
whereas the reverse process of change from solid to liquid is
termed ‘melting’. Vapor can also be directly converted into ice,
bypassing the liquid-state stage. This change of aggregate state
from vapor to solid is termed ‘vapor deposition’ or simply
‘deposition’. Evaporation of ice, the direct change of aggregate
state from solid to vapor bypassing the liquid-state stage, is the
reverse process.
Water vapor is invisible to the naked eye. The amount of
vapor in a unit volume of air can be described in terms of
water vapor partial pressure, that is, the pressure of vapor
contributing to the total pressure of all gases comprising at-
mospheric air. At a given temperature, partial vapor pressure
Figure 2 Western corridor recycled water project designed to
overcome water shortage-situation in the Brisbane metropolitan area,
Australia; wastewater is considered as an alternative source of water.
PP, power plant; WWTP, wastewater treatment plant. Adapted from
McCann B (2008) Australia’s largest recycled water project. Water 21,
Journal of the International Water Association (London) 21: 42–44.
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 113
cannot be increased indefinitely, that is, the amount of vapor
which a given volume of air can hold is limited. This limit is
reached when the number of molecules evaporating from
water or ice surfaces equals the number of molecules con-
densing into liquid water or depositing onto ice. Such an
equilibrium state is termed ‘saturation’. At saturation, vapor is
termed saturated, and the partial pressure of vapor is termed
‘saturation vapor pressure’. Saturation vapor pressure increases
with air temperature, which means that a volume of cold air
can hold a smaller amount of vapor than the same volume of
warm air. A common measure of vapor content in the air is
relative humidity (RH), defined as the ratio of partial vapor
pressure to saturation vapor pressure at a given temperature,
usually expressed as a percentage. At saturation, RH is 100%.
The temperature at which the vapor at a given partial pressure
is saturated is termed ‘dew point’.
If air is cooled, RH may exceed 100% (in this case, the
vapor is termed supersaturated), unless surfaces which can be
wetted or, at subzero temperatures, surfaces with a structure
similar to that of ice, are available allowing the vapor to
condense or deposit, respectively. Small airborne particles
called aerosols, for example, fine sand, dust, ash, soot, bac-
teria, and pollen, are almost always present in the atmosphere.
Some of those particles with surfaces on which vapor may
condense or deposit are called ‘condensation nuclei’ (CNs)
and ‘ice nuclei’ (INs), respectively.
Typically, the supersaturation of atmospheric vapor does
not exceed 1–2% as the latter condenses or deposits on INs
Vapor transport
Precipitation
110 000 km
3
Precipitation
458 000 km
3
Precipitation
9000 km
3
Evaporation
9000 km
3
Evaporation
502 800 km
3
Lakes
Ocean
Area of
internal
runoff
119 million km
2
Infiltration
Evapotranspiration
65 200 km
3
River runoff
42 600 km
3
Groundwater flow
2200 km
3
Area of external
runoff
119 million km
2
Oceans
and seas
361 million km
2
Note: The width of the blue and gray arrows are proportional to the volumes of transported water
Figure 3 Graphical representation of the water cycle on the Earth. Reproduced from Rekacewicz P (2002) Vital water graphics. United Nations
Environmental Programme/GRID-Arendal. http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/world_s_water_cycle_schematic_and_residence_time (accessed March
2010), Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal, with permission.
114 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
and/or CNs, which grow into ice crystals and liquid droplets,
respectively. Areas laden with airborne cloud particles such as
ice crystals and/or liquid droplets, formed as a result of air
cooling below the dew point, appear visually as either clouds
or fog. The term cloud is used when a clear interface exists
between the particle-laden space and the atmosphere below.
In contrast, the term fog is used when no such bottom inter-
face exists, and the particle-laden space meets the surface of
the Earth (land or a body of water).
The efficiency of aerosols acting as CNs and INs varies
depending on their chemical composition and surface prop-
erties. In particular, cloud formation and development are
sensitive to atmospheric pollution (Steinfeld and Pandis,
2006). Due to their hygroscopic properties, sea-salt particles
are considered to be excellent natural CNs, causing liquid
droplets to grow well beyond their normal size (Biswas and
Dennis, 1971). Elementary sulfur, originating from dimethyl
sulfide (DMS), a volatile compound generated by marine
algae, is another example. In general, the ability to act as CNs
varies for different types of aerosols, which makes cloud for-
mation and development sensitive to atmospheric pollution
(Steinfeld and Pandis, 2006).
Droplets are microscopic in size (typical diameter ranges
between 10 and 20mm). They are light and tend to remain
airborne. In contrast, drops are comparably large, and are
heavy enough to fall by virtue of gravity.
4.05.3.3 Atmospheric Processes of Precipitation Formation
4.05.3.3.1 Thermodynamic processes
Condensation, deposition, and freezing are thermodynamic
processes of the aggregate-state change accompanied by the
release of latent heat. As a result, the surrounding air becomes
warmer. The reverse processes of evaporation and melting re-
sult in the cooling of the surrounding air. Evapotranspiration
refers to the process of evaporation facilitated by plants and
animals.
4.05.3.3.2 Unit processes
Clouds are a potential source of precipitating water, but not
every cloud delivers precipitation. Rainfall and/or snowfall can
only materialize after the cloud particles have reached a
threshold weight beyond which gravity takes effect. Although
intensive research has been conducted over the past years,
knowledge about the governing processes in clouds is still
incomplete. In the following, processes which play a major
role in the generation of rain and snowfall are briefly de-
scribed. Figure 5 illustrates the network of interconnected
processes in clouds.
The capture of supercooled cloud droplets by snow crystals
is termed as ‘riming’. When two droplets collide, we term this
process as ‘collision’. Coalescence occurs when two droplets
fuse.
Water in
Water in
− Plants and animals
− Rivers
− Soil
− Wetlands
− Lakes
− Atmosphere
− Permafrost soil
− Aquifers
− Glaciers
− Atmosphere
− Surface
0 10 000 000 20 000 000 km
3
13 167 km
3
13 167 km
3
1 109 km
3
2 218 km
3
16 909 km
3
11 780 km
3
93 415 km
3
125 431 km
3
277 197 km
3
10 429 530 km
3
23 804 275 km
3
0 40 000 80 000
km
3
Figure 4 Graphical presentation of the various categories of freshwater on the Earth. Data from Gleick PH (1996) Water resources. In: Schneider SH
(ed.) Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather, vol. 2, pp. 817–882. New York: Oxford University Press.
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 115
The schematic presented in Figure 5 may be somewhat
misleading as it provides the impression of a rather universally
applicable and static interaction of processes. In reality, how-
ever, the concert of processes is heavily affected by site-specific
boundary conditions, and by natural and man-made impacts.
Moreover, it is subjected to time variations high in frequency
and amplitude. As shown in Figure 6, there exists a highly
complex system of causes and effects which needs to be
understood when attempting to influence weather conditions,
and to trigger or enhance precipitation with the aim of miti-
gating local or regional drought situations.
4.05.3.3.3 Thermodynamic approach to explaining
precipitation events
If the temperature increases, the air can hold a larger amount
of vapor and the corresponding vapor-saturation pressure in-
creases. With rising temperature, the actual partial pressure of
vapor falls below the saturation pressure, and RH falls below
100%. The molecule balance at the surface no longer exists
and the evaporation of liquid water or ice into the air becomes
the dominant process, which, if continued for a limited vol-
ume of air, will eventually bring the system back to the
equilibrium state of saturation.
-The demand -
-The source -
Evaporation
Condensation
Melting
Melting
Riming
Melting
Snow flakes
Riming
River runoff
42 600 km
3
Infiltration
Lakes
Ocean
C
o
n
d
e
n
s
a
t
i
o
n
C
o
n
d
e
n
s
a
t
i
o
n
C
o
n
d
e
n
s
a
t
i
o
n
C
o
a
l
i
t
i
o
n
c
o
a
l
e
s
c
e
n
c
e
C
o
a
l
i
t
i
o
n
c
o
a
l
e
s
c
e
n
c
e
Evaporation
Evaporation
Ice
crystals
Water vapor
Cloud
droplets
Rain drops
P
r
e
c
ip
it
a
t
io
n
P
r
e
c
ip
it
a
t
io
n
Figure 5 Network of processes involved in the development of precipitation. Adapted from Houze RA (1993) Cloud Dynamics, pp. 573–578. San
Diego, CA; London: Academic Press; and background picture from Rekacewicz P (2002) Vital water graphics. United Nations Environmental
Programme/GRID-Arendal, http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/world_s_water_cycle_schematic_and_residence_time (accessed March 2010).
116 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
If the temperature decreases below the dew point, the
amount of vapor which can be held by air also decreases, as
does the corresponding vapor-saturation pressure. As a result,
RH exceeds 100%. In this case, the air is considered to be
supersaturated with vapor. This state of supersaturation is
unstable as the excess vapor will condense on any available
surface (liquid or solid) until the partial vapor pressure is
reduced to the saturation pressure, and the system is brought
back to equilibrium.
The vapor-saturation pressure over ice is lower than that
over liquid water (Bergeron, 1935, 1949). Therefore, ice par-
ticles may grow faster than liquid droplets and eventually
absorb more vapor by deposition than droplets do by con-
densation. As the water vapor is consumed by the growing
cloud particles, its partial pressure decreases. When the partial
pressure of vapor falls below the vapor-saturation pressure, the
air becomes undersaturated with respect to liquid water while
still being supersaturated with respect to ice. At this point, the
Orography
Albedo
Geographic
latitude
Land use
urbanization
Distribution stratification
e.g.,
e.g.,
e.g.,
e.g.,
- Air currents - Air pollution
- Contrails
- Cosmic rays
- Solar radiation
- Electrical charge
distribution
- Thermal uplift
- Volcano outbreak
- Forest and bush fire
- Man-made emissions
• Factors
• Conditions
• Processes
Are subjected to
time-dependent changes
Distribution
scattering
Vegetation
lakes and wetlands
ocean
Altitude
(b)
(c) (d)
Density
(a)
Temperature
• Adhesion
• Advective transport
• Attraction
• Coalescence
• Condensation
• Coalition
• Deposition
• Evaporation
• Freezing
• Melting
• Turbulent mixing
• Repulsion
• Riming
• Aerosols
• Gases
• Ice
• Nuclei
• Water droplets
• Water vapor
Electric charges
• Gravity
• Air currents
• Buoyancy
Forces
• Microscopic
• Macroscopic
• Ice
• Air
• Droplets
Processes
River runoff
42 600 km
3
Infiltration
Lakes
Ocean
Riv Riv Riv RRRivve R ve vve i r ru r runof noff ooff off ffffff o
442 42 42 6 2 6 6666 2 666600 k 0 k 00 k 000 k 00 k 00 k 0000 k 00 k 00 k k 00 k kkkkkkmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
33333
Infi Infi nfi Inf nfi Inf Infi In nfi IIIInfiltra ltra ltra lltra ltration nnnn tion tion on n tion tionn ti n on o Lakes
Ocean
River runoff
42 600 km
3
Infiltration Lakes
Ocean
River runoff
42 600 km
3
Infiltration Lakes
Ocean
Figure 6 Attempt to visualize the complexity of weather related processes in the atmosphere: (a) geographic boundary conditions; (b) physical and
chemical boundary conditions; (c) internal system parameters; and (d) all external and internal factors, conditions, and processes change, often
rapidly, with time. Background pictures adapted from Rekacewicz P (2002) Vital water graphics. United Nations Environmental Programme/GRID-
Arendal. http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/world_s_water_cycle_schematic_and_residence_time (accessed March 2010).
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 117
surrounding droplets will evaporate while ice particles con-
tinue to grow at the expense of droplets. This mechanism is
known as the Bergeron process.
Atmospheric aerosols, both of natural and anthropogenic
origin, can dramatically affect microphysical processes in
clouds. Water droplets are microscopic in size. Most of them
grow by condensation to a size of about B10
À5
m in diameter.
Due to the surface tension of liquid water, the vapor-satur-
ation pressure over small droplets is higher compared to that
of a flat water surface. Therefore, smaller droplets require a
higher supersaturation to break the size barrier to condensa-
tional growth. This size barrier can be surpassed if a solute
such as salt reduces the saturation pressure enough to mitigate
the effect of surface tension. Soluble aerosols (e.g., particles of
sea salt which are abundant over oceans), when collected by
and dissolved in liquid droplets, may alter the effective vapor-
saturation pressure over droplets. Aerosols of surface-active
substances emitted from industrial areas may also affect the
saturation pressure over water droplets. As a result, the droplet
spectrum (the distribution of number concentration over
droplet size) may be significantly affected. As the collision
efficiency of droplet coalescence increases, rainfall may be
initiated and enhanced in intensity (Facchini et al., 1999).
Pure water droplets can remain in liquid form even down
to temperatures near À42 1C (Smith, 1999). Supercooled
droplets are typically abundant in cold clouds (i.e., clouds at
temperatures below freezing point). When brought into con-
tact with a body of ice or any other substance with similar
surface characteristics (e.g., silver iodide particles), the super-
cooled water may freeze almost instantly. This process is
known as ‘contact freezing’ (Sastry, 2005). As a result of con-
tact freezing, ice particles can be instantly formed from a li-
quid droplet bypassing the relatively slow Bergeron growth of
ice-forming nucleus, which involves liquid droplet reprocess-
ing via evaporation. In turn, the produced ice particle may
continue to grow either by vapor deposition or by further
merging with the next supercooled droplet. The produced
particles, when grown large enough, may reach the surface as
ice conglomerates, such as snow and graupel, or, if melted as
they descend, as rain drops.
Rain is also produced by warm clouds (i.e., clouds at a
temperature above freezing point) during summer and in
tropical areas. Therefore, it has to be assumed that processes
other than those related to ice production cause the gener-
ation of rainfall.
At a certain stage of droplet growth in a warm cloud,
droplet merging by collision becomes a growth process which
is considered to be even more efficient than condensation.
As the force of gravity exerted on a droplet increases more
with the size of the latter than the competing force of air
viscosity, larger droplets fall faster than smaller droplets. As
they descend, the former (in this context termed ‘collectors’)
may collide and merge with the latter, thus growing in mass
and size and falling faster. In this classic description, such a
droplet-merging process is known as ‘collision–coalescence’,
or simply ‘coalescence’ (Battan, 2003). The coalescent growth
of a descending collector accelerates during its travel through
the swarm of small droplets in cloudy air until reaching the
cloud base, which may result in the formation of a drop, a
liquid water particle, a millimeter in size. On exiting the cloud,
the descending drops start to evaporate as the surrounding air
is no longer saturated. Depending on the vertical air-humidity
profile and size spectrum of the produced drops, some of the
latter may reach the surface of the Earth as rainfall.
In turbulent air, droplets can move in different directions
with different velocities, generally determined by a combin-
ation of the forces of gravity and viscosity in highly variable air
motions, causing them to collide as in the case of classic
collision–coalescence. Such a turbulent coalescence is some-
times called turbulent coagulation.
There is no guarantee, however, that all geometrically pos-
sible collisions will result in merging small droplets with the
collector, that is, coalescence. Some droplets may be deflected
by airflow around the collector surface. Droplets may also co-
alesce temporarily and then separate, or coalesce temporarily
and then separate breaking into a number of smaller droplets.
The collision efficiency defines the ratio of actual number
of collisions to the number of collisions which are geo-
metrically possible. Moreover, the coalescence efficiency has to
be taken into account, defined as the ratio of the number of
successful coalescence events to the number of collisions. In
addition, it has to be considered that, as in the case of classic
collision–coalescence, the presence of large droplets, even in a
small number concentration, may significantly enhance tur-
bulent coalescence (Riemer and Wexier, 2005).
It was Aitken who discovered the importance of CNs in
1880. Due to their force of attraction to water, sea-salt particles
may be considered as prominent CNs frequently available in
the atmosphere above the ocean. Elementary sulfur is another
candidate for nucleation. It originates, for instance, from DMS
generated by marine algae. Dust and fine sand are other
media. Dust particles may comprise inorganic or organic
matter. The latter may originate from blooming plants (pol-
len), forest fires, road traffic, or industrial operations. Finally,
but importantly, ice crystals are rated as very important CNs
and play a major role in the process of cloud formation.
Understanding the properties of clouds is still limited by
difficulties surrounding the problem of adequately describing
the processes of cloud-droplet nucleation and growth. Small
changes in droplet population may significantly influence
the formation and size of cloud droplets and precipitation
(Facchini et al., 1999). Solutes affect the equilibrium and
nonequilibrium properties of water. The depression of the ice
equilibrium melting point is one such example. Koop et al.
(2000) found that homogeneous nucleation of ice from
supercooled aqueous solutions is independent of the nature of
the solute, but depends only on the ratio between the water-
vapor pressures of the solution and of pure water under the
same conditions. In addition, the authors found that the
presence of solutes and the application of pressure have a very
similar effect on ice nucleation. A thermodynamic theory for
homogeneous ice nucleation was suggested which expresses
the nucleation rate coefficient as a function of water activity
and pressure.
Cloud droplets are so small in size and so light that gravity
has little effect on them. The rather uniform size of these
particles suggests that the rate of condensation matches fairly
well with the rate of evaporation processes. For the particles to
grow, gain weight, and eventually descend to the surface of the
Earth as rain or snow, additional forces need to take effect.
118 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
Condensation of water vapor onto the surface of droplets is
one of the growth mechanisms to be considered. Ice particles
can grow in a similar fashion by the condensation and sub-
sequent freezing of water vapor. For water vapor to condense
onto a liquid droplet, the air surrounding the droplet must be
supersaturated with respect to water. Likewise, for conden-
sation onto an ice particle, the air must be supersaturated with
respect to ice. At sub-freezing temperatures, supersaturation
with respect to ice occurs at a lower RH compared to super-
saturation with respect to water (Bergeron, 1935, 1949).
Therefore, in the same environment, ice particles will grow
faster than water droplets, particularly when the ice particles are
supercool with respect to the temperature of the air (ambient
temperature). As the water vapor is depleted, the environment
will become subsaturated with respect to water but will still be
supersaturated with respect to ice. At this point, the water
droplets will evaporate while the ice particles continue to grow.
Thus, ice particles will grow at the expense of water droplets.
For the Bergeron process to proceed, the cloud must be
positioned at an altitude where the air temperature is well
below freezing point (cold cloud). With respect to rainfall
generation from warm clouds, the collision–coalescence pro-
cess described by Battan (2003) may be considered as an al-
ternative to the Bergeron process. As mentioned above, salt
particles, because of their hygroscopic properties, attract water
when present in the air, causing water droplets to grow well
beyond the normal size of cloud droplets (Biswas and Dennis,
1971). As these droplets become heavy, they likely start des-
cending through the swarm of cloud droplets toward the
Earth’s surface. On their way, they will inevitably collide with
smaller cloud droplets, making some, but not all, merge with
the larger droplets unless there are surface-active chemical
substances present, which lower the surface tension of water
(Facchini et al., 1999). Subsequently, the larger droplets grow
in size, and the speed of descent increases. Once the drops
exceed 100 mm in diameter, rain drops of 1mm and larger
develop within minutes.
4.05.3.3.4 Electrical processes
Cloud processes are also affected by electric charges on cloud
particles. Similar to aerosols, electric charges and the resulting
electric forces affect cloud properties and the process of pre-
cipitation formation via a variety of microphysical
mechanisms.
The first basic research in this field was conducted by
Charles T. R. Wilson, who received the Nobel prize in 1927 for
his method of making the paths of electrically charged par-
ticles visible by the condensation of vapor. Based on Wilson’s
findings, Bernard Vonnegut was the first to develop this con-
cept further (Phelps and Vonnegut, 1970). He and his col-
leagues discovered that the presence of electric forces
enhanced coalescence and the formation of larger drops dur-
ing collisions. This led the authors to speculate that electrical
charges in clouds could aid in the coalescence of droplets and
thus initiate rainfall. They argued that negative ions that flow
to the positively charged tops of thunderstorm clouds and the
point-discharge positive ions that are carried from the Earth
toward an electrified cloud base were not necessarily dissi-
pative of cloud electrification. Some of these ions could be
moved in the convective overturn associated with a growing
cloud, resulting in point-discharge ions being carried by up-
drafts high in the cloud where they attract more negative ions
to the cloud. These, in turn, become attached to cloud par-
ticles near the cloud boundary and are transported downward
by the unfolding of air in and around a growing cloud. Noting
that intense rainfall often did not develop in clouds prior to
the electric discharge, they proposed an electrostatic precipi-
tation explanation based on the rearrangement of charges
around the lightning channels (Moore and Vonnegut, 1973,
1997; Vonnegut 1984, 1995). Harrison and Ambaum (2008,
2009) have added more information to the work of Vonnegut
and his colleagues, and endorsed a hypothesis on the role of
ions in nucleation of cloud droplets, their growth into rain-
drops, and the resulting precipitation events.
Today, it is known that all clouds – even non-thunderstorm
clouds – are electrified to a certain degree. Although complex
charge configurations may take place under highly variable
atmospheric conditions, cloud particles are predominantly
charged positively at the top and negatively at the bottom,
thus forming a so-called space charge in those areas. In a
cloud, this space charge maintains the associated electric field.
Processes of cloud charging and precipitation formation
are intrinsically linked. One effect of electric charges on cloud
particles is called the electro-hygroscopic effect, that is, the
reduction of the size barrier for the growth of water droplets.
As with salt and other solutes, condensation is facilitated
when droplets are electrically charged. Although the droplet
charge required to enhance activation is substantial, Harrison
and Ambaum (2008) demonstrated that sufficient charging
occurs at the edges of even weakly electrified clouds. Mean
droplet charges in the order of 100 elementary charges have
been observed near cloud boundaries of non-thunderstorm
clouds (Beard et al., 2004). In this context, the term ‘elem-
entary charge’ is to be understood as the positive electric
charge carried by a single proton or the negative electric charge
carried by a single electron. Cloud droplets with a radius of
3mm carrying an average 1500 elementary charges have been
observed at the base of mountain-top stratocumulus clouds
(Twomey, 1956). Charging a haze droplet to 1000 elementary
charges can reduce the critical supersaturation to 0.5%
(Harrison and Ambaum, 2008).
Another effect of electric charges is the enhancement of
droplet coalescence by electric forces between charged droplets
(Khain et al., 2004). The concept of electrically enhanced co-
alescence was introduced by Phelps and Vonnegut (1970).
Regardless of the relative electrical polarities of the colliding
particles, the net electric force between them is always at-
tractive due to electrostatic image forces (Tinsley et al., 2000).
For droplets of similar charges, there is a long-range repulsive
force, but by virtue of turbulence, droplets may be brought
into a range within which image forces take effect. To effect-
ively increase the collision efficiency, a droplet should possess
at least a few hundred elementary charges.
Not only collision efficiency but also coalescence efficiency
is increased in the process of electrically enhanced coalescence.
Beard et al. (2002) demonstrated that the coalescence efficiency
for collisions between weakly charged cloud droplets with a
radius of 55–105mm is greater than 91%. The efficiency is likely
to be greater than 95% even when the droplet charges are
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 119
insufficient for a significant enhancement of collision efficiency.
The coalescence of droplets may also be enhanced by their
polarization in an external electric field (Schlamp et al., 1976).
As in the case of electrically enhanced liquid-droplet co-
alescence, electric forces may also augment the merging of
other cloud particles such as nonwater aerosols and ice crys-
tals. For example, liquid droplets may collect (scavenge)
charged salt particles and therefore grow. Electrically scav-
enged nonsolute aerosols may trigger supercooled droplets to
freeze at elevated temperatures (immersion freezing).
Contact freezing of supercooled droplets by electro-
scavenged ice nuclei is a particularly efficient freezing mech-
anism of ice-particle generation (Tinsley et al., 2000). Another
effect is that the electrostatic field of electric charges directly
facilitates the freezing of supercooled cloud droplets and thus
the production of ice nuclei.
Water molecules possess their own electric dipole moment
(Figure 7). The oxygen atoms are more negatively charged
than the hydrogen atoms, and the molecule has a bent shape.
This means that water molecules attract each other electro-
statically. Clustering is likely to occur, causing enhancement of
the electrical dipole moment. Further enhancement may occur
when these clusters are exposed to corona ion emission.
If random motion of the molecules is low, the molecules
tend to line up in an orderly fashion with the positively
charged part of one molecule next to the negatively charged
part of another molecule.
In an electric field, water molecules will rotate to line up
with the field. As Wei et al. (2008) were able to experimentally
demonstrate, this is favorable for the freezing of supercooled
water at elevated temperatures.
The electric field polarizes cloud droplets. Each of the di-
poles exerts an attractive force on others above or below, caus-
ing them to collide and become larger. This, in turn, triggers the
collision–coalescence process. As a result, raindrops develop,
which are larger in size compared to those that develop in an
electrically neutral environment (Jermacans and Laws, 1999).
Cloud and fog formation under an electric field was stud-
ied by Teramoto and Ikeya (2000) using a Wilson cloud
chamber containing a supercooled atmosphere of ethanol.
The electric field necessary to generate dense clouds was about
4kV m
À1
. Positive ions produced by ionization condensed the
nuclei for the generation of fog and clouds. Plume clouds were
generated from a needle electrode.
Clouds get electrically charged by external and internal
mechanisms. The latter are related to processes which lead to
precipitation. The generation of ice is believed to play a major
role in internal cloud charging, that is, separation of opposite
sign charges into different cloud areas. In thunderclouds,
where the internal charging is intense and the positive feed-
back between charging and precipitation formation is strong,
a liquid droplet may grow up to the size of raindrops within
seconds. The sudden appearance of heavy rain, often called
‘cloudburst’, during thunderstorms is in agreement with this
theory (Moore et al., 1964). Detailed discussions about a
number of internal charging mechanisms are outside the
scope of this chapter, but can be found in many publications,
for example, in a book by McGorman and Rust (1988).
External cloud charging relies on the electrical conductivity
of the air within the global electric circuit (GEC). The latter is a
model for the atmospheric electric system (Wilson, 1929).
This system may be described as an electric circuit where
electric charges are assumed to be separated by the polar-cap
electric potentials generated by the solar wind and global
thunderstorm activity mainly in the convective tropic regions.
Figure 8 provides an overview of the respective mechanisms.
In a simplified form, the charge separation in the GEC by
thunderstorms can be described as follows. The negative
thundercloud charge is transported to the surface of the Earth
by ground flashes. The same process applies to a smaller
amount of the positive charge. The rest of the positive charge
leaks out of the cloud as the surrounding air becomes slightly
conductive due to the presence of atmospheric ions. As the
electrical conductivity of air sharply (quasi-exponentially) in-
creases with altitude, most of this leak current is guided to the
upper atmosphere, where it is distributed over the globe and
maintains the ionosphere at a potential of about 250–300 kV
with respect to the ground.
The overall system resembles a spherical capacitor. In fair-
weather regions, the atmospheric ions are driven by the elec-
tric field (i.e., gradient of ionosphere-to-Earth potential), thus
forming a leakage current with a density of about 1–4 pA m
À2
.
Atmospheric ions, which are constantly produced by cosmic
rays, and at a lesser rate by surface radioactivity, are the carriers
of the leakage current. The current which flows across the
vertical column resistance is known as the ambient or fair-
weather current (Harrison, 2005). A schematic diagram of the
GEC is given in Figure 9.
Put simply, the essence of charge separation in the above
process of external cloud charging is as follows. The initial
charge separation on a microscopic scale occurs when pairs of
ions of opposite polarities are created by energetic particles,
mainly of cosmic origin. Then, the ions of opposite polarities
are dragged apart in opposite directions by electric forces in
the electric field of the GEC. Positive ions are moved down-
ward, while negative ions are moved upward. Eventually, some
of these ions get stuck on cloud particles, thus charging them
positive for particles close to the top and negative for particles
close to the bottom cloud boundaries.
It is important to note that any charge separation requires
energy input. The initial energy input to separate ion charges
Slightly
positive
Slightly
negative
H
O
H
Figure 7 Electric dipole characteristic of the water molecule.
120 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
to microscopic distances (i.e., to create an ion pair) is provided
by energetic particles. The energy input required to separate
ion charges to macroscopic distances is provided by the GEC,
which acts as a generator of electric power.
All clouds, layered clouds in particular, get externally
charged by the fair-weather current because the electrical
conductivity of cloudy air is typically many times less than
that of clear air at the same altitude (Zhou and Tinsley, 2007).

− − −
− −
+
Solar wind modulation
Cosmic rays
Recombination
Ion-neutral
chemistry
Cluster ions
+
+ +
+
+
+
+ + +
+ +
+
+ +
+
+
+ +
+
+
+
+ +
+
+
+ +
+
+
+
+ +
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
− −






− −








− −










− −
− −


+
+
+
+
+
+ +
+
+
+
+ +
+
+
+
+
+
Attachment
to aerosols
Corona
ions
Air ions
Aerosol
nucleation
Reduced
ion mobility
Enhanced
E-field
Enhanced
space charge
D
r
ift c
u
r
r
e
n
t
Ionization
Turbulent
transport
Convection
current
Radon gas

+
Figure 8 Atmospheric processes relevant to ion–aerosol–cloud interactions. Reproduced from Harrison RG and Carslaw KS (2003) Ion–aerosol–
cloud processes in the lower atmosphere. Reviews of Geophysics 41–3: 1012. Copyright 2003 American Geophysical Union. Reproduced by
permission of American Geophysical Union.
Ionosphere
Cosmic rays
Fair-weather
current
Charge
separation
in
thunderclouds
Planetary surface












− −


− −







− −








− −
− −



− −










+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+ +
Figure 9 Schematic diagram of the global electrical circuit. Adapted from Harrison RG (2005) The global atmospheric electrical circuit and climate.
Survey Geophysics 25: 441–484; inserted photo: Carina Hansen – Fotolia.com
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 121
This is mainly due to the attachment of ions to droplets and
ice crystals that the cloudy air is laden with.
The links between cloud electrification and precipitation
have an important aspect. External charging may facilitate
precipitation formation by electrical mechanisms in all clouds,
including those where the internal charging processes are not
yet developed. The latter applies to non-thunderstorm clouds
which are sensitive to external charging, especially those of
layered structure. Thunderstorm clouds provide an electric
remote assistance for precipitation formation in non-thun-
derstorm clouds by virtue of the initial cloud charging over
long distances on a global scale.
4.05.4 Innovative Abstraction Methods
4.05.4.1 Condensation Technology
4.05.4.1.1 General remarks
As explained in Section 4.05.3.3, the transfer of water from the
gaseous to the liquid state, that is, condensation, requires
saturation, and even supersaturation of the air and the avail-
ability of a surface at which condensation can take place.
Saturation is temperature dependent. Condensation begins as
soon as the temperature falls below the dew point. When this
happens, for instance, on a clear night on a spider web,
dew drops form and accumulate on the meshes of the web
(Figure 10). Similarly, condensed water accumulates on leaves
early in the morning after a clear night (Figure 11).
The condensation process continues when the surface
upon which condensation occurs is artificially cooled. This
process is termed as ‘forced condensation’, and can be visu-
alized by a simple experiment: Figure 12 shows a pitcher filled
with iced water. Almost instantaneously, a puddle forms at the
bottom of the glass as condensation occurs. Eventually, the
liquid water, which accumulates on the surface, starts to flow
downward.
4.05.4.1.2 Proposed technologies
The process of forced condensation can technically be applied
to convert atmospheric humidity into liquid water to be used
for various purposes. All that is needed is a surface upon
which condensation may proceed. On one side of the surface a
cooling agent is passed along, while on the other side there is
air containing some humidity. This humidity turns into liquid
water which subsequently can be collected and used
(Figure 13).
The idea has been picked up by a number of companies. In
the following part, three examples are presented:
1. The Dutch company, Dutch Rainmaker BV, proposed to use
electricity generated by a wind turbine to drive a heat pump,
cooling the inner wall of a shaft holding the blades, and the
Figure 10 Condensation of liquid water at spider net strings serving as
condensation surface. Photo: Dalia Ruckiene – Fotalia.com
Figure 11 Condensation of liquid water at a leaf serving as
condensation surface. Photo: makuba – Fotalia.com
Figure 12 Condensation of liquid water at the outside of a pitcher filled
with iced water.
122 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
electricity generator or a heat pump, respectively. Ambient
air is blown through the shaft. Water vapor contained in the
air condenses on the wall, drips down, and is collected in a
storage tank at the bottom of the installation (Figure 14).
At the company’s test facility in Harlingen, a
prototype was producing around 0.5 m
3
of water per
day based on a relative humidity of 45% and a wind
speed of 2 m s
À1
. Under the same conditions, the full-scale
version is expected to produce between 7000 and
8000 l d
À1
.
2. Another technology has been developed by the UK-based
company, Grimshaw. Proposed is a unique large-scale
condensation structure for the city of Las Palmas in the
Canary Islands (Figure 15). The structure was designed in
a bold sculptural form as a backdrop to an outdoor
amphitheater.
Technically, this apparatus may best be described as a
tube-and-fin-type condenser. Cold seawater is pumped
through the condenser elements to cool the outer con-
densation surface. If the atmospheric conditions are right,
wind-driven humid air from the ocean passes through the
structure. Water vapor condenses on the tube surfaces; the
condensed water drops down, is collected at the bottom of
the structure, and then transported by gravity to an
underground storage tank. From there, the water may be
treated by appropriate physical and chemical methods, and
used for domestic purposes.
In this example, the proposed pipe length was 400 m,
and the condenser area was 1000m
3
. The temperature of
the seawater at the inlet point is typically about 91C. The
air temperature at Las Palmas varies between 15 and 23 1C
in summer, and between 12 and 18 1C in winter. Thus,
the water production of the unit was calculated to be
1120m
3
per day in summer and 530m
3
per day in winter
(Pawlyn, 2007).
Temperature
Interfacial
wall
Boundary
layer
Liquid
water
film
Warm
Cold
Flux of
water vapor
< Dew point
temperature
Distance
Flow of
liquid water
Figure 13 Schematic representation of forced condensation of water
vapor at a cooled surface.
Wind turbine
Cooling
of the
innerpart
of the
shaft
Heat
pump
Blower
Air filter
Air flow
Collection
basin
Effluent
Figure 14 Simplified schematic representation of a water abstraction device driven by a wind turbine. Illustration based on a sketch provided by
Dutch Rainmaker bv.
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 123
3. The third example of condensation technology has been
developed by a UK-based consortium comprising Seawater
Greenhouse Ltd., Exploration Architecture Ltd., and Max
Fordham & Partners LLP. It is called the Sahara Forest
Project, and it aims to create a growing environment in hot
and dry parts of the world (such as the Sahara), and pro-
duce deionized water comparable in quality to rainwater,
from seawater using solar energy.
The proposed method is based on the so-called sea-
water greenhouse concept developed by Paton (2001). Its
purpose is to provide desalination, cooling, and humidi-
fication in an integrated way, using solar energy as the
main source of power. Davies et al. (2004) described this
concept in some detail.
In the Sahara Forest Project, the seawater greenhouse
concept is combined with the concentrated solar power
(CSP) technology, which is already applied at various lo-
cations around the world. Solar radiation is concentrated
and focused on a heat-exchanger system to create steam
that drives conventional turbines to produce electricity.
CSP plants produce large amounts of surplus heat which
can be used to evaporate seawater. The vapor may be dis-
tributed in the greenhouse structures where it is converted
by natural condensation into deionized water, and used to
water trees, shrubs, and food crops inside and outside of
the greenhouses (Figure 16). Eventually, a forest ecosystem
develops outside of the greenhouses which has the po-
tential to change the microclimate of a region. It may even
work as a biotic pump, which means that humidity from
the ocean is attracted, clouds are formed, and precipitation
occurs in the former desert (Makarieva and Gorshkov,
2007).
4.05.4.1.3 Research needs
As sufficient basic knowledge on condensation is already
available, exploitation of this knowledge in order to overcome
water shortages in arid countries deserves attention. The three
examples described above clearly demonstrate the potential of
condensation technologies. The field is wide open for more
innovative ideas and concepts followed by applied research,
technology development, and field trials. Certainly, conden-
sation-based technology will not solve the water crisis at large.
Nevertheless, the deployment of many small-scale solutions
will assist in the mitigation of local water-scarcity problems.
4.05.4.2 Fog Collection
Fog is differentiated from clouds by the fact that it occurs close
to the Earth’s surface (land, lakes, or sea), whereas clouds are
located high in the lower atmosphere in the form of either
horizontally oriented layers (stratus, cirrus) or vertically ori-
ented accumulations (cumulus). Fog, as do clouds, consists of
very small droplets of liquid water (see Section 4.05.3).
Fog droplets have diameters of about 1–10mm. Under the
influence of gravity alone, these droplets fall very slowly (o1
to about 5cm s
À1
) and are thus readily subjected to wind
force. Horizontal winds of a few meters per second cause even
the largest fog droplets to travel horizontally (Schemenauer
and Cereceda, 1994a).
Condensation
structure
Humid air
from sea
Return flow
Collection of condensed water
Water for further use
Underground
storage
Cold seawater
intake
Amusement theater
Figure 15 Condensation of humid air blown from sea through an artistically designed structure – simplified overview based on a drawing of Pawlyn M
(2007) An architecture of water purification. In: Huber H, Wilderer PA, and Paris S (eds.) Water Supply and Sanitation for All, pp. 131–136. Berching,
Germany: Hans Huber AG. Photo by permission of Grimshaw, London, UK.
124 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
Fog droplets are readily intercepted when they come into
contact with surfaces, for instance, with leaves or plant stems.
They accumulate on such surfaces, forming large drops and
even films of liquid water. This is similar to (but should not be
confused with) the surface accumulation of liquid water
caused by condensation.
Some of the water accumulated on leaves and stems may
be taken up by plants or consumed by small animals. Excess
water eventually drips or flows to the ground and contributes
to soil moisture. Thus, in many arid areas, fog is the only
source of liquid water to support vegetation and animal life.
Persistent fog not only provides water, but also controls the
natural water management of ecosystems. In the humid tro-
pics, these regions are referred to as cloud forests (Kerfoot,
1968; Stadtmiiller, 1987; Goodman, 1982).
Trees are potentially good collectors of fog. Indeed, trees
have been used by man as fog collectors for centuries. In the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, stories about three fog-
collecting trees which grew on Hierro Island (Canary Islands)
received widespread public attention (Glas, 1764). The trees
were discovered in 1565 by Antonio Hernandez who coined
them as ‘fountain trees’ (Figure 17) because the water cap-
tured on the leaves accumulated in large quantities before
dripping down like a shower of rain. The water was collected
in cisterns, which were divided in two parts, one for people
and the second for cattle and other animals. Today, this con-
cept is depicted on the coat of arms of Hierro Island.
The trees belonged to the species of endemic laurel trees
(Ocotea foetens). They stood atop cliffs where fog arrived on an
almost regular basis from the ocean. Until a huge hurricane
uprooted them in 1610, they served as major water sources for
the pre-Hispanic population living on the island. In 1945,
Don Zo´ simo Herna´ndez Martin planted a laurel tree at one of
the previous sites. The project was scientifically supervised by
Alain Gioda, who in 1993 received the Rolex prize for his
groundbreaking work (Gioda et al., 1993). Since 1993, this
tree has been providing water obtained from fog in a manner
very much like that described by Glas (1764).
Another example of a natural fog-collection system is
that found by Schemenauer and Cereceda (1992a) in the
Dhofar region of southern Oman. Two small intertwined olive
trees stand in a windy environment where fog is almost con-
stantly present. The vertical cross section of a tree can collect
water at a rate of about 10 l m
À2
d
À1
. Over an 83-day obser-
vation period in 1990, 580 l d
À1
of water was harvested
(Schemenauer and Cereceda, 1994a).
Realizing that fog is a rich source of water, and also due to
the rapidly increasing need for water, particularly in rural areas
of developing countries, in the early 1980s, Schemenauer and
his colleagues commenced extensive research, development,
and implementation of projects aimed at mitigating water-
scarcity threats around the world (Schemenauer and Joe,
1982; Schemenauer and Cereceda, 1993). The results of these
projects have been published in major scientific journals and
presented at various international conferences and workshops.
Key findings can be summarized as follows:

Capturing and collecting fog is to be understood as a
physical–chemical separation process. Fog droplets are
separated from the air in which they are distributed.

Interception by plant material (leaves, stems, etc.) followed
by accumulation and storage can be mimicked by placing
in a fog-laden environment, a material which is able to
attract water droplets.
• For the collection of fog droplets, deep, three-dimensional
net-like structures made of flat sheets of hydrophobic
plastic material proved to be superior to two-dimensional
sieve-like structures.
• Good collection efficiencies were achieved with a double-
layer net made of black polypropylene ribbon (flat ribbon
of about 1mm width and 0.1 mm thickness). The ribbons
are woven into a net with a pore size of about 1cm.

Greater amounts of water can be collected when the
droplet-laden air (fog) is driven toward and through the net
by wind. To achieve optimal droplet-detention time within
the net, airflow velocity within the net should not exceed
Forest
plantation
Concentrated solar power plant
Greenhouse
installation
Ocean
Figure 16 Schematic representation of the Sahara Forest Project proposed by Seawater Greenhouse Ltd, Exploration Architecture Ltd, and Max
Fordham & Partners LLP. Reproduced from Pawlyn M (2007) An architecture of water purification. In: Huber H, Wilderer PA, and Paris S (eds.) Water
Supply and Sanitation for All, pp. 131–136. Berching, Germany: Hans Huber AG.
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 125
and should not drop below an optimal velocity range.
Optimal collection efficiencies were achieved at air-flow
velocities between about 3 and 8m s
À1
(Schemenauer and
Cereceda, 1994b).
• Due to their small size and mass, fog droplets travel mostly
parallel to the surface of the land. Therefore, the fog col-
lectors (racks holding the net) should be oriented in a
vertical direction.

Fog droplets attached to the surface of the ribbon merge
with other droplets by virtue of coalescence. Eventually, the
accumulated water loses hold and drips down into a col-
lection gutter.

Field measurements of the collection efficiency of the net at
the centerline of a large collector gave values of about 66%
(wind speed: 3.5–6.5 m s
À1
). This is in good agreement
with the theoretical collection efficiency for a single ribbon
once the areal coverage of the net is taken into account.
• At El Tofo, Chile, 50 fog collectors, each consisting of 48m
2
net area, were constructed in 1987. The average water produc-
tion from this collector system was approximately 3l m
2
d
À1
.
This equates to an average production of 11 000l d
À1
.

Production rates varied with the prevailing meteorological
conditions from zero on clear days to a maximum of about
100 000l d
À1
, which provided 330 people living in a nearby
village with 33 l per capita per day.

Due to the remote location of the El Tofo plant, the effluent
of the fog collectors was of good quality. It contained some
marine salts and soil dust, but little contamination from
anthropogenic sources (Schemenauer and Cereceda,
1992b). The measured water quality satisfied the drinking
water standards of the Chilean government and the World
Health Organization (WHO).
Many fog-collector systems have been installed in South
America, Africa, Oman, and Canada. Figure 18 illustrates the
typical installation of a fog-collecting system. A simple struc-
ture holds nets through which fog passes. The captured water
is collected in a half pipe below the net and directed into a
storage tank.
From the results obtained, it can be concluded that fog
collection is a viable and effective low-cost method to abstract
water from the atmosphere and use it for domestic purposes,
agricultural irrigation, and as a protective measure against
forest fires (Walmsley et al., 1999).
Foggy days are frequent in many regions of the world, even
in some desert areas. In such locations, the collection of fog
Figure 17 Historic drawing and Hierro
0
s coat of arms, both depicting the Fountain Tree used to harvest fog on Hierro Island, and the cistern to collect
and store the captured water.
126 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
for subsequent domestic use appears to be a most attractive
method of overcoming water-scarcity situations. Of course,
fog-collection technology on its own will not solve the water
crisis. However, the deployment of many small-scale solutions
will, at least, help mitigate water-scarcity problems. It is
therefore worthwhile to further develop fog-collection tech-
nologies. Of particular interest here are innovative materials,
with special focus on the surface properties of the materials to
be used to capture fog droplets. Additionally, more research is
required to improve the fog-capturing capacity of the three-
dimensional structure of collection nets. Finally, the quality of
the collected water in relation to the atmospheric conditions
at various sites needs to be carefully monitored.
4.05.4.3 Generating Clouds with the Aid of Heat Islands
When there are no clouds in the sky, rain can hardly be ex-
pected to fall. With this in mind, scientists and engineers have
been searching over the last few decades for ways to trigger
cloud development.
In order to plan and execute cloud-generation technology,
it is essential to start with a sound knowledge of how this
phenomenon occurs in nature (Battan, 2003). The funda-
mentals of cloud formation and of processes leading to pre-
cipitation have been described earlier in Section 4.05.3.
As shown in Figure 3, cloud formation is very often
stimulated by thermal uplift. Air containing humidity is lifted
up into regions of the atmosphere where the temperature is
lowenough for conditions of saturation, even supersaturation,
and the formation of cloud droplets. Taking this sequence of
processes into account, it appears that any method which
enhances thermal uplift could favor cloud formation.
To trigger a thermal uplift, a relatively large area of land
needs to be covered with a material of low albedo that readily
absorbs short-wave solar radiation and converts it into long-
wave radiation (i.e., heat). Subsequently, the temperature of
air above such an area would rise, causing the air to ascend.
A piece of land which exhibits high-level radiation-ab-
sorbing properties is called a heat island. Bare, rocky land of
volcanic origin may possess such properties, but so would
man-made settings, such as a city where the roads are paved
with asphalt, and roofs made of red tiles (Black and Tarmy,
1963). Such environments may be classified as ‘unintended’,
in contrast to purpose-built heat islands.
To purposely create a heat island, it is necessary to pave a
large area of land with a material such as asphalt, preferably
close to the ocean. On sunny days, small deep-pressure sys-
tems may develop above the artificial heat island. Air would be
sucked from the ocean or from wetlands where humidity is
typically high. Vapor would thus be transported in large
quantities toward the heat island and up into the sky leading
to the accumulation of cloud droplets and, subsequently, to
the development of convective clouds. These clouds may then
be transported by the dominant wind some distance away
from the heat island depending on wind direction and speed,
and also on a variety of other prevailing meteorological factors
in the site above the target area (Figure 19). Brenig et al.
(2001) developed such a system based on the layout of an
artificial heat island. He coined this method Geshem Rain
System (Geshem means rain in Hebrew).
The sequence of processes characterizing the heat-island
concept was first described in the 1950s and 1960s by Malkus
and Stern (1953), Malkus (1963), and Black and Tarmy
(1963). The theoretical arguments of Malkus and Stern were
based on very rough solutions of the hydrodynamic equations
governing atmospheric flows. The observational data were
derived from a small, flat island in the West Indies that had
been thoroughly studied in order to understand the mech-
anisms which lead to frequent development of cloud rows in
an area where clouds were typically not present.
The study by Malkus and Stern stimulated some further
studies on the potential of urban areas to serve as heat islands.
As mentioned above, radiation-absorbing materials are typi-
cally used to build roofs and roads. These materials absorb
solar radiation better than the vegetation in the surrounding
countryside. The larger the area that is covered with such
materials, the greater the expected heat flux toward the lower
atmosphere. At the same time, small particles emitted by cars
(e.g., abrasion of brakes and tires), by industrial activities, and
heating devices will be uplifted as well. Rainfall is likely to
occur in the downwind region.
This phenomenon was studied by Shepherd et al. (2002)
for unintended heat islands in areas such as Houston, Texas,
by examining data measured by a radar system on board the
Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite of Na-
tional Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This
system measures rainfall rates, droplet size, and latent heat.
Two main effects were observed in and near the southern
US cities studied: first, an average temperature difference of
3 and 51C between the cities and the surrounding area was
measured; and second, significantly higher rainfalls and
thunderstorms occurred in an area away from the cities in the
prevailing wind direction (Burian and Shepherd, 2005;
Shepherd et al. 2002).
Studies performed by Brenig et al. (1995, 2001, 2005) re-
vealed that there is a lower limit for the size of the artificial
heat island and a higher limit for its reflectivity beyond which
the buoyancy produced would not be enough to lift the air to
condensation altitude. The value of the minimum area for the
low-reflectivity surface is a function of its albedo. For lower
albedo values, a smaller heat-island surface produces about
Figure 18 Typical setup of a fog collection system. Background photo:
Fotalia.
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 127
the same thermal rising motion for the air as a larger but less-
absorbing black surface.
Moreover, these limiting values are also dependent on
factors such as wind speed, atmospheric stability, and the
thermal parameters of the radiation-absorbing material used.
For higher wind speeds over a ground surface of a given al-
bedo and a given size, the buoyancy effect gets weaker since
the air flows faster over the hot surface and, consequently, has
less time to absorb the heat ascending from the ground. For
higher stability of the lower atmospheric layers, the ascending
motion of the air will be counteracted by a stability effect.
These are some examples of the rather complex set of physical
relationships that govern the influence of a solar-absorbing
surface at ground level on the local atmospheric circulation.
According to Brenig (2001, 2005), for a heat-island system
(Geshem Rain System) to function efficiently, the following
conditions need to be met:

The material constituting the heat island should reach a
minimum temperature excess of 40–501C with respect to
the surrounding area. In this case, the size of the heat island
can be kept as small as 60–90km
2
.

The general orientation of the heat island should be with its
longest axis parallel to the mean wind direction.

Ideally, the center of the artificial heat island should be
located at a distance between 10 and 30km from the coast
(Yoshikado, 1992, 1994). Closer to the ocean, the clouds
generated by heat-island forces may be subject to diurnal
land–sea wind variations, and transported to the ocean
rather than to inland areas.
One of the major drawbacks of the Geshem Rain System is the
enormous amount of space required to build an artificial heat
island. In order to reduce this area, research is needed to
identify materials exposing a maximum radiative absorption
capacity and a low albedo at minimum cost.
In collaboration with experts in land management and
regional planning, possibilities should be investigated and
assessed to deploy artificially built heat islands for multiple
purposes, for example, for heating up the air and for electricity
generation. In no case, however, should these heat islands
compromise the functioning of local ecosystems or the supply
of agricultural products.
Triggering the development of cumuliform clouds does not
necessarily lead to rainfall, as discussed in Section 4.05.3. In
order to make optimal use of the water contained in the ar-
tificially generated clouds, research should focus on advances
in technology which enable the generation and enhancement
of rainfall.
4.05.4.4 Cloud Seeding
4.05.4.4.1 Development of the technology
It is commonly known that clouds do not always bring pre-
cipitation to the surface of the Earth. From the literature re-
view in Section 4.05.3, we have learned that precipitation can
only occur when water particles, liquid or ice, gain sufficient
The Geshem rain system
Cumulus
Wind
Rain
Rain
Condensation
Resen
Heat
Humidity
Modules
Cultivated
fields
Aquifer
Sea breeze
wind
Sea
Coast
Thermal
+
water
vapor
3

k
m
3

k
m
3
0

k
m
6
0

k
m
H
e
a
t

i
s
l
a
n
d
Figure 19 Schematic representation of the Geshem Rain System, the engineered version of the general heat island concept. Reproduced from Brenig
L (2007) Making rain on arid regions: The Geshem Rain System. Water and Environmental Exchange, Sevilla (Spain). http://physfsa.ulb.ac.be/IMG/pdf/
brenig07.pdf (accessed August 2010).
128 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
weight to overcome the prevailing buoyancy in clouds and
travel downward to the surface of the Earth. However, on their
way, particles are subject to the process of evaporation. Only
those drops or snowflakes make it to the grounds which,
during their travel time, are not transformed back into water
vapor.
Taking into account the complexity of processes and
boundary conditions shown in Figures 5 and 6, engineered
harvesting of clouds appears possible only when, under actual
meteorological, time-dependent conditions, the cloud par-
ticles (water droplets or ice crystals) are allowed to form, are
triggered to merge, grow large, and gain weight.
In principle, enhanced growths of cloud droplets could be
achieved if the air temperature within clouds could be arti-
ficially lowered. In the case of clouds containing supercooled
droplets, rapid cooling – for instance, by injecting dry ice
(frozen CO
2
) – is a potential trigger for turning droplets into
ice particles. It can be expected that the ice particles will grow
since condensation with respect to ice is particularly high.
Vincent Schaefer was the first to suggest this idea and in-
vestigate its applicability. In the laboratory, he was able to
achieve positive results, and on 13 November 1946, he con-
ducted a field test in the vicinity of Mt. Greylock (MA, USA).
In this test, an airplane flew across a supercooled stratus cloud
and dropped dry ice particles along its flight track. Within
minutes, the texture of the clouds significantly changed, and
below the cloud, snowflakes were detected.
Under the leadership of Irving Langmuir, Nobel prize
laureate for chemistry (1932), and in cooperation with Vin-
cent Schaefer and Bernard Vonnegut, experiments continued.
The group tried to find a substance which would be as effective
as dry ice, but which would work at temperatures closer to the
freezing point of water. It was Vonnegut (Battan, 2003) who
identified silver iodide (AgI) as a potential seeding material.
Silver iodide is highly soluble in water (3 Â10
À7
g per
100 ml at 201C). It is used in photography and as an antiseptic
in medicine. With respect to cloud physics, it is worth men-
tioning that the crystalline structure of AgI is similar to that of
ice crystals. Thus, by injecting AgI crystals into a supercooled
cloud, the availability of CNs is likely to be improved. Sub-
sequently, supercooled cloud droplets are likely to develop,
providing the opportunity for these droplets to instant-
aneously change into ice particles. Subsequently, the ice par-
ticles may grow in size and weight due to condensation
processes.
For silver iodide to convert into its crystalline structure, it
has to be exposed to high temperatures at which the substance
vaporizes. Cooling the AgI vapor results in very small crystals,
0.01–0.1 mm in size. They are similar in structure to ice crystals,
and thus behave in a manner similar to that of CNs. The
problem is, however, that these crystals deteriorate very
quickly due to solar radiation. Thus, it is crucial to deliver the
crystals to clouds as quickly as possible, by rockets or
airplanes.
Not only inorganic but also living bacteria have been
considered as potential media for ice nucleation. Levin et al.
(1987) studied the ice-nucleating properties of a number of
Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. They concluded
that there is no reason to disqualify active bacteria as cloud-
seeding agents.
Of particular interest in this context is the bacterial strain
Pseudomonas syringae, which is known to cause ice nucleation
at temperatures as low as À8 1C. Drainas et al. (1995) per-
formed studies on the genetic properties of this strain, and
explored the reasons why it causes water to freeze at tem-
peratures below 0 1C. On ground, however, these bacteria are
known to be responsible for severe surface-frost damages in
plants.
Tegos et al. (2001) conducted experiments to produce cell-
free active INs for biotechnological applications in efforts to
avoid detrimental effects once rain comes into contact with
plants. A freezing temperature threshold of about À71C was
observed. It is foreseeable that sooner or later, this type of
seeding agent will be used in atmospheric studies as well.
The method described above is often referred to as one
based on the static-phase hypothesis. In other words, it is
based on cloud microphysics. It is assumed that precipitation
efficiency can be increased by altering the dynamics or air
motion in clouds due to the latent heat release of growing ice
particles, redistribution of condensed water, and counter-
action against evaporation of cloud droplets, ice crystals,
snowflakes, and raindrops.
The second basic hypothesis of cloud seeding is the dy-
namic-phase hypothesis, which is based on the dynamics of
clouds. Here, cloud seeding is focused on enhancement of the
vertical air currents in clouds. Klatt’s (2000) description of the
dynamic phase hypothesis is explained below.
Cumuliform clouds are dependent on the presence of a
persistent updraft. Air within the updraft experiences adiabatic
cooling as it rises, and at some point it will become super-
saturated with respect to water. The updraft speed is pro-
portional to cloud buoyancy, the latter being a function of the
temperature difference between the cloud and its environ-
ment. As water vapor is converted into liquid droplets or ice
particles, it releases latent heat to the cloud, thus increasing
temperature. This will enhance the updraft and increase water-
vapor influx.
Positive feedback will occur as the increasing quantity of
water vapor condenses, deposits, and releases even more latent
heat. Particles suspended in the updraft may eventually grow
large enough to overcome the upward velocity of the updraft
and fall to the ground as precipitation.
Precipitation has a very detrimental effect on the cloud.
Clouds, which develop in areas where the shear is weak, will
have a vertically oriented updraft. In this situation, precipi-
tation which forms will fall straight down through the updraft.
The weight of the drops and the drag created as they fall will
dissipate the updraft. In addition, the precipitation removes
large amounts of water from the cloud, which the updraft can
no longer replenish. Once the updraft has ceased, the cloud
will quickly evaporate.
Observations have shown that seeding does enhance the
transformation of cloud particles from liquid to ice (Sax and
Keller, 1980; Hallett, 1981). According to the static-phase hy-
pothesis, clouds should be seeded to achieve about 1–10 ice
crystals per liter at temperatures warmer than À15 1C. In
contrast, the proponents of the dynamic-phase hypothesis
suggest seeding clouds such that more than 100–1000 ice
crystals per liter may develop. This corresponds to seeding as
much as 200–1000 g of silver iodide (Cotton, 1997).
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 129
Dry ice and silver iodide enhance the ice crystal concen-
trations in clouds by either nucleating new crystals or freezing
cloud droplets. They both belong to the category of glacio-
genic materials. It should be realized that both substances can
only be effective when clouds are exposed to temperatures
well below the freezing point. In tropical areas, however, the
air temperature remains above the freezing point even at high
altitudes. To propagate enhancement of rainfall in such areas,
the injection of water drops, dilute saline solutions, or grinded
salt has been suggested. The primary objective of introducing
these types of materials is to jump-start the coalescence pro-
cess (Biswas and Dennis, 1971; Murty, 1989; Czys and
Bruintjes, 1994). For seeding with salt, the term hygroscopic
seeding is often used.
4.05.4.4.2 Evaluations and recommendations
Over the past few decades, many attempts have been made to
gain a deeper understanding of the underlying physics, to
document the responses of cloud seeding, and to validate the
causality, that is, the cause-to-effect relationship. The review in
Sections 79.3.3.2 and 79.4.4.1 suggests that knowledge about
cloud physics and the processes leading to precipitation has
reached an advanced level, although more research is needed
to consolidate the knowledge base.
It is commonly agreed that the success of cloud seeding
should be evaluated in terms of the amount of rain or snow
that reaches the ground. The development of cloud particles
heavy enough to fall is certainly a prerequisite for precipi-
tation, but it is an insufficient criterion from an economic
viewpoint. Only rain and snow which reaches the ground can
be considered beneficial for humankind, industry, and nature
– or detrimental if it exceeds a certain level of volume.
Proving that a particular seeding exercise has caused rain or
snow has been and still is a matter of controversial dis-
cussions. The problem here is that weather conditions are not
only complex, but also highly variable in space and time (see
Figure 6). Even if the cause-to-effect relationship could be
scientifically verified, there is no guarantee that the public will
accept this as an unarguable fact. Many people assume that a
rain event can only be attributed to natural processes or to a
divine power. A farmer whose land receives rain during a
drought would most likely be reluctant to pay for this blessing,
but would be more inclined to offer up a prayer to the
heavens.
Beginning with the early trials carried out by Schaefer and
Vonnegut, efforts have been made to demonstrate that cloud
seeding enhances rainfall or snowfall on the ground. Over
time, the level of sophistication has increased – in terms of
both test design and the evaluation of results using statistical
methods. However, when Battan (2003) first published his
book in 1962, he came to the conclusion that despite the
evidence that cloud seeding leads to the enhancement of
precipitation on the ground, more scientific knowledge was
needed to better understand the physical mechanisms in-
volved. He cited a report published in 1955 by the World
Meteorological Organization, in which the authors state that a
net increase in precipitation had not yet been demonstrated
beyond reasonable doubt in any seeding operations. Years
later, and after a multitude of field trials, Bruintjes (1999)
provided a critical review of cloud-seeding experiments. His
critique is backed up by Garstang et al. (2004), who refer to a
report of the US National Research Council (NRC) issued in
2004, which states that the field of atmospheric science is now
in a position to answer many of the crucial questions that have
impeded or blocked progress in weather modification in the
past. However, the authors of the NRC report could still see no
convincing scientific proof that cloud seeding works. Boe et al.
(2004) countered that there is ample evidence that winter-fog
modification, snowpack augmentation, and glaciogenic and
hygroscopic seeding enhance rainfall, even though the mag-
nitude of the effects may be difficult to quantify with pre-
cision. Qiu and Cressey (2008), referring to the failure of
seeding operation during the Olympic games in Beijing, again
expressed doubts about the effectiveness of cloud seeding.
The question here is how to measure reliably the success of
cloud seeding. Statistical analysis has been and still is the
method of choice. To execute statistical analysis, it is com-
monly agreed that cloud-seeding experiments must be ran-
domized. Although this method is well established in science,
for fundamental reasons, the results of statistical analysis
cannot prove that cloud seeding produces an effect such as
rainfall on the ground. Statistical analysis can only provide
information about levels of confidence and probability (List,
2005).
Apparently, the statistical probability of cloud-seeding op-
erations being successful is rather low. However, this conclu-
sion might be misleading. As some experiments were
randomized, the timeline of the three-dimensional meteoro-
logical conditions during and after the seeding event was not
properly taken into account (see Figure 6). The actual me-
teorological conditions must be understood, however, as
being decisive for success or failure. It is widely accepted that
actual meteorological conditions are only occasionally ap-
propriate for cloud seeding.
If cloud-seeding operations are executed irrespective of the
prevailing meteorological conditions, then it is little wonder
that the success rate is rather limited. Nevertheless, according
to the current state of scientific knowledge, it is fair to hy-
pothesize that a seeding exercise under the right meteoro-
logical conditions will lead to precipitation on the ground
(List, 2005). This hypothesis is yet to be proven incorrect.
Future research and development efforts should concen-
trate on the development of a holistic physical hypothesis that
incorporates all the major processes governing the generation
of cloud droplets, ice particles, and eventually precipitation.
Mathematical models need to be further developed to better
understand the dynamics of meteorological conditions in time
and space, and in response to the peculiarities of the region
under consideration.
Cloud seeding could eventually evolve into a technology
which is predictable in effect, and could be pinpointed to a
certain region. It would then become an attractive technology
for investors. The proponents of cloud seeding must under-
stand, however, that rainfall generation and enhancement are
measures which can help solve regional or global water-supply
problems only when treated as a part of an integrated water-
resources management (IWRM) approach. Application of the
technology has to be governed by national and international
laws to ensure that conflicts of interest are avoided and
130 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
sustainable development of regions is secured (for more in-
formation see Section 4.05.6).
There is another concern not properly shared by the ma-
jority of cloud seeders and their economic and political pro-
ponents. Chemical substances and bacteria injected into
clouds will inevitably end up on the ground and affect the
biosphere. Silver, for example, is known to be potentially
toxic. Similarly, bacteria such as Pseudomonas syringae are toxic
(Drainas et al., 1995). Seeding clouds with substances which
are or may be harmful for plants, animals, or humans is not
only a shortsighted concept, but ethically and ecologically
unacceptable.
4.05.4.5 Rainfall Enhancement by Cloud-Particle Charging
4.05.4.5.1 Scientific background
In Section 4.05.3.3.3, we discussed the importance of atmos-
pheric electricity on the evolution of cloud particles, and on
subsequent occurrence and intensity of precipitation. It was
mentioned that Phelps and Vonnegut were probably the first
to consider the role of electricity in the processes leading
to precipitation (Vonnegut and Moore, 1958; Phelps and
Vonnegut, 1970) and to realize that the intended introduction
of electrical charge into existing clouds could trigger or aug-
ment precipitation. Since then, numerous attempts have been
made to develop weather-modification methods and devices
for applications such as fog dissipation and precipitation en-
hancement by means of cloud-particle charging.
As previously mentioned, there are two main microphysical
mechanisms of cloud modification by particle charging: (1)
electrically enhanced coalescence and (2) electro-freezing of
supercooled droplets by contact nucleation. To be effective,
each mechanism requires a certain minimum charge per elec-
trically active cloud particle. For example, enhancing coales-
cence–collision efficiency requires hundreds of elementary
(electric) charges on droplets with a radius of 10–20mm (Khain
et al., 2004). Charges per particle of the same order of magni-
tude are required for effective electro-freezing (Tinsley et al.,
2000). Cloud particles charged sufficiently to significantly
modify cloud-development processes are referred to hereinafter
as supercharged particles. A common method to supercharge
cloud or artificial aerosol particles (e.g., water droplets pro-
duced with a sprayer) is to deploy a direct current (DC) corona
discharge device producing unipolar, that is, predominantly
of the same sign, air ions. The particles are then directly charged
by ion attachment. Negative ions are preferred as, compared
to positive ions, they have a higher mobility and, therefore, a
slightly higher particle charge is achievable in the same
configuration.
In its general form, a DC corona discharge device, suitable
for charging airborne particles with the negative sign in the so-
called aerosol chargers, comprises two electrodes connected to
a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) source: the cathode
having one or more surface parts with a high curvature, called
an emitter electrode of corona discharge, or simply emitter,
and the anode with a smooth surface, called a collector elec-
trode of corona discharge, or simply collector. For example,
one or more needles with sharp pins or thin wires can be used
as the emitter. In this configuration, negative air ions pro-
duced in a strong electric field around a needle, pin, or wire
surface, drift toward the positively charged collector, thus
forming an electric current passing through the air. This cur-
rent is often referred to as an ionic current. Aerosol particles,
carried by an air stream through the ion-drift zone between
the emitter and collector, become negatively charged in this
zone by direct ion attachment. These particles are then intro-
duced (seeded) into a cloud or fog.
A number of designs of aerosol particle chargers have been
proposed for cloud and fog modification, for example, those
described in the patent applications of Marks (1980) and
Khain et al. (2003). Seeding techniques using airborne carriers
or ground-based chimney-like conduits have been described
by Khain et al. (2003). In practice, however, direct super-
charging of cloud particles with aerosol chargers and seeding
those particles into a large volume of cloudy air would need to
overcome severe engineering difficulties.
The average charge on a particle which can be achieved by
ion attachment is approximately proportional, among other
factors, to the particle size and logarithm of the so-called
unipolarity factor, which is the ratio of the number concen-
tration of the dominant-sign ions to the concentration of the
opposite-sign ions. In order to supercharge cloud particles,
especially small ones, the corresponding unipolarity factor
should also be sufficiently high. As ions of the sign opposite to
that of corona ions are always present in the air, the required
unipolarity can be maintained only within a limited area of
the ion-drift zone around the emitter. Therefore, only a frac-
tion of charged aerosols would be supercharged, with the rest
of them charged below the supercharging threshold. Another
problem is that a strong electric field of the nearby highly
charged particles may reduce the ion-production rate of cor-
ona discharge (Smith, 1972; Loveland et al., 1972), which
requires the prompt removal of the charged aerosols away
from the emitter. On the other hand, removal of those par-
ticles and the overall charger performance will be limited by
the time required for particle supercharging. Due to the sheer
size of clouds, a large number of aerosol chargers would
probably be required for precipitation enhancement by seed-
ing with charged water particles.
Once removed from an ion-drift (charging) zone, particles
remain supercharged for only a limited time due to their
(nonequilibrium) charge decay, posing the challenging prob-
lem of distributing such an unstable seeding medium over a
large volume of cloudy air within that time. This would
probably require the costly deployment of a number of air-
borne carriers such as aircrafts or drones and/or chimney-like
conduits.
In practice, direct supercharging of cloud particles in suf-
ficient amounts with aerosol chargers is difficult to achieve
and costly to implement in an application on a reasonable
scale, thus making it uncompetitive with conventional
(chemical) cloud seeding. Therefore, a practical approach to
the problem should be focused on other means of increasing
the electric charge on cloud particles. One solution to the
problem based on the enhancement of the natural charging
processes in non-thunderstorm clouds has been found
after rigorous scientific scrutiny of Russian-engineered devices
for cloud and fog modification, undertaken by the research
team of Meteo Systems AG, Switzerland, and supported by
recent research in the field of electrical processes in cloud
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 131
microphysics, for example, links between solar activity and
climate.
Since non-thunderstorm layered clouds produce a large
share of the total precipitation on the Earth, they appear to be
attractive targets for modification. As discussed in Section
4.05.3.3.3, the upper and lower boundaries of such clouds are
sensitive to electrification by the fair-weather atmospheric
electric current. The density of space charge produced by this
external cloud charging is proportional to the fair-weather
current density (Harrison and Ambaum, 2008). Therefore,
electrical processes of precipitation formation in non-thun-
derstorm clouds are modulated by fair-weather atmospheric
electric current and, in principle, can be influenced by engin-
eers, provided the technical means for controlling that current
are in place.
The density of the (ohmic) fair-weather current is deter-
mined by local values of air conductivity and the gradient of
the ionosphere-to-Earth potential of the GEC, that is, the in-
tensity of the fair-weather electric field. The conductivity of air
depends on local factors such as atmospheric ion-production
rate, number concentration, and type of atmospheric aerosols.
The intensity of the fair-weather electric field, although
strongly correlated with global thunderstorm activity, is sub-
ject to variations due to a number of factors. At a given lo-
cation, the vertical profiles of air conductivity and fair-weather
electric field exhibit significant variations, while the density of
the fair-weather electric current usually changes very little with
altitude.
Many observations have provided evidence that weather
variables are strongly correlated with the fair-weather electric
current. Cyclical and irregular variations in solar activity
modulate ionization rates and hence the fair-weather electric
current in the lower atmosphere. Recent studies, based on the
observed sensitivity of weather variables to variations of solar
activity, strongly indicate that the input of cosmic rays is not
negligible. Cosmic rays comprise particles with a high-energy
potential originating from both solar and nonsolar sources
(Tinsley, 2000; Carslaw et al., 2002; Palle et al., 2004; Harrison
and Ambaum, 2008). The evidence of a statistical relationship
of precipitation with cosmic-ray flux was first presented by
Kniveton and Todd (2001). This relationship was examined
for the Beijing area by Zhao et al. (2004). Comparative an-
alysis of heavy rainfall correlations with cosmic rays, varying
with different locations around the Mediterranean basin, was
provided by Mavrakis and Lykoudis (2006).
In contrast to the case of a DC corona discharge where the
produced ions are unipolar, natural energetic particles pro-
duce pairs of air ions of the opposite sign, a process called
‘bipolar ionization’. Due to the motion of ions driven by the
fair-weather electric field through clear-to-cloudy air interfaces
with high conductivity gradients, the initial microscopic
charge separation by bipolar ionization results in a macro-
scopic charge separation by the accumulation of multiple
charges of the same sign on cloud particles, negative at the
bottom and positive at the top of clouds, that is, external
cloud charging. As this process is scaled with the density of the
ohmic fair-weather electric current, increasing charges on
cloud particles could be achieved by increasing the number
concentration of atmospheric ions, determined by the air
ionization rate, or increasing the fair-weather electric field
strength. In theory, augmenting natural bipolar ionization by
providing an artificial source of additional bipolar ionization,
for example, by means of a laser beam, might be an option.
Depending on altitude, about 2–15 ions s
À1
are naturally
produced in 1cm
3
of the troposphere, the layer of the at-
mosphere where most precipitating clouds form. Taking into
account the sheer size of clouds, simple calculations would
not engender much hope for achieving an artificial ionization
rate comparable to that of natural ionization.
Another option is to increase the fair-weather electric field
strength at cloud altitudes. This can be achieved locally by the
accumulation of negative electric charges below clouds. In this
configuration, the electric field of those charges points in the
same direction (downward) as the fair-weather electric field,
that is, the latter is augmented. The elevation height of such an
electric field source above the surface of the Earth should be
sufficiently high with respect to the induced image charge at
the surface with a finite conductivity, which further reduces
the electric field with distance from the source. In terms of
electrostatics, the electric field produced by an electric field
source and its image charge fades with distance as quickly as
the field of electric dipole.
In practice, charging atmospheric aerosol particles which
will then act as charge carriers appears to be feasible. In con-
trast to the direct charging of cloud particles, aerosol particles
should not necessarily be charged to a supercharging thresh-
old, and this can be achieved by means of ground-based fa-
cilities. The produced plume of space charge formed by
charged aerosol particles is then elevated by convective up-
drafts. The lifetime of space charge accumulated by aerosols is
typically in the range of 15–40 min. This allows the space-
charge plumes to be elevated to altitudes of up to several
hundred meters and even more, depending on the atmos-
pheric conditions.
Summarizing the above, the principle of weather-modifi-
cation methods by means of unipolar air ionization at low-
elevation heights above the surface of the Earth is based on a
local electrical disturbance of the GEC caused by the long-
lasting space charge of aerosol particles acquired by the at-
tachment of produced ions. Under certain conditions, this
may lead to the enhancement of the electric field strength at
altitudes of non-thunderstorm clouds and thus external
charging of the latter in the GEC due to a high conductivity
gradient on the clear-to-cloudy air interface on cloud bound-
aries. This additional artificial charging, which appears as an
increase in cloud particle electric charge, negative near the
bottom and positive near the top of clouds, changes electric-
ally sensitive cloud microphysical processes, such as droplet
condensation, coalescence, and freezing of cloud droplets by
contact with charged aerosol particles acting as contact-freez-
ing nuclei. In this way, a local artificial modulation is added to
the GEC. This artificial modulation can be used as a base for
weather-modification applications at local or regional scales.
4.05.4.5.2 Development of the technology
The first experiments using corona discharge devices for fog
dissipation were reportedly carried out in the Soviet Union
before World War II, although a detailed description of the
trialed devices cannot be found in the literature available now.
132 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
Using charged particles of fine sand for cloud and fog modi-
fication was also considered at that time. However, as was later
stated by Smirnov (1992), delivering artificial charges to
clouds was a major challenge.
Vonnegut et al. (1957) were the first who hypothesized the
existence of a link between aerosol charging near ground level
and electrification of non-thunderstorm clouds. A hypothesis
describing convective cloud charging based on the physical
delivery of aerosol particles, charged near ground level, into
clouds was proposed. To test this hypothesis, a large open-air
DC corona discharge installation was proposed to charge
natural aerosol particles in large volumes of atmospheric air.
In that configuration, the emitter electrode in the form of a
straight wire, several kilometers long with a diameter of
0.2 mm, was elevated on masts at 10 m above the ground and
powered with an HVDC source at a voltage of 10 kV relative to
the ground, the latter acting as the collector electrode of cor-
ona discharge.
The external cloud-charging mechanism was not under-
stood at that time. Although the results of experiments con-
ducted by Vonnegut’s team to prove convective cloud charging
were inconclusive, the new concept of charging atmospheric
aerosols with open-air DC corona-discharge installations,
aiming to remotely modify the electrical state of clouds, was
introduced.
Vonnegut et al. (1962) performed aircraft measurements of
the electric potential gradient at different altitudes above the
plume of aerosols charged with a 14-km long wire. They ob-
served that the produced space charge mixed rapidly in the
lower atmosphere and caused large perturbations in the fair-
weather electric potential gradient, which were extended
downwind 10km or more. When there was convection, the
charge was rapidly carried aloft by thermal updrafts.
Bradley and Semonin (1969) carried out similar measure-
ments and attempted to detect precipitation–modification
signals with the assessment techniques available at that time.
In the early 1970s, experiments on warm-fog dissipation
with aerosol chargers were carried out in the USA (Loveland
et al., 1972).
Electrical fog-dissipation experiments resumed in Russia
from the 1990s onward. Large open-air corona-discharge sys-
tems were used comprising an emitter electrode in the form of
a long thin wire supported and elevated to a few meters height
above the ground with one or more poles. The wire was
connected to the negative electrode of an HVDC source, the
positive electrode of which was earthed. In a number of pro-
posed embodiments, the wire was arranged in different ways
and different support structures used in attempts to improve
the basic design of Vonnegut et al. (1958). In other embodi-
ments, such as that shown in Figure 20, metallic collector
electrodes electrically coupled with the earthed positive elec-
trode of HVDC source were provided.
Fog-dissipation experiments were conducted using various
embodiments on a trial-and-error basis. According to mem-
bers of one of the Russian fog-dissipation research teams, best
results were achieved with embodiments where the wire was
arranged in parallel segments when wound in one strand
around the sides of a wooden pyramidal frame (Rostopchin
et al., 2001). A number of such emitter-electrode assemblies
supported by individual poles, or grouped on a rectangular
rack and supported by multiple poles, were operated at a
voltage of 50–70kV. In peer-reviewed literature, the studies of
electrical fog dissipation in Russia were presented, for ex-
ample, by Afanasiev et al. (1996) and later by Chernikov and
Khaikine (1999).
Although the primary concern of research, technical de-
velopment, and field tests on weather modification, by means
of ground-base DC corona-discharge installations, was the
dissipation of fog, later such installations were also used in
cloud-modification experiments conducted with varying de-
grees of success in Russia and other countries such as the USA,
Mexico, the UAE, and Australia.
In Russia, the press reported a number of trials, some of
them commercial, performed with ground-based corona sys-
tems to reduce rainfall during harvesting and public events, or
increase it during dry seasons, in particular, for extinguishing
peat and forest fires.
By the end of the last century, characterized by a sharp
economic downturn in the former Soviet Union, a number of
Russian experts in the field of electrical weather modification,
previously employed by Soviet state meteorological insti-
tutions, had reportedly joined companies based in Mexico and
the USA, such as ELAT SA (Mexico City), Earthwise Technol-
ogy Inc. (Dallas, TX, USA), and Ionogenics (Marblehead, MA,
USA). Marketed by the competing companies under various
names, the technology was referred to either as ionization of
the local atmosphere (IOLA) or as electrification of the at-
mosphere (ELAT). Support and funding were sought from
both US and Mexican governments. According to media re-
ports, limited funding was granted to ELAT by the Mexican
government for field trials in a drought-affected area in
Mexico.
According to a report by Moore (2004), Earthwise Tech-
nology proposed corona-discharge systems that were 7 m
high, shaped like short open-topped air-traffic control towers,
housing proprietary ion generators and blowers to lift the
produced space charge. The ELAT installations were rather
simple in appearance, consisting of a 37-m-high central tower
surrounded by 8-m posts arranged hexagonally at a distance of
150m. The tower and posts were interconnected by the
7 m
100 m
(+) (−)
100 m
Figure 20 Corona discharge installations used for fog dissipation in
Russian airports.
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 133
emitter wires, electrically coupled to an HVDC source powered
by a 2-kW generator.
Field trials were carried out by Meteo Systems AG, Switz-
erland, in the United Arab Emirates (in the year 2006), and
later in Australia (in 2007 and 2008) under the scientific-as-
sessment program of the University of Queensland, Australia.
During 4 months of operations, a number of major rain-en-
hancement events were observed and quantitatively evaluated.
Performance analyses based on measurements of ionic current
and the assessment of aerosol-charging efficiency were carried
out for different configurations of the corona installation de-
ployed in field tests, which was based on the pyramidal design
of Rostopchin et al. (2001). The major achievement of Meteo
System’s research team was discovering the basic principles of
weather modification by unipolar aerosol charging with
ground-based systems. This opened the way for Meteo Systems
to engineer a number of high-performance installations of the
next generation, which are optimized for particular weather-
modification applications. This would have been impossible
without understanding the physical processes upon which the
technology is based.
Until recently, the mechanisms of how the space charge
introduced into the lower atmosphere affected cloud devel-
opment were not well understood. Field experiments relied on
a trial-and-error approach. The prevailing belief, inherited
from the former hypothesis of convective cloud charging, was
that space charge should be delivered into a cloud in order to
cause electrical modification of the latter. This and other hy-
potheses, such as those based on the vertical ion transport to
clouds, were strongly criticized by the scientific community,
and any observed evidence was not accepted but questioned,
with reference to natural weather variability which is still not
reliably predictable. However, as List (2005) stated, this res-
ervation applies to any weather-modification technology re-
gardless of the methods and techniques used.
4.05.4.6 Evaluation and Recommendations
Although a large number of experimental trials have been
carried out over the past years using ground-based corona-
discharge installations, there is not a single report available in
the scientific literature containing detailed results of the trials,
and practical experiences. To the knowledge of the authors,
only one paper has been published which provides, in the
appendix section, some general information about trials that
were planned for Mexico and Webb County, TX, USA, from
1996 to 2002 (Kauffman and Ruiz-Columbien, 2005).
In contrast to strategies adopted by companies involved in
marketing cloud-seeding technologies, the proponents of
ionization-based technologies were very protective in their
activities. As a result, some elements within the scientific
community see the electrical weather-modification technology
as voodoo science (Park, 2000). Subsequently, potential cli-
ents (e.g., representatives of water authorities) approach the
technology with suspicion even when water scarcity is severely
threatening local people and the agricultural community.
The review of the scientific fundamentals of the ionization-
based technology presented in Section 4.05.4.5.1 reveals that
this technology is far from being scientifically untenable.
When applied in a scientifically sound manner, the technology
exhibits a significant potential, even higher than that of cloud
seeding. During cloud-seeding operations, only a fraction of
the available cloud cover can be influenced. In contrast, clouds
covering a significantly larger area can be modified by remote
cloud charging at low cost, especially if a grid of multiple
ground-based installations is deployed. Moreover, the tech-
nology is highly scalable and suitable for applications which
cannot be implemented or are difficult to implement by cloud
seeding. In summary, the ionization-based technology, if ac-
cepted by the scientific community and supported in more
detail with scientifically sound knowledge, has enormous
potential to become a viable and widely used weather-modi-
fication technology.
As in the case of cloud seeding, acceptance of the ion-
ization technology will come with sound evaluations of
achieved success. The chosen method of evaluation should not
necessarily be based on randomized trials. As discussed in
Section 4.05.4.4.2, application of the method is likely to be
successful when done under the right meteorological con-
ditions. In particular, the presence of updrafts is essential for
vertical plume transport and thus for the success of operations.
The art of applying the technology successfully depends on
knowledge and correct interpretation of actual meteorological
conditions in the three-dimensional space around the ion
emitter, taking into account the variation of these conditions
over time. Therefore, monitoring meteorological conditions,
data collection and evaluation, with the aid of mathematical
models, and operation of the technology according to the
results of data evaluation are the three pillars on which any
success rests. Applying the technology in such a manner is
highly recommended.
Unipolar ion emission should not be confused with the
emission of electromagnetic waves, which are suspected of
posing some health hazards. Nevertheless, the question whe-
ther or not the ionization-based technology is environ-
mentally friendly needs to be scrutinized. It is highly unlikely
that the emitted ions impose any threat to plants, animals, or
commercial applications such as air traffic. Indirectly, health
risks cannot be excluded, however. Corona discharge may
cause generation of hazardous gases such as nitrogen oxides
and ozone. The latter is known to be a strong oxidant, which
may react with atmospheric pollutants. In a worst-case scen-
ario, oxidation reactions may be incomplete, leaving mol-
ecules behind which may be toxic or even carcinogenic. It is
highly recommended to invest in research to minimize the
release of hazardous gases, for example, by optimizing the
operating regime of corona discharge, and to clarify the extent
of incomplete oxidation and the resulting toxic residues prior
to commercial applications of the technology.
As mentioned in Section 4.05.4.4.2, weather-modification
technologies alone cannot solve the water-supply problems
on the Earth unless the technology is treated a part of IWRM.
In the case of the ionization-based technology, integration
into the general policy of regional water management is par-
ticularly important since the methods affect rather large areas.
At the ground, conflicts between different interest groups
are very likely to develop, for instance, conflicts between
agriculture which needs rainfall, and the tourist industry
which wants clear skies. Political conflicts may arise between
states when the technology is applied in areas close to borders.
134 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
The question about which authority owns the atmospheric
humidity requires international regulations, presumably at the
United Nations (UN) level. Last but not the least, regulations
need to be set with respect to liability. In the case of heavy
rainfall caused by the application of any weather-modification
technology, damages and even accidents may occur. In this
case, is it the authority which ordered application of the
technology, or the company which operated the technology
that is legally responsible? Agreements at state level and with
the major insurance and re-insurance companies need to be
settled prior to commercial applications.
4.05.5 Rainwater Collection, Purification, and
Storage
4.05.5.1 Incentives for Action
As already mentioned in Section 4.05.2, there is enough water
available in the atmosphere to support life on the Earth, and
to satisfy the demands of people, agriculture, and industry,
today and, most probably, in the future.
The water contained in the atmosphere is transferred to the
surface of the Earth by means of natural or deliberately forced
precipitation processes. Once on the ground, the water may
evaporate, be intercepted and used by plants, penetrate into
the groundwater table, or form surface water bodies such as
wetlands, lakes, creeks, or rivers (Figure 3). To minimize
evaporation losses, the water can be collected on the spot,
infiltrated, and stored in underground aquifers for subsequent
use, or collected and stored in cisterns, ponds, or dams.
One serious problem is that, on the local scale, precipi-
tation in the form of rain or snow does not necessarily
correspond to the actual demands of nature and humans –
neither in time nor in intensity. There are areas which regularly
receive high volumes of precipitation, far more than is actually
needed. The west coast of the south island of New Zealand is a
good example of the too-much-rain dilemma. In the area of
Hokitika, for instance, annual rainfall exceeds 2800mm. On
the other hand, there are areas where rainfall is rare but water
demand is extremely high. Southern California, where the
annual rainfall is less than 40 mm, is an example of this ex-
treme condition.
Worldwide, people have tended to settle in areas where
sunny days are predominant. Unfortunately, such areas are
frequently affected by water shortages (e.g., Dubai), necessi-
tating huge technical and financial efforts to satisfy urban and
peri-urban water demand. Likewise, agricultural production is
concentrated in sunny areas where solar radiation allows high-
quality grains, vegetables, and fruit to grow, provided enough
water is available from local or distant sources. Water short-
ages may even develop in wet countries when the populations
of cities and the resulting water demand exceed the capacity of
rainfed water resources. The problems of the London metro-
politan area are an example of this.
4.05.5.2 Rainwater Collection
As people need water in sufficient quantities year round, col-
lecting rainfall and temporary storage has been common
practice in arid and semiarid countries ever since humankind
shifted from migrating, gathering, and hunting to settlements
and farming. In areas notoriously exposed to long-lasting
periods of dry weather, people have learned to survive by
collecting rainwater from roofs, and by storing the water in
cisterns placed above or below ground. This traditional
method of collecting and storing rainwater is called rainwater
harvesting.
With the advent of modern water technologies people have
lost interest in rainwater harvesting, even in areas not served
with tap water. This was certainly an important factor in the
improvement of water supply in poorly served areas when
organizations such as the Centre of Science and Environment
(CES), based in New Delhi, India, started to revitalize the
concept of rainwater harvesting. In 2004, the achievements of
CES were rewarded with the Stockholm Water Prize. Since
then, this old-fashioned but life-securing method has begun to
receive worldwide attention, again.
To help people understand that the perils resulting from
lack of water can be mitigated by taking individual initiatives,
CES produced a video which depicts a man in distress as rain
starts pouring and a gust of wind blows away his umbrella.
Eventually, the umbrella lands upside down on the road and
fills quickly with rainwater. This is observed by passersby who
excitedly start collecting rainwater in whatever container is
available, including a police officer’s helmet.
This video was an eye-opener for many people in the world
who suddenly realized that, besides high-tech solutions, there
are simple ways of coping during droughts. In Australia, for
instance, under the pressure of a 6-year drought, a modern
version of rainwater harvesting has become common practice
(Lancaster, 2005).
Large-scale rainwater-collection plants could be built,
based on the upside-down umbrella metaphor, using devices
which may only be opened in the case of a rain event. The
advantage would be that pollution of the collected water by
deposits, and loss of water through evaporation, could be
minimized. The collected water could then be diverted to a
storage tank to protect it against quality deterioration caused
by algae growth, for example, as depicted in Figure 21.
4.05.5.3 Pollution and Purification of Stormwater Runoff
Although the collection and storage of rainwater is certainly a
clever method to deal with water shortages, it is not without
drawbacks. Rainwater is by nature low in mineral-salt content.
When consumed in large quantities, it may affect the osmotic
pressure at a cellular level, resulting in health risks. More se-
vere health risks result from pollution picked up by the rain-
drops when passing through the atmosphere, and by the
rainwater once it comes into contact with the collection sur-
faces (roofs, terraces, courtyards, roads, etc).
Analyses performed by Wallinder et al. (1998), Athanasia-
dis (2005), Schriever (2007), and Helmreich (2009), and by
many others have revealed that rainwater collected from roofs
and roads is severely polluted in rural areas, and to a much
larger extent in cities (Fuchs et al., 2002). The collected water
may contain soluble and particulate as well as dissolved
materials.
Airborne pollutants such as SO
2
, NO
x
, NH
4
, and volatile
organic substances (VOSs) are of particular concern, as is
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 135
small particulate matter (respirable dust). A multitude of or-
ganic and inorganic substances may be picked up from roofs
and roads; some of these are dissolved in others in particulate
form, for example, leaves and droppings of birds, cats, and
other animals.
Some pollutants may have deposited on the surface during
dry periods. During the rain event, they get washed away and
transferred into the collected rainwater. The resulting con-
centration of pollutants is especially high at the beginning of
the rain event (first flush). Of particular concern are abraded
materials from tires, brakes, catalytic converters in cars, and
road covers because these materials contain heavy metals such
as zinc, copper, cadmium, chromium, and platinum. Mangani
et al. (2005) measured, during first-flush situations, concen-
tration values of 346 mg l
À1
for copper, 412 mg l
À1
for zinc, and
37 mg l
À1
for lead.
Organic pollutants of concern are benzene, poly-aromatic
carbon (PAC), methyl- and ethyl-tert-butyl-ether (MTBE and
ETBE, respectively). In Munich, Germany, the mean concen-
tration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), as a sum par-
ameter for all those substances, was monitored over a period
of 2 years. The concentration of DOC was in the range of
20mg l
À1
in the runoff from a heavily frequented highway
(Helmreich, 2009). The total organic carbon (TOC) was 70mg
l
À1
on average, and the total suspended solids was more than
350mg l
À1
.
With respect to runoff from metal roofs, particularly high
concentrations of copper and zinc, as a result of corrosion and
subsequent wash-off effects, were detected by Athanasiadis
(2005) and Schriever (2007). The wash-off rate for copper
varied between 0.7 and almost 2g m
À2
a
À1
. For zinc, a mean
value of 3.7 g m
À2
a
À1
was measured (Helmreich, 2009). In
some cases, the concentration of zinc exceeded the 30mg l
À1
margin. Copper concentrations in the runoff from a copper
roof varied between 0.4 and 11mg l
À1
.
4.05.5.4 Purification of Stormwater Runoff in Decentralized
Treatment Units
Rainwater collected from roofs and roads can be considered as
a supplementary source of water for households, industry, and
agriculture, provided the collected rainwater is properly trea-
ted. Particulate material as well as dissolved pollutants need to
be removed or, at the very least, lowered in concentration. If
the treated water is designated for human consumption, dis-
infection is necessary to achieve hygienic safety.
Since the extent of water demand and the availability of
runoff hardly match actual water needs, temporary storage in
containers (cisterns), ponds, or dams has to be provided.
When the stormwater runoff is collected from a large area, the
water is sent to a central treatment plant for purification. Such
plants are large in size, and the treatment units often are
placed in a standby phase as these can only be operated when
rainfall actually occurs.
Matsui et al. (2001) developed a decentralized concept for
road runoff treatment and infiltration of the treated water into
an aquifer. The pilot unit was positioned next to an individual
street gully (Figure 22). Such treatment units are small since
the volumetric loading remains comparably low even under
peak-flow conditions. The treatment could be limited to
Figure 21 Upside-down-umbrella farm to collect rainwater in arid areas: a visionary approach. Collecting devices open when it rains (right), and fold
up during dry weather conditions (left) to allow free access to the native land.
Figure 22 Buried road runoff treatment plant next to a gully of a
highway in Ishijama, close to Lake Biwa, Japan.
136 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
filtration, absorption, and ion-exchange processes as barriers
against the transfer of pollutants into the subsoil and the
aquifer (Matsui and Lee, 2003). Filtration into the porous
subsoil would take care of the removal of pathogenic
organisms.
The above idea was adopted by Koenig (1999) who pro-
posed to pass the collected roof runoff through a layer of
biologically activated top soil for filtration and bio-
degradation, and store the water in a buried cistern made out
of prefabricated concrete for further use or infiltration into the
aquifer (Figure 23). The system was commercialized and is
used at various locations in Germany. The individual units are
designed to receive runoff from roofs, 150 or 300m
2
in size.
The prefabricated units are available in different volumetric
sizes (3–10 m
3
). The total depth of the units varies between
2.4 and 3.1 m.
Boller and his team developed a special filtration method
which combines solid–liquid separation and the binding of
heavy metals to granular iron-hydroxide (Boller and Steiner,
2002; Steiner and Boller, 2006). Advanced scientific investi-
gation followed by field trials was conducted in Munich,
Germany, by Athanasiadis (2005), Athanasiadis and Helm-
reich (2005), Athanasiadis et al. (2006), Hilliges (2007), and
Helmreich (2009).
In Munich, chemically conditioned clinoptilolite was se-
lected as an ion exchanger to remove dissolved heavy metals
from roof runoff (Athanasiadis and Helmreich, 2005). The
treated clinoptilolite is packed in a filter column with the in-
tention to remove, in addition, heavy metals in particulate
form by filtration processes. Figure 24 shows the experimental
setup which, after extensive testing, was applied at full scale at
the bottom of a large copper-roofed building in Munich
Option: inlet
Outlet, e.g.,
Mall percolation
box
Soil layer consisting
of special substrate
Inlet or overflow
Empty conduit
to domestic water station
Monolithic container
Manhole with cover
Drainage pipe with
coconut-fiber sleeve
Figure 23 Rainwater storage reservoir with a soil filter top for purification of the collected roof runoff.
Emergency overflow
Effluent
Packing
Hydro-cyclone
Sediment-
removal pipe
Influent
Figure 24 Schematic of the treatment system used to purify stormwater runoff from a copper-roofed building in Munich, Germany, according to
Helmreich B (2009) Stoffliche Betrachtung der dezentralen Niederschlagswasserbehandlung (Pollution of stormwater runoff to be treated in
decentralized system). Berichte aus Siedlungswasserwirtschaft. Munich, Germany: TU.
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 137
(Figure 25). The total roof surface area is 4800 m
2
. Ten
treatment units were installed but only four of them, each
serving a roof area of 500m
2
, were monitored. The influent
was first introduced into a hydro-cyclone chamber to remove
particulate material. The filtration chamber was packed with
750kg of conditioned clinoptilolite, grain size 1–2 mm.
For conditioning, the sieved clinoptilolite particles were
submerged in a 1M NaCl solution at room temperature for
24 h. Afterward, the treated material was washed 3 times with
deionized water. During exposure to NaCl, the ion-binding
sites were expected to be occupied by sodium ions, and it was
assumed that sodium ions were readily exchanged by heavy
metal ions during the purification process.
During a 1-year observation period, 20 rainfall events were
monitored. Samples of the rainwater before and after coming
into contact with the copper roof, and of the effluent of the
filter, were collected. The total volumetric loading of the four
units was 744m
3
. The copper concentration in the influent of
the filter units varied between 38 and 980 mg l
À1
. The effluent
concentration varied between 19 and 84 mg l
À1
. Considering
mass loading, copper could be retained by 97%. Comparable
removal values were observed for zinc.
Similar experiments were performed with the aim of
purifying runoff of a busy main road in downtown Munich,
Germany. On average, 57000 motor vehicles use this road
every day. The catchment area of the filter system was about
300m
3
.
The composition of the road runoff differs significantly
from the runoff of the copper roof discussed above. It contains
a much higher load of particulate material, both inorganic and
organic. To remove large and heavy particles at the curb site, a
simple and easily cleanable sedimentation/filtration trench
was installed, followed by a hydro-cyclone placed in the lower
part of the treatment unit (Figure 26). Particles of smaller size
and lower density were removed by means of a fine sieve with
a mesh size of 0.7 mm. Finally, the water was forced to pass
through a medium consisting of a low-cost granular activated
carbon material (1–2.5mm in size) based on brown coal,
before it was sent to a seepage trench.
The experimental unit was monitored for 6 months. Dur-
ing this period, 63 major rainfall events were observed. The
concentration of the various organic and inorganic pollutants
varied across a wide range (DOC between 3.6 and 80 mg l
À1
,
PAC up to 1.3 mg l
À1
). During winter, a significant increase in
salt concentration was measured. The sodium concentration
varied between 17 and 10 400mg l
À1
. The median concen-
tration of zinc was 1mg l
À1
. The copper concentration varied
between less than 0.1 and 0.6 mg l
À1
.
During the observation period, the removal rate of all or-
ganic pollutants and heavy metals was in the range of 90–
95%. The filter system installed along the curb eliminated first-
flush effects almost entirely. Enhanced salt concentration
during winter did not affect treatment efficiency in any sig-
nificant way.
4.05.5.5 Large-Scale Storage of the Collected Rainwater
Rainwater collected from large areas is traditionally stored in
reservoirs and dams open to the atmosphere and to sunlight.
Here, the problem is that some of the collected water is lost to
Copper roof
copper already patinated
Clinoptilolite filter cage
Manhole cover
Figure 25 Copper-roofed building in Munich, and a view into the treatment chamber with the casket holding the granular clinoptilolite filter material.
138 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
evaporation. A wide variety of pollutants, pathogenic organ-
isms among them, are transmitted from the atmosphere and
from the surrounding land to the water stored in reservoirs.
Moreover, algae growth leads to deterioration of the water
quality as it transmits metabolites into the water, and also via
biological degradation processes which follow the decay of
algae.
To keep the collected water from deteriorating in quality
and quantity, infiltration into underground storage compart-
ments is advisable. This process is commonly termed
‘groundwater recharge’.
Strobl and his colleagues (Strobl and Zunic, 2006) de-
veloped a so-called infiltration dam concept (Figure 27). In-
filtration dams serve two basic functions: as barriers
preventing flooding of downstream areas and as reservoirs for
the recharge of downstream aquifers. Stormwater runoff from
upstream areas is collected and temporarily stored in the res-
ervoir. To enable controlled groundwater recharge, the effluent
of the reservoir is introduced to the downstream wadis (a dry
riverbed that contains water only during times of heavy rain)
for percolation (Figures 28 and 29). The flow is regulated so
that evaporation losses are kept to a minimum.
The water introduced in the wadis infiltrates toward the
aquifer under the force of gravity. By raising the groundwater
table, saltwater intrusion from the ocean can be counteracted.
Thus, groundwater recharge can be considered as a measure to
control salinization of aquifers.
During the time the water resides in the aquifer, chemical
interactions may take place with rock, gravel, and sand ma-
terials whereby the water picks up minerals. Filtration pro-
cesses take place as water passes through sand and gravel
layers. Both of these processes in combination are known to
contribute to a significant improvement of water quality. Most
likely, the water can be considered hygienically safe, and can
be used as drinking water, and also for irrigation of gardens
and agricultural fields.
Full-scale trails carried out in Wadi Ahin, northern part of
the Sultanate of Oman, combined with numerical modeling
(Haimerl et al., 2002; Haimerl, 2004; Strobl and Zunic, 2006)
demonstrated the feasibility of this innovative approach.
During a case study conducted in 1996, almost 4 million m
3
of water was collected and temporarily stored in the reservoir.
The stored water was discharged into the wadi system at a rate
of 3 m
3
s
À1
. The efficiency of groundwater recharge increased
with the moisture content of soil, with the water level of the
surface flow, and the time of infiltration. These are obviously
the aspects to be considered in efforts to further improve the
efficacy of the technology. During the observation period, 85%
of the water accumulated in the reservoir was able to be
transferred to the aquifer. Evaporation losses were only around
0.1%, and 2.5% was captured in the topsoil.
4.05.6 Overarching Aspects
Traditionally, water for human, industrial, and agricultural
consumption is abstracted from rainfed sources such as rivers,
lakes, and aquifers. After purification and transportation to
customers, the water is used for specific purposes such as
drinking, cleaning, and irrigation. Some of the water evapor-
ates and thus gets incorporated in the original source, that is,
atmospheric vapor. Most of the used water, however, is dis-
charged into natural water bodies such as rivers, is transported
downstream, and, in many cases, is abstracted again for sub-
sequent use. In such cases, we are talking about unintended
water reuse.
As discharge of polluted water in rivers and lakes poses
threats to both aquatic organisms and downstream users, and
because such threats disturb the functioning of the aquatic
environment as well as downstream economies, efforts have
been made to regulate the abstraction of water from the Earth-
based resources, and discharge of the used water back into the
aquatic environment. Over recent decades, it has been realized
that water management on the level of entire river basins
is necessary to secure the economic, ecological, and social
development of regions – in short: sustainable development.
Effluent
Manhole
Packing
Fine sieve
Hydro-cyclone
Influent
Sediment trap
Handle to remove
the fine sieve for cleaning
Figure 26 Schematic representation of the treatment system used to purify road runoff, according to Helmreich B (2009) Stoffliche Betrachtung der
dezentralen Niederschlagswasserbehandlung (Pollution of stormwater runoff to be treated in decentralized system). Berichte aus
Siedlungswasserwirtschaft. Munich, Germany: TU.
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 139
The United Nations Declaration on Environment and Devel-
opment (Anonymous, 1972) may be considered as the starting
point of what is now called the IWRM concept.
IWRM is an alternative to the dominant sector-by-sector,
top-down water management of the past. Water resources are
now managed at the basin or watershed level. The water-
supply side is taken into account simultaneously with the
water-demand side. IWRM integrates the use of land,
groundwater, surface water, and coastal water. It integrates
the interests of upstream and downstream regions. An
Rain in the mountains
Reacharge dam
Surface runoff
in wadi channels
Flood detention
basin
Wells
Sea
Seawater intrusion
into aquifier
Aquifer
Figure 27 Schematic representation of the concept of infiltration dam concept, provided by Zunic, Institute of Water and Environment, TUM,
Germany.
Wadi inflow
Reservoir
Dam
Outlets to
wadi channels
Groundwater
Rock
Figure 28 Discharge of the water from the reservoir into wadi channels for subsequent percolation toward the aquifer. Schematic provided by Zunic,
Institute of Water and Environment, TUM, Germany.
140 Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity
intersectoral approach is taken to decision making. IWRM
calls for the integration of policy, regulatory, and institutional
frameworks, such as the implementation of the polluter-pays
principle, water-quality norms and standards, and market-
based regulatory mechanisms. According to the Global Water
Partnership’s definition, IWRM is a process which promotes
the coordinated development and management of water, land
and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant
economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without
compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems (An-
onymous, 2000; Anderson et al., 2008).
The European Water Framework Directive (WFP) imple-
mented in the European Union in October 2000 (Kaika,
2003) is an example of IWRM application. It calls for legal
responsibility for the quantitative and qualitative status of all
water bodies in Europe, including marine waters. It is a
framework in the sense that all member states are committed
to taking appropriate action to reach the common goal of
achieving and maintaining high ecological quality of all sur-
face and groundwater bodies. So far, however, atmospheric
humidity and its quality are not included in the WFP, although
they should be.
Similar legislation has been implemented in many other
parts of the world, including in developing countries. In
Kenya, for instance, a Water Resource Management Authority
(WRMA) has been established. It is a state corporation under
the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, established under the
Water Act 2002, and charged with being the lead agency in
water-resources management (Anonymous, 2004).
With the advent of methods designed to make active use of
atmospheric water as an alternative water resource, a new di-
mension is added to the IWRM concept. Some of these
methods are described in Section 4.05.4, and are com-
prehensively categorized in Figure 30. Other methods may be
developed in the very near future in response to the steady
increase of water shortages around the world, caused by fac-
tors such as climate change, population growth, growth of
urban areas, and lifestyle changes.
A variety of options are available when it comes to the
question of how to deal with the water abstracted from the
atmosphere. Some of these options are shown in Figure 30.
Precipitation generated by cloud seeding or ionization-
based technologies may be directed toward agricultural fields
for sustained crop growth. In this case, farmers would be ex-
pected to pay for the service. Alternatively, it could be directed
toward forest areas to prevent the outbreak of fires and the
subsequent loss of property value and biodiversity. In this
case, governmental organizations or insurance companies may
be obliged to cover costs.
To meet diurnal, weekly, and seasonal variations in water
demand, temporary storage is certainly an option to be con-
sidered. The size of the storage facilities may vary from a small
tank up to a large dam.
Atmospheric water is low in salt content. When human
consumption is concerned, mineralization of the water may
need to be considered. When coming into contact with vari-
ous surfaces, the water may pick up pollutants, dirt, droppings
of animals, and even heavy metals (see Section 4.05.5.3).
While being stored in a reservoir, the water may deteriorate in
quality. In summary, the water needs to be treated prior to
delivery to consumers in order to secure the health and welfare
of the customers. The costs of abstracting, holding, treating,
and delivering the water should be covered by the consumers
(domestic and industry) based on volumetric consumption.
This option is still a controversial subject in many regions of
the world, however.
Surprisingly, methods of abstraction of atmospheric hu-
midity have not been taken into account by regulating
Figure 29 Wadi channels in the Wadi Ahin area, Oman. The wedded riparian zone indicated progress of infiltration. Photo provided by Zunic, Institute
of Water and Environment, TUM, Germany.
Abstraction of Atmospheric Humidity 141
authorities around the world, even though methods such as
cloud seeding have been in use since 1946 (see Section
4.05.4.4). It is also surprising that atmospheric water has no
obvious ownership – at least to the best knowledge of the
authors (Wilderer, 2009). Influencing the atmosphere with the
aim of changing weather conditions is not regulated anywhere
in the world, with the exception of weather modification for
hostile, military purposes (Anonymous, 1976).
Over the centuries weather conditions have very often been
decisive in military confrontations (Durschmied, 2000);
therefore, it is only to be expected that engineered weather
modification with the aim of abstracting atmospheric hu-
midity to the advantage of one party or another may engender
conflicts among stakeholders, regions, and even state author-
ities. Thus, it is high time to enter into national and supra-
national agreements concerning the exploitation of
atmospheric humidity.
Moreover, it is necessary to clarify liability issues, particu-
larly regarding insurance. It has to be made clear as to which
authority has the power to decide when and where certain
weather-modification actions are allowed to be conducted.
The authority in charge would then be responsible in case the
activity has unintended extreme consequences, for instance,
flooding, release of avalanches or mudslides, or car accidents.
Consequently, insurance companies need to be prepared to
cover damages of any kind in case things do not go according
to plan.
A discussion of this type may appear superficial when
considering technologies which obviously have only a very
local effect, such as condensation or fog-collection technolo-
gies. In principle, however, the international community and
governments everywhere would be well advised to take the
negative effects of humidity abstraction seriously before a
major accident occurs. Other than under natural conditions, it
will not be force majeure which causes misery, but deliberate
man-made actions.
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4.06 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
BJ Cisneros, Universidad Nacional Auto´ noma de Me´ xico, Coyoaca´ n, Mexico
& 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
4.06.1 Introduction 147
4.06.2 Historical Background 147
4.06.3 Sanitation as Part of The Hydrological Cycle or Properly Closing the Water Loop 148
4.06.3.1 Sources of Pollution 148
4.06.3.1.1 Municipal discharges 148
4.06.3.1.2 Industrial discharges 148
4.06.3.1.3 Nonpoint and nonconventional pollutant sources to water 148
4.06.4 Pollutants 149
4.06.4.1 Biological Pollutants 149
4.06.4.1.1 Viruses 149
4.06.4.1.2 Bacteria 150
4.06.4.1.3 Protozoa 150
4.06.4.1.4 Helminth eggs 151
4.06.4.1.5 Biological indicators 154
4.06.4.1.6 Emerging pathogens 155
4.06.4.1.7 Biological analytical techniques 155
4.06.4.2 Conventional Parameters 157
4.06.4.3 Emerging Pollutants 159
4.06.4.4 Risks 161
4.06.5 Sanitation in Low-Income Countries: A Complex Current Situation 161
4.06.5.1 Sanitation Needs a Definition 161
4.06.5.2 Millennium Development Goals 161
4.06.5.3 Present Situation 162
4.06.5.3.1 General overview 162
4.06.5.3.2 Regional situation 162
4.06.5.3.3 Situation at the national level 162
4.06.5.3.4 Low-income countries sanitation specificities 162
4.06.5.3.5 Sanitation Costs 163
4.06.6 Wastewater Management Systems 164
4.06.6.1 Basic Sanitation Facilities 164
4.06.6.1.1 Traditional latrines 164
4.06.6.1.2 Ventilated improved pit latrine 165
4.06.6.1.3 Septic tank 165
4.06.6.1.4 Composting toilets 165
4.06.6.1.5 Pour-flush toilets 171
4.06.6.1.6 Additional recommendations to set up basic sanitation facilities 172
4.06.6.2 Toilets 173
4.06.6.2.1 Water-saving toilets 173
4.06.6.2.2 Toilets not using water 173
4.06.6.3 Sludge Extraction from On-Site Sanitation System 173
4.06.6.4 Sewerage Systems 173
4.06.6.4.1 Small sewers 173
4.06.6.4.2 Conventional sewers 174
4.06.6.4.3 Pluvial sewers 174
4.06.6.5 Wastewater Treatment 174
4.06.6.5.1 Conventional pollutants treatment 175
4.06.6.5.2 Pathogens treatment 175
4.06.6.5.3 Emerging chemical pollutants 175
4.06.6.5.4 Slow filtration 175
4.06.6.5.5 Waste stabilization ponds 175
4.06.6.5.6 Wetlands 176
4.06.6.5.7 Land treatment 176
4.06.6.5.8 Reservoirs and water storage tanks 176
4.06.6.5.9 Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket 178
147
4.06.6.5.10 Activated sludge 179
4.06.6.5.11 Coagulation–flocculation 179
4.06.6.5.12 Rapid filtration 179
4.06.6.5.13 Disinfection 179
4.06.6.6 Sanitation and Wastewater Treatment Costs 180
4.06.6.7 Criteria for Selecting Wastewater Treatment Processes 180
4.06.7 Wastewater Disposal versus Reintegration 180
4.06.7.1 Soil Disposal or Reintegration of Used Water to Soil and to Groundwater 180
4.06.7.1.1 Leach drains 180
4.06.7.1.2 Evapotranspiration beds 180
4.06.7.1.3 Soil aquifer treatment and aquifer storage recovery system 180
4.06.7.2 Disposal into Surface Water Bodies or Reintegration of Used Water to Surface Water Bodies 181
4.06.7.3 Reuse 181
4.06.7.3.1 Types of water reuse 181
4.06.7.3.2 Unintentional reuse 181
4.06.7.3.3 Intentional or planned reuse 183
4.06.7.3.4 Graywater reuse 188
4.06.8 Sludge and Excreta Management 188
4.06.9 Policy 189
4.06.9.1 Integrated Water Resources Management 189
4.06.9.2 Need for an Own Policy for Developing Countries 189
4.06.9.2.1 Issues to address 190
4.06.9.2.2 Challenges to face 190
4.06.9.2.3 Strategies that can be used 190
4.06.10 Funding 193
4.06.10.1 Funding Options 193
4.06.10.2 Why Sanitation Needs to be a Public Process 194
4.06.10.3 Why Private Participation can be Involved 194
4.06.10.4 Differences between Low- and Middle-Income Countries 195
4.06.11 Science and Innovation: Need to Develop Individual Knowledge 195
4.06.12 Conclusions 196
References 197
4.06.1 Introduction
Before reading this chapter, it should be considered whether it
is justifiable to have a specific section dealing with sanitation
for low economic development areas (developing countries).
Evidently, the editors of this book think so. The reasons
include
• an increasing evidence that wastewater quality in high and
low economic areas is different regarding some parameters
that determine treatment options and
• differences in economic conditions necessitate alternative
solutions not only at the technical level but also in terms of
the ways to implement them.
To protect health, raise the quality of life, and increase the
economic level, a good sanitation service is required in de-
veloping countries. While in developed countries, sanitation
coverage is almost 99% as a result of a clear commitment of
governments to provide it as part of the public services, in
developing ones it is only around 50% (WHO–UNICEF,
2006). In addition, in the developed countries, the term
sanitation applies not only to the installation of sewers but
also to the full implementation of systems for the safe disposal
and reuse of treated wastewater, sludge, and septage. In con-
trast, in developing countries, the term sanitation mostly
applies to the use of sewers not always ending in treatment
plants. In fact, reported sanitation figures frequently do not
reveal the disposal of wastewater or excreta uncontrolled into
the environment, the existence of malfunctioning wastewater
treatment plants, or the use of rudimentary and inefficient
basic sanitation facilities sometimes contributing to increased
environmental pollution rather than to control it. As a result,
waterborne diseases affect millions of people in the de-
veloping world, and the water quality of surface and
groundwater bodies is increasingly deteriorating.
The aim of this chapter is to assist the process of increasing
sanitation in low-income regions by contrasting the differ-
ences in needs and solutions’ options with high-income re-
gions. Most technical publications have traditionally grouped
developing countries together as low-income societies without
considering that in them there are high- and low-income areas
and that among the latter ones there are several factors that
create differences that need to be taken into consideration to
provide suitable solutions, that rarely fall under the logic used
in developed countries to provide sanitation. Most people
lacking sanitation include the millions of poor people
(Figure 1) living under precarious institutional conditions
and under an economical and social situation that avoids the
use of conventional solutions. This renders the provision of
sanitation in low-income areas a major challenge.
148 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
4.06.2 Historical Background
The history of sanitation is mainly about three aspects: toilets,
sewers, and final disposal. As sanitation is a broken subject in
developing countries, the story of these three is also the
same. When mankind was nomadic and lived in very small
communities, sanitation was not an issue. Nature could ab-
sorb human wastes. Later, when villages grew, there was the
need to set up special practices and facilities. In ancient Egypt
(B3000 BC), each household had the responsibility to dis-
pose of their garbage and excreta at the communal dump, in
irrigation canals, or in open fields. Irrigation canals were the
first drainage and waste disposal systems. At that time, toilets
were a luxury that only the wealthier people could afford in
cities. Toilets were carved of limestone, and the used water was
disposed of into pits in the streets (MSU, 2009). Flushing
toilets – some of them communal – existed in India since the
twenty-sixth century BC. Reports on the use of toilets and
other safe sanitation practices in ancient civilizations from
Asia, Latin America, and Africa were common in places where
nowadays lack of sanitation is a problem.
The earliest covered sewers reported are from the Indus
Civilization (2600–1900 BC) where Pakistan is located today.
Cities used sewers to control inundations caused by pluvial
water. The Cloaca Maxima or Roman sewer dates from around
600 BC. Initially, it was an open drain that was covered and
left below the urban level, as the city building space became
costly (Wikipedia, 2009). Later, when water began to be sup-
plied in large quantities to households, getting rid of the used
water became a problem and water was considered as a waste.
It was then when sewers were found to be a useful infra-
structure to convey wastewater out of the city in addition to
stormwater.
Concerning disposal, land application of wastewater and
excreta has a long tradition in many countries. For centuries,
farmers in China used human and animal excreta as fertilizers.
The oldest references to the use of excreta in aquaculture come
from some Asian countries, where it was employed to increase
fish production (WHO, 2006). Further, even now in China,
Mexico, Peru, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, India, and Vietnam
wastewater is used as a source of crop nutrients (Jime´nez and
Asano, 2008).
According to Rusong (2001), in contrast to the ‘mechan-
ical’ ideas predominant in industrial societies, human eco-
logical thoughts in ancient China emphasized the use of
systems advocating ‘man and nature as one’. This principle is
considered as equivalent to the sustainability principle and is
based on terms describing concepts that are dissociated in
modern civilizations, such as

Tian – heaven or nature;
• Di – Earth or resources;
• Ren – people or society;

Wuxing – the five fundamental elements and movements
within any ecosystem, that need to be in equilibrium by
promoting and restraining each other; and

Zhong Yong – describing that things should never go to their
extremes but should be kept at equilibrium.
For several centuries, based on these ecological principles,
China has developed and supported 21% of the world’s
population with only 7% of the world’s arable land and less
than 7% of the world freshwater resources (Rusong, 2001).
Once again, similar conceptions can be found in ancient civ-
ilizations from Asia, Africa, and Latin America, in the same
places where there are environmental crises now.
4.06.3 Sanitation as Part of The Hydrological Cycle
or Properly Closing the Water Loop
The urban water cycle is a relatively new concept used to
analyze water quality problems in cities (Jime´nez, 2009b),
which is depicted in Figure 2. It is useful in identifying con-
ventional and nonconventional sources of pollution, in par-
ticular those that are specific to developing countries. It is
important to understand the difference in order to be able to
apply proper solutions to sanitation that go beyond the sim-
plistic approach of merely installing wastewater treatment
plants. A similar analysis could be made for rural areas.
0
500
1000
1500
2000
Low-income countries Middle-income countries Total
Living below the poverty line Living above the poverty line Total
M
i
l
l
i
o
n

p
e
o
p
l
e
Figure 1 Poverty distribution of the global population without access to basic sanitation in low- and middle-income countries (with information from
Lenghton et al. (2005).
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 149
The urban water cycle is important because of the large
increase in urban population that is being experienced
worldwide. By 2030, the urban proportion of the global
population is expected to be around 60%. Over the next 50
years, in developing countries, most of the population growth
will occur in urban and periurban areas. Furthermore, most of
the 19 cities with the most rapid growth are located in
chronically water-short regions in the developing world (UN-
Habitat, 2006). Providing water sources to urban areas from
the developing world is a challenge because nearly one-third
of the population (31.2% compared to a 6% in developed
countries in 2001) are poor people living in slum areas. The
slum growth rate is of 2.37%, a value significantly higher than
the average world urban growth rate of 1.78%.
4.06.3.1 Sources of Pollution
Traditionally, pollution sources are classified as point and
nonpoint sources. Municipal and industrial wastewater dis-
charges are considered to be point sources, while agriculture
(considered as the surface return flow from irrigation), storm
runoff, and a wide variety of others are considered as
nonpoint sources (Jime´nez, 2009a).
4.06.3.1.1 Municipal discharges
Municipal discharges are those produced by cities and small
towns. They are considered to be point sources of pollution
where they are produced and collected in sewers and thus
disposed of as a well-identified source. When not treated,
the main environmental concerns relate to conventional
pollutants, such as biological, biodegradable, and non-
biodegradable organic matter, and heavy metals, in that order
of importance. The content of almost all these of pollutants is
similar around the world, tending to be more concentrated in
arid and semiarid areas because of lack of water. In some cases,
higher concentrations of pollutants result from increased in-
dustrialization of cities. Unfortunately, even when treated,
municipal discharges introduce used water containing used
compounds, some of which are pollutants, to water bodies.
Municipal wastewater is never treated to recover its original
quality (the one it had at the water source) as the self-
cleansing and dilution capability of nature is used to complete
the task. This is confirmed by the increasing amount of trace
pollutants, such as endocrine disrupters, found in water
sources. The presence of these compounds might be con-
sidered as an indicator that we have surpassed the natural
depollution capability of the environment. Despite this, the
idea of using water bodies or soil to depollute wastewater is
still very common, and it could be reduced in water bodies as
the depollution capability is lost as result of the water tem-
perature increase due to climate change. In developing coun-
tries, the environment is frequently used to depollute
wastewater, included when not treated at all, explaining the
low quality of water bodies and the widespread presence of
diarrheic diseases.
4.06.3.1.2 Industrial discharges
Industrial wastewater has very variable quality and volume
depending on the type of industry producing it. It may be
highly biodegradable or not at all, and may or may not
Water from:
Rivers
Lakes
Reservoirs
Rain
Water
treatment plant
Possibly
Water distribution
through the
network.
Water tanks,
water vendors,
water bottlers
Air pollution
Wastewater
treatment
plant
Occassionally
Disposal
Rivers
lakes
reservoirs
To the
next city
Agriculture
Irrigation
Infiltration
Aquifer
Infiltration from
Water network
sewerage
septic tanks
industries
storage tanks
Considerably higher
Urban agriculture
with
wastewater
Polluted rivers
or open
wastewater
drains
Ground water
Figure 2 Hydrological urban cycle. Differences compared to developed countries are shown in red. Adapted from Jime´nez B (2003) Health risks in
aquifer recharge with recycle water. In: Aertgeerts R and Angelakis A (eds.) State of the Art Report Health Risk in Aquifer Recharge Using Reclaimed
Water, pp. 54–172. Rome: WHO Regional Office for Europe.
150 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
contain compounds recalcitrant to treatment. These include
organic synthetic substances or heavy metals whose content in
developing countries’ wastewater may be considerably differ-
ent (in quantity and quality) from that of developed ones. The
main concern with industrial wastewater is the increasing
amount (in quantity and variety) of synthetic compounds
contained in and discharged to the environment. A list of the
most common pollutants in industrial discharges can be
found in Jime´nez (2009a). Due to the difficultly in tracking
toxic compounds and their fate, combined with the need to
use complex and costly treatment methods to remove them
from wastewater, it is advisable and cost effective to consider
the implementation of cleaner production methods in in-
dustries (such as the replacement of toxic recalcitrant com-
pounds with others that are less harmful or not harmful at all)
and, also to raise awareness of society to reduce the use of such
types of compounds (Jime´nez, 2009b).
4.06.3.1.3 Nonpoint and nonconventional pollutant
sources to water
Water pollutants come not only from urban and municipal
wastewater discharges, but also from nonpoint sources, some
of which are not perceived as such. Most of the nonpoint
sources have been initially recognized as such by groundwater
experts (Foster et al., 2003) who realized that soil (urban or
rural) was an important means of transporting pollution to
ground and surface water through complex interactions. A list
of such pollutants is presented in Table 1 and a detailed de-
scription of some of the pollution sources can be found in
Jime´nez (2009a).
4.06.4 Pollutants
In this section, the types of different pollutants are reviewed,
emphasizing those of special interest in developing countries.
4.06.4.1 Biological Pollutants
Biological pollutants are the major threat to low-income
countries as diseases caused by them are rapidly manifested
and have important effects on children and the elderly,
sometimes even resulting in fatalities. According to WHO
(2004), diarrheal diseases accounts for an estimated 4.1% of
the total daily global disease burden and is responsible for 1.8
million deaths every year. It is estimated that 88% of that
burden is attributable to unsafe water supply, sanitation, and
hygiene. Biological pollutants cause hydraulic diseases that are
frequently divided into three categories:
1. Waterborne diseases that are caused by pathogenic organ-
isms ingested when consuming water polluted with fecal
contamination or food irrigated with polluted water. Ex-
amples of these types of diseases are giardiasis and
amebiasis.
2. Water-washed diseases that are caused by the lack of safe
water or simply any water for hygiene purposes. Disease
transmission is linked to skin or eye contact. An example is
trachoma, a disease that causes blindness. Some 6 million
people have been blinded by trachoma. Another 150 mil-
lion need treatment, and an estimated 500 million are at
risk. The disease is endemic in 55 countries, with only
China and India accounting for 2 million cases. Product-
ivity losses caused by trachoma are estimated to be US$2.9
billion (WHO, 2004).
3. Water-based diseases that are caused when water accumu-
lates and stagnates, promoting the breeding of vectors such
as mosquitoes that cause dengue or malaria.
There are four groups of organisms that can be found in waste
and polluted water: viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and helminths
(in the form of eggs, Jime´nez (2003)). The general character-
istics of these organisms can be found in specialized literature.
In the following sections, properties relevant to developing
countries will be highlighted for each type of group. A list of
pathogens that have been detected in wastewater is presented
in Annex 1. The main aspect to highlight is the notable dif-
ference in the quantity and variety of pathogens found in
wastewater between developed and developing countries
(Table 2).
4.06.4.1.1 Viruses
Viruses are the smallest (0.01–0.3mm) infectious agents. There
are more than 150 types of enteric viruses capable of pro-
ducing infections or illnesses that multiply in the intestine and
are expelled in feces. Unlike bacteria, pathogenic viruses are
found in wastewater and feces when people are infected, in-
dependently of whether they display symptoms. In regions
where viral diseases are endemic, they are constantly isolated
from wastewater. The presence of viruses and their concen-
tration in wastewater is linked to the season of the year and
the age distribution of the population. Concentrations are
usually higher during summer and lower in the autumn
months. The composition, type, and especially the content of
viruses contained in wastewater are poorly known, particularly
in developing countries, as a result of the complex and costly
analytical techniques required to identify them (Jime´nez,
2003).
The enteric viruses most relevant to man are enteroviruses
(polio, echo, and coxsackie viruses), Norwalk, rotaviruses,
reoviruses, caliciviruses, adenoviruses, and hepatitis A viruses.
Rotaviruses are responsible for between 0.5 and 1 billion cases
of diarrhea per year in children under 5 years of age in Africa,
Asia, and Latin America and up to 3.5 million deaths. Usually,
between 50% and 60% of the cases of children with gastro-
enteritis that are hospitalized are caused by rotaviruses. Reo-
viruses and adenoviruses are the main causes of respiratory
illness, gastroenteritis, and eye infections and have been isol-
ated from wastewater. To date, there is no evidence that the
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causing the acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) can be transmitted via a
waterborne route. It is recognized that low virus levels may
cause infection or illness; wastewater contains thousands of
them, some of which are much more resistant to chlorine
disinfection than bacteria (Jime´nez, 2003). Viruses discharged
in polluted water can migrate long distances in soil and
groundwater. The reported horizontal migration varies be-
tween 3 and 400 m, while vertical migration ranges from 0.5
to 70m depending on soil conditions.
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 151
Table 1 Sources of pollution for surface and groundwater
Origin Main polluting agents Relative
importance
Concern
Developing
countries
Developed
countries
Urban infrastructure
Water network Cl, NMA þ þ þ þ þ
Sewerage system ED, F, N, OM, T, PCP, sediments þ þ þ þ þ þ þ þ
Septic tanks and latrines ED, N, OM, PCP þ þ þ þ þ þ þ
Storage or treatment ponds Variable þ þ þ þ þ þ
Storage tanks DBP, HC, OM, T þ þ þ þ þ þ þ
Municipal landfills ED, H, OM, PCP, S, T þ þ þ þ þ þ
Hazardous wastes confinement sites A, ED, EP, H, HC,NMA OM, PCP, S, T
Highways drainage soakways EP, S, T þ þ
Pipelines HC, OM, T
Injection wells ED, H, OM, PCP, S, T þ þ þ þ þ þ þ
Cemeteries F, M, N, NMA, OM þ þ þ þ þ þ
Urban activities
Industries Variable, more relevant synthetic
compounds
þ þ þ þ þ þ þ þ
Factories and small commerce Variable, more relevant synthetic
compounds
þ þ þ þ þ þ þ þ
Irrigation of amenity areas N, P, T þ þ þ þ
Application of ice melting substances NMA, T þ þ þ þ
Transport and transference of material HC, T þ þ þ
Storage of substances in tanks and reservoirs Depending on the type of substance
stored
þ þ þ þ þ þ
Urban disposal options
Unsewered sanitation EP, F, N, OM, T þ þ þ þ þ þ À
Transportation of polluted water in channels or rivers EP, F, H, HC, N, OM, T þ þ þ þ þ À
Nontreated sewage disposal in soil with impact on
water bodies
ED, EP, F, OM, N, PCP, S, T þ þ þ þ þ þ À
Nontreated sewage discharge in rivers and lakes ED, EP, F, N, OM, PCP, S, T þ þ þ þ þ þ À
Treated wastewater disposal DBP, ED, EP, N, NMA, PCP þ þ þ þ
Sludge disposal ED, EP, F, N, OM, PCP S, T þ þ þ þ þ
Uncontrolled dumping sites ED, EP, H, OM, PCP, S, T þ þ þ þ þ þ À
Other urban sources
Atmospheric pollutants deposition A, EP, H, HC, N, M þ þ þ þ þ þ
Urban run-off A, B, EP, HC, M þ þ þ þ þ þ þ þ
Saline intrusion NMA þ þ þ þ þ þ
Industrial accidental spillage EP, T, HC þ þ þ þ
Industrial sources
Industries located in urban or rural areas, in general Variable, mostly synthetic compounds þ þ þ þ þ þ þ þ
Agricultural sources
First use water N, P þ þ þ þ þ þ þ þ þ
Treated wastewater EP, N, P, S þ þ þ þ
Nontreated wastewater EP, F, N, OM, P, S, þ þ þ þ þ þ þ
Rural areas
On-site sanitation systems and unsewered areas EP, F, N, OM,
Storage of substances in tanks and reservoirs Depending on the type of substance
stored
þ þ þ þ þ þ
Disposal of solid wastes EP, ED, F, H, NMA, OM, PCP, S, T þ þ þ þ þ þ þ
Transportation of polluted water in channels or rivers EP, F, H, HC, N, OM, T þ þ þ þ þ À
Adapted from Jime´nez B (2009a) Coming to terms with nature: Water reuse new paradigm towards integrated water resources management Encyclopedia of Biological, Physiological
and Health Sciences, Water and Health, Vol. II: Life Support System, pp. 398–428. Oxford: EOLSS Publishers/UNESCO; Jime´nez (2009b) Wastewater risks in the urban water cycle.
In: Jime´nez B and Rose J (eds.) Urban Water Security: Managing Risks, p. 324 Paris: UNESCO Leiden: Taylor and Francis Group.
(a): May include industrial compounds.
(b): Only present in industrial areas.
A: Acids; Cl: Residual chlorine; DBP: Disinfection by-products; ED: Endocrine disrupters; EP: Emerging pollutants; F: Fecal pathogens; H: heavy metals; HC. Hydrocarbons;
N: Nutrients; NMA: Nonmetal and anions; OM: Organic matter; P: Pesticides; PCP: Personal care products; S: Salinity; T: Toxics; þ: Magnitude increase.
152 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
Annex 1 Biological disease-causing agents that have been reported in wastewater
Agent Classification Illness
Adenoviruses (31 to 51 types) Viruses Respiratory illness, conjunctivitis, vomiting, diarrhea
Arbovirus Viruses Arboviral disease
Astroviruses (five types) Viruses Vomiting, diarrhea
Calcivirus or Norwalk agent Viruses Vomiting, diarrhea
Coronavirus Viruses Gastroenteritis, vomiting, diarrhea
Coxsackie A (enterovirus) Viruses Meningitis, fever, herpangina, respiratory illness
Coxsackie B (enterovirus) Viruses Myocarditis, congenital heart anomalies, rash, fever, meningitis, respiratory
illness, pleurodynia
Echovirus (enterovirus) Viruses Meningitis, encephalitis, respiratory illness, rash, diarrhea, fever
Enterovirus 68–71 Viruses Meningitis, encephalitis, respiratory illness, acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis,
fever
Flavirus Viruses Dengue fever
Hepatitis A virus Viruses Infectious hepatitis
Hepatitis E virus Viruses Hepatitis
Norwalk virus Viruses Epidemic vomiting and diarrhea, gastroenteritis
Parvoviruses (three types) Viruses Gastroenteritis
Poliovirus (enterovirus) Viruses Poliomyelitis, paralysis, meningitis, fever
Reoviruses (three types) Viruses Not clearly established
Rotaviruses (four types) Viruses Diarrhea, vomiting, gastroenteritis
Snow Mountain Agent Viruses Gastroenteritis
Small and round viruses Viruses Diarrhea, vomiting
Yellow fever viruses Viruses Yellow fever
Brucella tularensis Bacteria Tularemia
Campylobacter jejuni Bacteria Gastroenteritis, diarrhea
Escherichia coli enteropathogenic Bacteria Gastroenteritis
Legionella pneumophila Bacteria Acute respiratory illness, Legionnaire’s disease
Leptospira spp., 150 types Bacteria Leptospirosis (septic meningitis, jaundice, neck stiffness,
haemorrhages in the eyes and skin)
Clostridium perfringens Bacteria Gaseous gangrene, food poisoning
Mycobacterium leprae Bacteria Leprosy
Mycobacterium tuberculosis Bacteria Pulmonary and disseminated tuberculosis
Salmonella spp., 1700 a 2400 strains
(parathyphi, schottmuelleri, etc.)
Bacteria Salmonellosis
Salmonella thyphimurium Bacteria Typhoid fever, paratyphoid or salmonellosis
Shigella spp., 4 types Bacteria Bacillary dysentery, Shigellosis
Treponema pallidum-pertenue Bacteria Yaws (frambuesia)
Yersinia enterocolitica Bacteria Gastroenteritis, Yersiniosis
Vibrio cholerae Bacteria Cholera
Aspergillus fumigatus Fungi Aspergillosis
Candida albicans Fungi Candidiasis
Balantidium coli Protozoa Mild diarrhea colonic ulceration, dysentery, balantidiasis
Cyclospora cayetanensis Protozoa Severe infectious, dehydration: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
Cryptosporidium parvum Protozoa Diarrhea and cryptosporidiosis
Entamoeba histolytica Protozoa Amoebic dysentery
Giardia lamblia Protozoa Giardiasis
Naegleria fowleri Protozoa Amoebic meningo-encephalitis
Plasmodium malariae Protozoa Malaria
Trypanosoma spp. Protozoa Trypanosomiasis
Toxoplasma gondii Protozoa Congenital or postnatal, toxoplasmosis
Ancylostoma duodenale Helminths Anaemia, ancylostomiasis
Ascaris lumbricoides Helminths Ascariasis
Echinococcus granulosis Helminths Hyadatidosis
Enterobius vermicularis Helminths Enterobiasis
Necator americanus Helminths Anaemia
Schistosoma spp. Helminths Schistosomiasis
Strongyloides stercoralis Helminths Diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, Strongylodiasis
Taenia solium Helminths Taenisis, cysticercosis
Trichuris trichiura Helminths Diarrhea
Toxocara spp. Helminths Fever, abdominal pain, nausea
The presence of biological disease-causing agents is not necessarily an indication of a confirmed risk.
From Jime´nez B (2003) Health risks in aquifer recharge with recycle water. In: Aertgeerts R and Angelakis A (eds.) State of the Art Report Health Risk in Aquifer Recharge Using
Reclaimed Water, pp. 54–172. Rome: WHO Regional Office for Europe.
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 153
4.06.4.1.2 Bacteria
Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms ranging from 0.2 to
10m in size with different shapes. They reproduce and grow in
an appropriate environment at defined ranges of temperature,
salinity, pH, etc. They may or may not be encapsulated. The
environmental distribution of bacteria is ubiquitous and has
different nutritional requirements. Many species of bacteria
are not harmful to man. In fact, some even live inside humans
forming intestinal colonies. Bacteria are expelled in feces at
high concentrations (Jime´nez, 2003). Table 3 shows some
characteristics of pathogenic bacteria that can be found in the
feces of infected people. In wastewater, pathogenic bacteria
are always present but at a variable concentration, depending
on the local health conditions. As shown in Table 3, due to
the high rate of diseases caused in developing countries, Sal-
monella, Shigella, and Helicobacter pylori are bacteria of im-
portance as agents causing endemic diseases. In contrast,
Vibrio cholerae is present only when an epidemic exists.
4.06.4.1.3 Protozoa
Protozoa are the group of parasites most closely associated
with diarrheas. They are single-celled organisms (2–60 mm in
size) that develop in two ways: as trophozoites and as cysts.
Infections are produced when mature cysts are consumed.
Cysts are resistant to gastric juices and transform themselves
into trophozoites in the small intestine, lodging in the wall
where they feed on bacteria and dead cells. In time,
Table 3 Characteristics of some bacteria frequently found in wastewater (with information from Jime´nez (2003) and Lenghton et al. (2005))
Characteristics and effects in humans
Escherichia coli is commonly found in wastewater at high concentrations. Different E. coli strains can cause gastroenteritis in both animals and
humans and pose a high risk to newborns and children under 5 years of age. E. coli strains implicated with human diseases are: (1)
enteropathogenic E. coli ; (2) E. coli that is the common cause of traveler’s diarrhea, which provokes a liquid and profuse diarrhea with some
mucosity, nausea, and dehydration; (3) enteroinvasive E. coli that invades the intestinal mucus lining like Shigella spp., and (4) E. coli (EHEC) that
produces a similar toxin to Shigella causing hemorrhagic colitis. Infective doses are relatively low (10
2
organisms).
Salmonella spp. is frequently present in wastewater at content always lower than that of fecal coliforms by 1–2 log. There is a wide variety of strains
capable of infecting humans and animals. The incidence in humans is lower than in animals and has a seasonal variation.
The most severe form of salmonellosis is typhoid fever caused by Salmonella typhi. Typical symptoms are chronic gastroenteritis with diarrhea,
stomach cramps, fever, nausea, vomiting, and headache. In severe cases, collapse and death might occur. Transmission is through ingestion of
polluted water or food, and is very common in developing countries. Infective dose is of the order 10
5
–10
8
microorganisms, but for Salmonella typhi
doses as low as 10
2
–10
3
have been reported.
Shigella is similar to Salmonella spp. but less frequent in wastewater. There are more than 40 strains, but S. sonnei and S. flexeneri represent almost
90% of total wastewater isolations. It rarely infects animals and lives for a shorter period in the environment. One route of transmission is through
swimming in polluted water. Shigella spp. produces bacillary dysentery or shigellosis. This is light watery diarrhea that can develop into full-blown
dysentery. The symptoms are fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, migraine, and myalgia. The classic form of dysentery is characterized by the
expulsion of feces containing blood with or without mucus. The infective dose is less than 10
3
microorganisms.
Helicobacter pylori is found in wastewater. Its major habitat is the human gastric mucosa. Three species are human pathogens: H. pylori, H. fennelliae,
and H. cinaedi. The pathway of transmission is not entirely clear but water could be involved. In developing countries, H. pylori is acquired early in
childhood, and up to 90% of children are infected by the age of 5. This contrasts with the low infection rate during childhood observed in developed
countries (0.5–1%).
Campylobacter jejuni usually is a pathogen to animals but it can cause severe gastroenteritis in humans. The main source of infection is nonchlorinated
water supplies.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis along with M. balnei (marinum) and M. boris causes pulmonary diseases and tuberculosis. For M. tuberculosis,
contaminated water is the main source of infection.
Vibrio cholerae is the cause not only of epidemic but also eight pandemics, the last one between 1990 and 1995. Cholera epidemics are caused by V.
cholerae group O1 and some non-O1. Symptoms are abundant liquid diarrhea with significant loss of hydro-electrolytes and severe dehydration
associated with vomiting. V. cholerae is rare in developed countries but frequent in poor ones. Humans are the only known hosts. The most frequent
pathway of transmission is water, either through direct consumption or when used to irrigate produce that is consumed uncooked. Fish grown in
polluted water are another source of transmission. Since 2007, there have been outbreaks of cholera in India, Iraq, Congo, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.
In 2005, West Africa suffered more than 63 000 cases of cholera, leading to 1000 deaths.
Table 2 Comparison of the biological pollutant content in
wastewater from developing and developed countries
Organism Developed
world
Developing
world
Enteric viruses, PFU 100 ml
À1 (U, I)
10
2
–10
4
10
4
–10
6
Salmonella, MPN 100 ml
À1 (M, U, F, SA, IN,
H)
10
0
–10
4
10
6
–10
9
Fecal streptococci, No. 100 ml
À1 (U, B, K)
10
4
–10
6
10
6
–410
7
Protozoan cysts, organisms l
À1 (U, M)
10
1
10
3
Giardia lamblia, cysts l
À1 (U, E, K)
1–10
3
10
2
–10
3
Cryptosporidium parvum, oocysts l
À1 (U,
E)
1–10
3
ND
Helminth ova, egg l
À1
1–9 6–800
Data from: E, England; H, Holland; In, India; I, Israel; K, Kenya; M, Mexico; SA, South
Africa; U, USA; ND, No data.
Adapted from Jime´nez B (2009b) Wastewater risks in the urban water cycle. In:
Jime´nez B and Rose J (eds.) Urban Water Security: Managing Risks, p. 324. Paris:
UNESCO Leiden: Taylor and Francis Group.
154 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
trophozoites become once again cysts that are expelled in
feces. Infected persons may or not display symptoms. Proto-
zoa do not reproduce in the environment, only in their host.
However, they are able to survive in the environment and
remain active for periods ranging from some months to up to
several years, depending on the environmental conditions.
Most intestinal protozoa are transmitted through polluted
water and food contaminated with polluted water or un-
sanitary handled (Jime´nez, 2003). Table 4 shows the charac-
teristics of some protozoa.
In the developing world, the more relevant protozoa be-
cause of their effects on humans are Giardia and Amoeba.
Cryptosporidium is a threat to developed countries, as was un-
fortunately demonstrated in Milwaukee, US, when 403000
people became ill and more than 50 died after an infection
was transmitted through the drinking water supply (Hrudey
and Hrudey, 2004).
4.06.4.1.4 Helminth eggs
Helminths are worms some of which are parasites in humans.
Where helminths are the origin of waterborne diseases, they
are mainly transmitted through the consumption of con-
taminated food (crops, meat, or fish). Helminths can also be
transmitted through the oral–fecal route and, therefore, hy-
giene is important as a factor in their control. As helminths are
associated with turbid water, they normally are not a concern
in drinking water.
Helminths are pluri-cellular worms and because of this
they are poorly addressed in environmental microbiology
books. The eggs – their infective form – are microscopic and
travel along with wastewater. Helminths occur in different
types and sizes (from 1mm to several m in length), and have
diverse and complex life cycles compared to most of the
microorganisms known in the sanitary field (Jime´nez, 2008a).
Before infecting humans, in some cases, they may have an
intermediary host as is the case for Schistosoma spp. that
temporarily lives in snails.
There are three different types of helminths: (1) plathel-
minths or flat worms, (2) nemathelminths, nematodes or
round worms, and (3) annelids. If plathelminths have their
body formed by segments, they are called cestodes; if not, they
are then called trematodes. Only the first two types are of
sanitary importance. Although common in sanitary engin-
eering literature, it is improper to use the terms nematodes,
Ascaris, and helminths as synonyms. This misunderstanding
comes from the fact that Ascaris (a nematode) is the most
common helminth egg in wastewater and sludge. A list of
helminth eggs found in wastewater and sludge and its classi-
fication can be found in Jime´nez (2008a).
Helminthiases are diseases of high incidence in developing
countries compared with developed ones. Globally, there are
around 1–2 thousand million people suffering of hel-
minthiases but most of them are from developing countries
where it affects up to 10% of the population. The incidence
rate may reach 90% in regions where poverty and poor sani-
tary conditions prevail. In contrast, in developed countries,
helminthiases’ incidence is at the most 1.5% and affects
mainly poor immigrants (Jime´nez, 2008a). Helminthiases
have different manifestations but, in general, they cause in-
testinal wall damage, hemorrhages, deficient blood coagu-
lation, and undernourishment. They can degenerate into
cancer tumors. Helminthiases affect mainly children, the eld-
erly, and poor people (Jime´nez, 2008). Around 94% of the
more than 4 billion cases of diarrhea in the world are caused
by helminths (Murray and Lo´ pez, 1996). There are several
kinds of helminths with different local names (Annex 2). This
along with the fact that it is hard to properly identify them
clinically unless a costly laboratory analysis is performed,
makes it difficult to track the actual incidence of all the
Table 4 Protozoa related to sanitation problems and that are of interest for developing countries (with information from Jime´nez (2003))
Characteristics and effects in humans
Entamoeba histolytica is one of the most important parasites detected in municipal wastewater and is commonly known as Amoeba. Trophozoites
measure 20–40 mm and t cysts 10–16 mm.
Amoebae usually lodge in the large intestine; occasionally they penetrate the intestinal wall, traveling and lodging in other organs. They are the cause of
amoebic and hepatic dysentery. Entamoeba histolytica infects 10% of the world’s population – mostly in the developing world – resulting in
approximately 500 million infected persons; there are between 40 and 50 million cases of invasive amebiasis per year resulting in up to 100 000
annual deaths (placing it second after malaria in mortality caused by protozoan parasites). Ninety-six percent of these cases occur in poor countries,
especially on the Indian subcontinent, West Africa, the Far East, and Central America.
Giardia spp. are common in wastewater as it frequently causes endemic diseases. It especially affects children under 5 suffering from malnutrition. The
total number of sick people is of the order 1.1 billion, 87% of whom live in poor countries.
Giardia spp. is the most common parasite of humans but water is not necessarily the main pathway of transmission. Cysts (that are 8–14 mm long and
7–10 mm wide) can survive in water bodies for long periods, especially in winter. Giardia lives in the intestines of a large number of animals as
trophozoites. The disease is characterized by very liquid and smelly explosive diarrhea, stomach and intestinal gases, nausea, and loss of appetite.
Cryptosporidium spp. is a parasite widespread in nature. Oocysts are resistant to chlorine and due to their small size (4–7 mm) are difficult to remove
from water, as many other protozoan. Cryptosporidium spp. infects a large spectrum of farm animals and pets and was recently recognized as a
human pathogen that is why it is considered as an emerging pathogen. Cryptosporidium spp. is capable of completing a life cycle within the same
host and causing reinfection. Once an individual has been infected, the person carries the parasite for life and can be reinfected. The disease rate in
developing countries has been poorly studied, in particular due to the higher occurrence of other types of diseases. Cryptosporidiasis in developing
countries has shown a greater incidence among immune depressed people and in rural areas (Snelling et al., 2007). The main symptoms of
cryptosporidiasis are stomach cramps, nausea, dehydration, and headaches. Although it is known that the infectious dose varies between 1 and 10,
outbreaks have always been associated with large concentrations in water.
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 155
helminthiases. That is why frequently figures are under-
estimated. Technically, helminthiases take their name from
their causative agent. For instance, trichuriasis is named after
Thrichuris. Ascariasis, affecting nearly 1500 million people, is
the most common of the helminthiases and is endemic in
Africa, Latin America, and the Far East. Even though the
mortality rate is low, most of the people infected are children
under 15 years of age with problems of faltering growth and/
or decreased physical fitness. Around 1.5 million of these
children will probably never bridge the growth deficit, even if
treated (Silva et al., 1997; Jime´nez, 2008a).
The helminthiases’ infective agents are the eggs, not the
worms. Actually, worms cannot live either in wastewater or in
sludge because they need a host. Helminth eggs are trans-
mitted through (1) the ingestion of crops polluted with was-
tewater or sludge, (2) direct contact with polluted sludge or
fecal material, and (3) the ingestion of polluted meat or fish
(Jime´nez, 2008a). Each type of helminth has its own pathways
of infection.
Eggs of different helminths generally occur in different
shapes, sizes, and resistances (Figure 3). As a result of the
higher incidence of ascariasis, in wastewater and sludge, these
Annex 2 Examples of local names given to helminth and helminthiases diseases
Common name Technical name Examples of local names
given to diseases
Number of infected people
(million)
Region affected
Foodborne trematodes and
schistosomiasis
Trematode Trematodiases,
clonorchiasis,
schistosomiasis,
fasciolasis
4240 Found in 74 countries.
Blood fluke Schistosoma Schistosomiasis,
bilharziosis or snail fever
200 half of which live in
Africa (20 with severe
consequences)
Asia, Africa, and South
America. (80% of whom
live in sub-Saharan
Africa
Liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis Clonorchiasis 40 (10% of the world’s
population thought to be
at risk)
China, Russian Federation,
Republic of Korea,
Vietnam
Liver fluke Fasciola hepatica and
F. gigantica
Fascioliasis Temperate areas of Africa,
Europe and Central/
South America
Intestinal Fluke Fasciolopsis buski Fasciololopsis Kazakhstan, Lao Peoples
0
s
Democratic Republic,
Poland, Russian
federation, Thailand,
Turkey, Ukraine, Viet
Nam
Hookworms Ancylostoma duodenale Ancylostomiasis,
anchylostomiasis,
helminthiasis, miners’
anemia, tunnel disease,
brickmaker’s anemia
and Egyptian chlorosis
1300 Middle East, North Africa,
India and (formerly) in
southern Europe
Necator americanus Necatoriasis The Americas, Sub-
saharan Africa,
Southeast Asia, China,
and Indonesia
Tapeworm All cestode Asia, Africa, South
America, parts of
Southern Europe and
pockets of North
America
Tape worm Taenia Taeniasis, Cysticercosis
Tapeworm Hymenolepis nana and
diminuta
Roundworm All nematode (Ascaris,
Toxocara, Trichuris
Enterobius)
Nematode infection 4000 Latin America, Asia, Africa,
far East
Roundworm nematode Ascariasis lumbriocides Ascariasis 1500 Africa, Asia and Latin
America, Far East
Pinworm Enterobius vermicularis Oxiuriasis Enterobiasis 600
Whipworm Trichuris trichiura Trichuriasis 1050
156 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
are the eggs found in the highest concentrations (Figure 4).
The percentage of types of helminths might vary from one
region to another following the disease’s pattern. Due to dif-
ferences in health conditions in developed and developing
countries, their helminth eggs content is very different in
wastewater and sludge (Table 5).
Eggs contained in sludge are not always viable and in-
fectious. To be infectious, the larvae need to develop, and, for
that, a certain temperature and moisture are needed. The ne-
cessary conditions are frequently met in soil or crops, where
eggs are deposited when polluted wastewater, sludge, or ex-
creta is used as fertilizer. Under such conditions, the larvae
develop in 10 days. According to previous information (that
has not been updated using better analytical techniques),
Ascaris eggs remain viable 1–2 months in crops and many
months in soil, freshwater, sewage, feces, night soil, and
sludge – periods which are much longer than those for
microorganisms (Jime´nez, 2008a, Figure 5). This high resist-
ance is due to a cover composed of 3–4 layers that gives
mechanical resistance to eggs and protects them from desic-
cation, strong acids and bases, oxidants, reducing agents, de-
tergents, and proteolytic compounds (Jime´nez, 2008a). The
resistance of different helminth eggs genera under environ-
mental conditions has not been reported in literature.
To inactivate helminth eggs, it is recommended to raise the
temperature above 40 1C for 10–20 days for Ascaris or to re-
duce moisture levels below 5%. These conditions are not ease
of use during wastewater treatment; thus, helminths are usu-
ally removed from wastewater to be subsequently inactivated
in sludge. Helminth ova of interest in the sanitary field
Egg fertile roundworm Ascaris
40−80 μm × 25−50 μm
Ascaris egg, four-cell stage Ascaris egg. With eight or
more cells
Ascaris egg with a young
worm (200−300 × 14 μm)
Ascaris egg, the shell loses
resistance to allow hatching
Ascaris egg hatching
Nonfertile Ascaris egg
80−90 μm × 30−40 μm
Egg of the tapeworm
Hymenolepis nana 30−47 μm
Egg of the tapeworm Taenia
30−40 μm
Egg of the tapeworm
Hymenolepis diminuta 70−80 μm
Hymenolepis diminuta egg 80 μm
Hymenolepis diminuta
hatching
Figure 3 Examples of helminth eggs most frequently observed in wastewater and sludge, Photographs courtesy of Catalina Maya, Treatment and
Reuse GROUP, UNAM.
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 157
Egg of the roundworm fertile
Toxocara 85−95 μm
Toxocara egg, two-cell stage Toxocara egg, four-cell stage
Toxocara larva inside the egg,
infective stage (300−400 ×
40 μm)
Toxocara hatching Toxocara larva
Egg of the whipworm fertile
Trichuris 50−54 mm × 22−23 μm)
Trichuris egg, infectious stage Trichuris egg hatching
Egg 50−60 μm × 20−30 μm
of pinworm Enterobius
vermicularis with larva
Trichosomoides 80 μm × 50 μm
egg of a nematode with
larva
Trichosomoides sp. with
damaged larva
Figure 3 Continued.
158 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
measure 20–80 mm, have a specific density of 1.06–1.2, and
are very sticky. These properties are used to remove eggs from
wastewater (Jime´nez, 2008a).
Helminth ova criteria. As shown in Table 5, not all waste-
water and sludge contain significant amounts of helminth ova.
For this reason, they are not included in all countries’ waste-
water, sludge, or fecal sludge norms, as is the case with bio-
chemical oxygen demand (BOD) or fecal coliforms, which are
universal parameters used to design wastewater treatment
(Jime´nez, 2008a). Based on toxicological and epidemiological
studies, the World Health Organization WHO (2006) sug-
gested a value of r1 egg l
À1
in wastewater intended for the
irrigation of crops that are eaten uncooked. Wastewater used
for the culture of fish should contain 0egg l
À1
, since trematode
eggs (Schistosoma spp., basically) may multiply in an inter-
mediary host (a snail) before infecting fish and humans. For
excreta, the recommended criterion is of 1 egg g
À1
total solids
(TS).
4.06.4.1.5 Biological indicators
Thermotolerant coliform bacteria (commonly referred as fecal
coliforms) are the group most frequently used as indicators
of fecal pollution because they behave in a similar way to
most pathogenic bacteria in the environment, and, during
treatment, they are abundant and easy to determine.
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Mexican wastewater Mexican sludge South African ecosan sludge
A
s
c
a
r
i
s

s
p
p
.
T
r
i
c
h
u
r
i
s

s
p
p
.
H
y
m
e
n
o
l
e
p
i
s

s
p
p
.
T
o
x
o
c
a
r
a

s
p
p
.
T
r
i
c
h
o
s
o
m
o
i
d
e
s

s
p
p
.
E
n
t
e
r
o
b
i
u
s

s
p
p
.
T
a
e
n
i
a

s
p
p
.
U
n
c
i
n
a
r
i
a
Figure 4 Content of different helminth egg genera in Mexican wastewater and sludge and from an on-site sanitation system in South Africa. Data
from Maya C, Jime´nez B, and Schwartzbrod J (2006) Comparison of techniques for the detection of helminth ova in drinking water and wastewater.
Water Environment Research 78(2): 118–124 and Jime´nez B and Wang L (2006) Sludge treatment and management. In: Ujang Z and Henze M (eds.)
Municipal Wastewater Management in Developing Countries: Principles and Engineering, pp. 237–292. London: IWA Publishing.
Table 5 Helminth ova content in wastewater and sludge from
different countries
Country/region Municipal wastewater
(HO l
À1
)
Sludge (HO g
À1
TS)
Developing countries 70–3000 70–735
Brazil 166–202 75
Egypt 6–42 Mean: 67;
maximum: 735
Ghana No data 76
Jordan 300 No data
Mexico 6–98 in cities
Up to 330 in rural and
peri-urban areas
73–177
Morocco 840 No data
Syria 800 No data
Ukraine 60 No data
France 9 5–7
Germany No data o1
Great Britain No data o6
United States 1–8 2–13
From Jime´nez B (2008a) Helminth ova control in wastewater and sludge for
agricultural reuse. Water reuse new paradigm towards integrated water resources
management. In: Grabow WOK (ed.) Encyclopedia of Biological, Physiological and
Health Sciences, Water and Health, Vol. II. Life Support System, pp. 429–449. Oxford:
EOLSS Publishers/UNESCO.
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 159
E. histolytica cysts
Fresh and wastewater
Fecal colifrom / Salmonella
Enteroviruses
Ascaris lumbricoides ova
Shigella spp / Vibrio cholerae
Ascaris lumbricoides ova
Ascaris lumbricoides ova →
Shigella spp / Vibrio cholerae / E. histolytica cysts
E. histolytica cysts
Vibrio cholerae
Shigella spp
Fecal coliform / Salmonella
Enteroviruses
Soil
Fecal coliform / Salmonella
Enteroviruses
Crops
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
0 20 40 60
Days
80 100 120 140
Days
Days
Figure 5 Survival time of different pathogens in fresh and wastewater, soil and crops at 20–30 1C. Data from Feachem R, Bradley D, Garelick H, and
Mara D (1983) Sanitation and Disease: Health. pp. 349–356. New York, NY: Wiley.
160 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
Thermotolerant coliforms are less specific indicators of fecal
contamination than Escherichia coli, since they may sometimes
arise from nonfecal sources, especially in tropical climates
(WHO, 2004). However, it is becoming increasingly evident
that they are not useful to simulate the behavior of all enteric
viruses, protozoa – in particular with regard to Giardia and
Amoeba – and helminth eggs that are of concern in low-in-
come regions. Despite this, it is frequently, but wrongly, as-
sumed that fecal coliforms are indicators of all kinds of
biological pollution. Even though they can be useful indi-
cators of fecal pollution in developed countries’ drinking
water, this is not always the case for water and wastewater
from developing ones, owing to the presence of a wider variety
and larger quantities of microorganisms (Jime´nez, 2009). This
does not mean that fecal coliforms are not useful for de-
veloping countries; it simply means that care must be taken to
select additional indicators for specific purposes, such as for
wastewater and sludge reuse in agriculture and aquaculture. In
these cases, the helminth egg content (WHO, 2006) needs also
to be specified.
It is worth mentioning that the treatment procedures to
inactivate helminth eggs are frequently developed using Ascaris
eggs as models as they have been informally considered as
indicators for all helminth eggs, although this has not been
fully proven experimentally. In other cases, Taenia saginata or
Ascaris galli, types of eggs that are rarely present in wastewater,
are used to test treatment procedures.
4.06.4.1.6 Emerging pathogens
Some pathogens that are not usually followed during con-
ventional monitoring have been linked to outbreaks in de-
veloped countries. These pathogens have been called
‘emerging’ pathogens. They have led to new regulations as well
as to improvements in water and wastewater treatment pro-
cedures. Some of the microorganisms considered as emerging
pathogens are Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium parvum, Cyclos-
pora cayetanensis, Blastocystis hominis, Legionella pnuemophila, E.
coli 0157H7, Campylobacter, Mycobacterium, and Norovirus
(Jime´nez, 2009b). In developing countries, some of these
pathogens are endemic, while others have either not been
studied or not reported as disease-causing agents.
4.06.4.1.7 Biological analytical techniques
Assessing the biological quality of water is always a challenge
due to the diversity of organisms and the need for different
and proper methods to identify and enumerate them, some of
which are complex, time consuming, and costly. In the fol-
lowing sections, a short description on the techniques used for
different type of organisms is described.
Viruses. Identification and quantification of viruses in
wastewater, sludge, or excreta is complicated due to the low
level of recovery from wastewater and the need to use complex
and costly techniques to analyze them. A laboratory requires
14 days, on average, to determine the presence or absence of a
virus in water and another 14 days to identify them, using
conventional procedures. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
techniques have considerably speeded up the process, as they
can be used to determine viruses online. These techniques are
based on the amplification of a single or few copies of a piece
of DNA allowing the identification of different types of vir-
uses. However, quantification with the precision required in
the sanitary field remains a challenge. In addition, the method
is sophisticated, and requires highly specialized equipment
and highly trained personnel. Due to these difficulties, it is
sometimes preferred to detect bacteriophages, that is, bacteria
infected by viruses. Bacteriophages are used as informal indi-
cators of viruses and not been linked to human diseases;
therefore, their presence has no health significance (Jime´nez,
2003).
Bacteria. As mentioned previously, thermotolerant bacteria
are the common accepted indicator of bacterial fecal pol-
lution. They are detected by using a selective medium and
incubating it after inoculation at 35 or 3770.51C and/or 44
or 44.570.25 1C, depending on the medium used. The ma-
terials and equipment used for this analysis are very common
in most wastewater laboratories. PCR techniques to detect
E. coli are useful as well.
Protozoa. There are enough accessible techniques to deter-
mine the presence of the main protozoan pathogens in was-
tewater and sludge; however, fewer techniques are available to
quantify them with the required precision for the sanitation
field. The presence of protozoa on samples does not neces-
sarily always imply a risk, since this requires them to be also
viable. To determine the viability, several days are required.
PCR techniques for protozoa are not as well developed as they
are for bacteria and viruses.
Helminth eggs. Helminths eggs require laborious techniques
to detect them and even more so to enumerate them. Fortu-
nately, the technique is readily available and does not use
complex equipment, although it does require well-trained la-
boratory personnel. Currently, there is no standardized
method and most of the few laboratories trained to detect
them are using either different analytical procedures or similar
ones with modifications. Moreover, most of the laboratories,
instead of reporting the total content of helminth eggs, only
report the Ascaris content, as is done in developed countries
where it is frequently the single type of helminth eggs present
(Jime´nez, 2008a).
Analytical techniques for quantifying helminth eggs can be
divided into two: direct and indirect techniques (Jime´nez,
2008a). The first consists of separating helminth ova from the
other particles contained in wastewater or sludge (where there
are many) and then identifying and counting different genera
using a microscope. Some examples of these techniques used
the US-EPA (United States-Environment Protection Agency),
the membrane filter, the Leeds I and Leeds II, and the Faust
techniques. The most widely used technique seems to be the
US-EPA (1992). A comparison of the performances of the
above-mentioned methods has been made by Maya et al.
(2006). The recovery rate among them varies from 20% to
80%. Sensitivity for each notably varies as well and not all are
capable of measuring the criteria values set by WHO (2006) of
1egg l
À1
for wastewater and 1egg g
À1
TS for sludge.
The second types of techniques are indirect ones, and these
have been applied only for wastewater. They are based on
measuring either the total suspended solids (TSS) content or
the particle size distribution (PSD), and then correlating the
concentration to the helminth egg content. Calibration curves
need to be established for each type of wastewater and
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 161
treatment process. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile method
because the helminth egg determination costs US$7–12 if TSS
are used, and US$3 with the PSD, instead of US$70, which is
the cost of direct methods. It is important to distinguish be-
tween fertile viable and nonfertile eggs as only the viable eggs
are infectious. This can be done visually using stains or by
incubation at 26 1C for 3–4 weeks (Jime´nez, 2008a).
4.06.4.2 Conventional Parameters
Conventional parameters as understood in this text are those
commonly used to design or select wastewater and sludge
treatment processes worldwide, and they refer mainly to
the organic matter content (measured as BOD or COD –
biological or chemical oxygen demand), or suspended solids.
In general, they are similar worldwide except for the heavy
metals content that in general –and especially for sludge – is
notably lower in developing countries than in developed ones
(LeBlanc et al., 2008) as result of the difference at the indus-
trialization level. However, at a local level, metal content in
some industrialized areas of developing countries, notably
where metal or tanning industries are placed, may be high. A
detailed description of conventional parameters and their
significance can be found in Jime´nez (2009a).
4.06.4.3 Emerging Pollutants
The term (chemical) ‘emerging pollutant’ is used to describe a
wide variety of complex organic chemical compounds that are
candidates for future regulation and that have not usually
been monitored. To detect them, complex and costly ana-
lytical equipment is needed, such as GC-MS or GC-MS-MS
(gas chromatography coupled with one or two mass spec-
trometers) as these are the only ones capable to measure the
very low concentrations at which the pollutants are present (in
the order of micro- or ng l
À1
) and to identify them. Emerging
pollutants have been detected in untreated wastewater, treated
wastewater, surface water, groundwater, and even in drinking
water of both developed and developing countries (some).
Among the countries that have measured and detect emerging
pollutants, the following can be cited: Austria, Brazil, Canada,
Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands,
Spain, Switzerland, UK, and USA (Jime´nez, 2009b).
The sources of emerging pollutants are diverse. They come
from nonpoint sources, municipal wastewater (treated or
nontreated), and industrial discharges. They are also the result
of the improper disposal of solid wastes. Two groups of
compounds that are considered as emerging pollutants are:
endocrine disrupter compounds (Box 1) and personal care
and pharmaceutical products (PCPPs).
Wastewater treatment processes have not been designed to
remove them; thus, they are randomly removed during con-
ventional treatment. From the limited literature currently
available, emerging pollutants – as other organic compounds –
are concentrated in sludge during wastewater treatment. Initial
risk studies suggest minimal ecological and health effects
through biosolids recycling to soils (LeBlanc et al., 2008). As
most of these pollutants have only been recently studied, the
knowledge of their fate, transport, behavior during treatment,
and risks is still poor in the sanitary engineering field. Chemical
emerging pollutants, in general, are not considered at the mo-
ment as a priority for the developing world as there are more
pressing health and environmental pollutants of concern.
4.06.4.4 Risks
It is important to bear in mind that the simple presence of a
pathogen or a toxic chemical in wastewater, sludge, or excreta
does not necessarily mean that a negative effect will occur. For
that, several other things need to happen. These include (1)
the need for a compound/pathogen to reach a certain con-
centration; (2) the existence of a pathway for transmission to
human or the environment; (3) the ingestion or presence of a
certain dose to cause long- or short-term effects; (4) sufficient
exposure times to the pollutant; and (5) sufficient sensitivity
of a person or of the environment to pollutants. In addition, it
should be remembered that, for humans, water is not the only
source of risk, as food and air are also sources of pollutant
ingestion and, in some cases, they may be the main ones. In
terms of the differences of biological risks to humans in de-
veloping and developed countries, there are additional aspects
to consider as humans develop immunity to pathogens de-
pending on the type of environment they are exposed to, and
thus infectious doses may be higher. Genetic history, nutrition,
and the combination of social patterns also intervene. For
these reasons, data developed for developed countries are not
always applicable to developing ones to perform risk analysis.
In order to quantitatively assess risks, it is necessary (1) to
establish the type and quantity of given microorganisms in a
region, (2) to know the actual infectious dose, and (3) to
define and evaluate the possible infection route. To
Box 1 Endocrine compounds. From Jime´nez B (2009b) Wastewater risks in the urban water cycle. In: Jime´nez B and Rose
J (eds.) Urban Water Security: Managing Risks, p. 324. Paris: UNESCO Leiden: Taylor and Francis Group.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that mimic hormones or have antihormone activity interfering with the functioning of endocrine systems in various living
species. They derive from many sources including pesticides, persistent organic pollutants, nonionic detergents, and human pharmaceutical residues. Some of
them have been identified in municipal wastewater and many of them may persist in the environment for some time. Endocrine disruptors have been also found in
drinking water. Their presence in recycled waters also raises broader questions about the risks and benefits of water recycling and our approaches to anticipating
the emergence of new contaminants.
Human health effects potentially linked to exposure to these chemicals include breast, prostate, and testicular cancer; diminished semen quantity and quality, and
impaired behavioral, immune or thyroid functions in children. Although direct evidence of adverse health effects in humans is lacking, reproductive abnormalities,
altered immune function, and population disruption potentially linked to exposure to these substances has been observed in amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates,
mammals, and reptiles. Notably, feminization or masculinization on male or female animals, respectively, has been reported.
162 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
quantitatively evaluate the risk from a chemical or microbial
pollutant, several methodologies are available in literature, but
the data needed to apply them may be lacking for special cases
in developing countries.
4.06.5 Sanitation in Low-Income Countries: A
Complex Current Situation
4.06.5.1 Sanitation Needs a Definition
Sanitation is a term that has a clear meaning in the developed
world. However, for the developing one, there is need to have
a better definition. Traditionally, sanitation has been reported
as the percentage of the population having access to the ser-
vice. In practice, this service in low-income regions ranges
from simple access to sewers that are discharging the waste-
water just behind households or into the streets to sewers
connected to sophisticated wastewater treatment plants cou-
pled with water reuse projects and comprising safe sludge
management practices. For basic sanitation – sanitation pro-
vided in rural or poor periurban areas, the term sanitation
includes a wide variety of on-site sanitation options going
from simple pit to highly comfortable package treatment
plants, which may or may not be functioning. To overcome
this, the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) from WHO-
UNICEF proposed in 2000 to introduce the term ‘improved
sanitation’. Improved sanitation is a system in which excreta
are disposed of in such a way that the risk of fecal–oral
transmission to users and to the environment is reduced
(WHO–UNICEF, 2008). Table 6 shows which options qualify
as improved sanitation and which do not.
In 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development
(WSSD) provided a definition for basic sanitation that, besides
considering the service itself, considered its impact on human
health. This definition comprises the following:

the development and implementation of efficient house-
hold sanitation systems;
• the improvement of sanitation in public institutions, es-
pecially in schools;

the promotion of safe hygiene practices;

the promotion of education and outreach focusing on
children, as agents of behavioral change;

the promotion of affordable and socially and culturally
acceptable technologies and practices;
• the development of innovative financing and partnership
mechanisms; and

the integration of sanitation into water resources manage-
ment strategies in a manner that does not negatively affect
the environment (it includes protection of water resources
from biological or fecal contamination).
As a result, the WSSD’s focus is not only on the construction of
a particular number of toilets but also on the effective im-
provement of health and hygiene through basic sanitation.
However, still new elements are needed to be added as prob-
lems caused by lack of sanitation are combined with those
arising from the lack of economic resources and frequently
also with lack of water in societies lacking even from social,
economical, and political rights (Box 2).
4.06.5.2 Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are drawn from
the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declar-
ation that was adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147
heads of state and governments during the UN Millennium
Summit held in New York City on September 2000 (WHO–
UNICEF, 2009). They comprise eight goals and 21 quantifiable
targets. Water is part of the 7th Goal under Target 7c: ‘‘Reduce
by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to
safe drinking water and basic sanitation.’’ Fulfilling this target
represents the challenge of providing safe water supply to 1.1
million people and safe sanitation to 2.6 million people
within 15 years.
Table 6 Improved and unimproved sanitation facilities according to
WHO–UNICEF (2008)
Improved Unimproved
Connection to public Service or bucket latrine
sewer or septic tank Traditional latrine
Pour-flush latrine Public latrine or shared toilet
Pit latrine with slab Open pit or pit latrine without a slab
VIP latrine Open defecation in bush or field
Ecological sanitation
Box 2 What sanitation should include, with some information from Lenghton L, Wright A, and Davis K (eds.) (2005)
Health, Dignity and Development: What Will It Take? Millennium Development Goals. London: Earthscan.
*
Safe collection, storage, treatment and disposal, reuse, or recycling of human excreta (feces and urine).
*
Drainage and safe disposal, reuse, or recycling of household wastewater (often referred to as sullage or grey water).
*
Management, minimization, reuse, and recycling of solid wastes (trash or rubbish). Use of goods producing less solid wastes.
*
Drainage, safe management, and even reuse or recovery of storm water.
*
Treatment and disposal, reuse, or recycling of sewage effluents and wastewater by products.
*
Collection and management of industrial waste products, and, the promotion of cleaner industries, vis-a`-vis water.
*
Management of hazardous wastes (including hospital wastes and chemical, radio-active, mining, petrochemical, and other dangerous substances).
*
The use of sanitation as a way to properly reintegrating water, organic matter, and nutrients into the environment in order for them to be safely used again.
*
Provision of water in a sufficient amount to maintain clean households and to allow proper hygienic habits.
*
The recognition of a right for sanitation at the same level of the right to water.
*
The sanitation as an instrument to differentiate social classes, gender, children, and ethnic groups.
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 163
4.06.5.3 Present Situation
Reporting figures concerning the state of sanitation in the
developing world is a difficult task. First, there is a lack of
information; second, the information available is generally
presented in a heterogenic way; and third, different sources
tend to contradict each other despite national and inter-
national efforts to produce consensus.
4.06.5.3.1 General overview
The worsening situation with regard to sanitation in de-
veloping countries can be described using different indicators
(Box 3). Contaminated water and poor sanitation account for
the vast majority of the 1.8 million child deaths each year
from diarrhea – almost 5000 every day – making it the second
largest cause of child mortality (UNDP, 2006). The expansion
of water services is essential to reduce the burden of water-
related diseases and to improve the well-being of a large part
of the world’s population. It is also vital for economic devel-
opment and poverty alleviation (WHO, 2004). According to
the figures presented by WHO–UNICEF (2006), despite the
efforts made and due to population growth, between 1990
and 2004, the population with access to sanitation services has
increased from 2569 million to 3777 million (47%), while the
net number of people without improved sanitation decreased
by only 98 million.
4.06.5.3.2 Regional situation
The difference between the level of sanitation in developed
and developing countries is high: 99% versus 50% (Table 7).
However, between 1990 and 2004, the percentage of people
with access to improved sanitation increased from 35% to
50% with countries’ variations ranging from 37% to 88%
(WHO–UNICEF, 2006). The difference observed between rich
and poor countries is also observed between urban (77%) and
rural (33%) areas from developing countries and as well be-
tween rich and poor people living there following the in-
equities of wealthy distribution.
4.06.5.3.3 Situation at the national level
The sanitation coverage as percent of the population with
service per country is presented in the map of Figure 6 for the
year 2004. Annex 3 contains a table with countries with less of
60% of the total, urban, or rural population.
4.06.5.3.4 Low-income countries sanitation specificities
Sanitation in developing countries is quite a complex issue,
because the lack of it is combined with other several problems,
some of which are geographically described on the Maps 1–8
from Annex 4. By analyzing these maps, the following con-
clusions may be drawn:
1. Several low-income countries are located in arid or semi-
arid regions; thus, besides sanitation problems, they face
the problem of water scarcity.
2. Many of the areas under greatest stress (where people are
already overexploiting rivers by tapping water that should
be reserved for environmental flows) coincide with areas
that are heavily developed for irrigation to provide water
for food, that is, mostly in developing countries.
3. Water withdrawal for agriculture is mainly performed in
developing countries as a result of low water availability
and the high dependence of agriculture.
4. Areas where poverty and hunger are prevalent coincide
with areas lacking sanitation.
5. In the future, it seems that the situation may worsen as water
availability will decrease in the countries already experi-
encing water-related problems, including lack of sanitation.
As result of the past and present situations, sanitation has
different aspects on developing countries that cannot be de-
scribed simply using the percent of population-covered index.
In the following, some of these aspects will be described.
Basic sanitation versus sanitation. Providing services for ex-
creta management in poor rural or urban areas is frequently
known as basic sanitation. Thus, it has to do with excreta
management rather than with sewerage and wastewater treat-
ment plants (Box 4 and Figure 7). The quality of the service is
frequently associated with peoples’ economic level, and thus, is
Box 3 Some figures for global sanitation
*
For each four persons that do not have access even to a simple pit latrine, six have it.
*
For each one person that does not have access to sanitation, another one has it.
*
In rural areas, for each two persons, only one person has access to a sanitation service.
*
For each 7 l of wastewater that is nontreated, 1 l is treated.
Table 7 Sanitation coverage per region for 2004
Region
Coverage as % of the population
Total Urban Rural
World 59 80 39
Developed regions 99 100 98
Commonwealth of independent states 83 92 67
Developing regions 50 73 33
Northern Africa 77 91 62
Sub-Saharan Africa 37 53 28
Latin America and the Caribbean 77 86 49
Eastern Asia 45 69 28
Southern Asia 38 63 27
South-eastern Asia 67 81 56
Western Asia 84 96 59
Oceania 53 81 43
Coverages below 60% are highlighted in red and those above 80% in blue.
Data from WHO–UNICEF (2006) Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation
Target: The Urban and Rural Challenge of the Decade. Geneva: WHO and UNICEF.
164 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
also a sign of status. Another aspect to consider is that the lack
of basic sanitation frequently is associated with lack of water.
LeBlanc et al. (2008) highlights that research and experience
suggest the following hierarchy of risk to human health:
‘‘living in a dense community without basic sanitation4(is more
risky thany) irrigation of crops with untreated, pathogen-
contaminated wastewater4use of untreated, pathogen-contaminated
excreta or wastewater sludge on soils4use of untreated, pathogen-
contaminated animal manures on soils4use of treated manures,
wastewater, or biosolids on crops4use of these treated materials in
accordance with strict modern regulations that address heavy metal
and chemical contaminants.’’
Differences on sanitation services. Possibly, one of the aspects
that contributes the most to render sanitation in developing
countries a challenge is the variety of needs and circumstances
arising from social differences. As shown in Figure 8, for in-
stance, poor people not only are less served but also the
quality of the services is lower. One of the deepest disparities is
between urban and rural areas as for the former the coverage is
twice as much than for the latter in developing countries.
Traceable differences in sanitation services have been reported
as well among indigenous and nonindigenous people and
minorities such as castes and women (Box 5). Among these
differences, the following common challenges can be
identified:
• The need to provide the service in poor areas with large
population increases.

For urban areas, a very fast service demand growth in slums
that are spread out in cities, have high population density,
and there is no land to place the infrastructure.

For rural areas, the need to assist a population frequently
dispersed and hence at higher cost.
• The need to fund projects combining liquid and solid waste
collection and treatment infrastructure.

The need to develop new or different management struc-
tures to provide services in social and political complex
areas.

The need to include health education and awareness pro-
grams on sanitation projects.
• The need to use public funding to provide services that are
to be subsided.

The existence of regions having high income where services
can be provided in a similar way to developed countries.
Sanitation versus wastewater treatment. As described previously,
sanitation coverage does not necessarily result in wastewater
being treated or safely disposed of. To illustrate this, figures for
the situation in some developing countries are provided. Two
comments on this figure are that (1) it is really difficult to find
data on wastewater treatment, notably for the Asian and Af-
rican regions and (2) although there should not be a full
correspondence between the sanitation coverage and the
wastewater treatment – as some people are served using basic
sanitation facilities – the figures should not be as different as
they are for some countries. In Latin-America, for instance,
although the sanitation coverage was 78% in 2006, only 18%
Equator
Pacific
Ocean
Population using
improved sanitation,
in percentage
Less than 50%
50 to 75%
76 to 90%
91 to 100%
No data
Source: World Health Organization
Atlantic
Ocean
Indian
Ocean
Pacific
Ocean
Equator
Figure 6 Sanitation coverage per country in 2004 (with information from WHO–UNICEF, 2006).
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 165
of the wastewater was treated (CONAGUA and WWF, 2006).
To give an idea of the situation in other regions, for the year
2004, when the Latin America and the Caribbean region re-
ported a treatment capacity of 14%, this was of the order of
35% for Asia and nearly 0% for sub-Saharan Africa (WHO/
UNICEF, 2000; Figure 9).
4.06.5.3.5 Sanitation Costs
According to Lenghton et al. (2005), the amount of money
needed to fulfill the sanitation MDGs ranges from US$24
billion to US$42 billion representing, in mean conditions, an
annual average investment of US$2.2 billion. To put these
figures in perspective, the above-mentioned authors mention
that each year Europe and the United States spend US$17
billion on pet food and Europe spends US$11 billion on ice
cream. The overall cost estimation of the current water and
sanitation deficit is of the order of US$170 billion, equivalent
to 2.6% of developing countries’ gross domestic product
(GDP). For each US$1 invested for sanitation, the economic
Annex 3 Classification of countries per range of sanitation coverage,
with information
Total Urban Rural
Sanitation Coverage o20%
Ghana Cape Verde
Guinea Solomon Islands
Cambodia Togo
Burkina Faso Micronesia,
Federated States of
Ethiopia
Niger
Chad
Eritrea
Sanitation coverage 420% but o40%
Afghanistan Chad Azerbaijan
Angola Congo Belize
Bangladesh Eritrea Brazil
Benin Gabon China
Burundi Ghana El Salvador
Central African
Republic
Guinea Lao People’s
Democratic
Republic
Comoros Sao Tome and
Principe
Lesotho
Congo Mongolia
Congo, Democratic
Republic of
Nepal
Coˆte d’Ivoire Peru
Gabon Senegal
Guinea-Bissau Timor-Leste
Haiti Yemen
India
Lao People’s
Democratic
Republic
Lesotho
Liberia
Madagascar
Mauritania
Micronesia,
Federated States of
Mozambique
Namibia
Nepal
Sao Tome and
Principe Solomon
Islands
Somalia
Sierra Leone
Sudan
Timor-Leste
Togo
Sanitation coverage 440 but o60%
Azerbaijan Afghanistan Colombia
Belize Angola Djibouti
Bolivia Bangladesh Egypt
Botswana Benin Fiji
Cameroon Bolivia French Guiana
Cape Verde Botswana Gambia
China Burkina Faso Guyana
Equatorial Guinea Burundi Honduras
Gambia Cambodia Indonesia
Annex 3 Continued
Total Urban Rural
Indonesia Cameroon Iraq
Kenya Comoros Kazakhstan
Kiribati Central African
Republic
Kyrgyzstan
Korea, Democratic
People’s R.
Coˆte d’Ivoire Maldives
Kyrgyzstan Congo, Democratic
Republic of the
Marshall Islands
Maldives Equatorial Guinea Mexico
Mali Ethiopia Moldova, Republic of
Mongolia Guinea-Bissau Morocco
Nicaragua Haiti Palau
Nigeria India Panama
Pakistan Kenya Pakistan
Papua New Guinea Kiribati Papua New Guinea
Rwanda Korea, Democratic
People’s R.
Philippines
Senegal Liberia South Africa
Swaziland Madagascar Tajikistan
Tajikistan Mali Turkmenistan
Tanzania, United
Republic
Mauritania Vanuatu
Uganda
Vanuatu Mozambique Viet Nam
Yemen Namibia Venezuela
Zambia Nicaragua Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Niger
Nigeria
Somalia
Rwanda
Sudan
Sierra Leone
Swaziland
Tanzania, United
Republic of
Uganda
Zambia
From WHO–UNICEF (2006) Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Target:
The Urban and Rural Challenge of the Decade. Geneva: WHO and UNICEF.
166 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
Annex 4
No data Upper middle -
income countries
($3,056 - 9,386)
High - income
countries
($9,386 or more)
Low middle - income
countries
($766 - 3,056)
Low- income countries
($766 or less)
Map 1 Economic income per country, with information from World Bank 2009.
No data <10 10−25 25−50 50−75 >75 %
Map 2 People living at under 2 USD/day, UNDP, 2006 with data from http://earthtrends.wri.org/povlinks/index.php
(Continued)
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 167
No data <500 500−1000 1000−1700 1700−5000 >5000
Map 3 Renewable water resources (surface and ground water) per inhabitant for 2005, with data from: FAO-Aquatat, 2009 http://www.fao.org/nr/
water/aquastat/globalmaps/
No data <10 10−25 25−50 50−75 >75 %
Map 4 Water stress or water use intensity index (surface and groundwater withdrawal as percentage of the total renewable water resources) for 2001,
with information from http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat
168 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
No data
Whit data from 2001
<5 5−10 10−20 20−45 >40 %
Map 5 Surface water and groundwater withdrawal for agricultural purposes as percentage of the total actual renewable water resources for 2001, with
information from http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/globalmaps
No data <5 5−15 15−25 25−35 >35−50 % >50 %
Map 6 Prevalence of undernourished people as percentage of total population for 2002–2004, with information from http://www.fao.org/nr/water/
aquastat/globalmaps
(Continued)
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 169
Note: Data on prevalence of improved sanitation are for 2000.
Data on prevalence of diarrhea are for various years,
1991−2000, and indicate prevalence in two weeks
before may vary by season. Because country surveys
were administered at different times, data are not
comparable across countries.
with data from FAO-AQUASTAT, 2007
Improved sanitation prevalence
Diarrhea
prevalence
(%)
20−40
75−100 0−50 50−75
10−20
0−10
Map 7 Prevalence of diarrhea and improved sanitation 2000 With information from: United Nation Children’s Fund Programme and The Joint
Monitoring Programme Lenghton et al. (2005) UNPD Earthscan.
Colorado
Rio Grande
Grande de Santiago
Balsas
Panuco
Volta
Meuser
Rhine
Elba
Oder
Vistuta
Dnleper
Don
Kura
Syr
Darya
Indus
Narmada
Jubba
Limpopo
Orange
Krisna
Tapti
Godavari
Mahanadi
Ganges
Amu Darya
Yangtze
Huang He
Hong
Chao
Phrya
Tigris
& Euphrates
<500 500−1000 1000−1700 1700−4000 4000−10000 <10000 No data
Map 8 Projected annual renewable water supply per person by river basin for the year 2025. With information from From: Water Resources eAtlas,
2007 http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/maps/2-4_m_WaterSupply2025.pdf
170 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
return would be between 3 and US$34, depending on the
region and the type of technologies used (WHO–UNICEF,
2004). Studies performed in Egypt and Peru showed that just
providing access to flush toilets reduced the risk of infant
death by 57–59% (Lenghton et al., 2005).
4.06.6 Wastewater Management Systems
Even if sanitation represents an economic benefit, its cost is
still important to societies in which this is not the only
requirement. Therefore, it is useful to combine options that
involve building infrastructure with others that do not (such
as washing or cooking produce that has been irrigated with
polluted water) in order to improve health conditions while
the sanitation services can be gradually provided. Such an
approach is described in WHO (2006). In the next sections,
options to build up wastewater management systems are
reviewed. A wastewater management system (WWMS) is
understood in this chapter as the combination of one or
several of the following components: (1) basic sanitation fa-
cilities or toilets; (2) wastewater collection systems (sewers) or
Box 4 Some challenges to provide basic sanitation in low-income countries
*
Open defecation is practiced by 48% of the population in Southern Asia and 28% in sub-Saharan Africa.
*
In Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, the access to sanitation facilities is 53% while the figure for the country is 15.6%, a figure that reduces to only
10% for rural areas (Paskalev, 2008).
*
In Yaounde´, Cameroon’s capital with 2 000 000 inhabitants, the available facilities for most people (88%) are external and in shared proprieties (Figure 7).
*
Basic sanitation and sanitation figures reported are not the same. For instance, for Cote d’Ivoire, a coverage of 45% is reported for rural areas, but, in fact, 36%
refers to basic facilities and only 9% to adequate systems (Angoua, 2008).
0
10
20
30
40
50
Flush toilets
indoor, 75l
External
latrine, 50l
Common
latrine, 25l
Private
latrine, 20l
Common
latrine, 20l
Other
P
e
r
c
e
n
t
a
g
e

o
f

p
e
o
p
l
e
c
o
v
e
r
e
d

(
%
)
Figure 7 Type of toilets used in Yaounde indicating the amount of used water per day and inhabitant: estimation for 2007. Data from Mfoulu N (2008)
Cameroon. In: LeBlanc RJ, Matthews P, and Richard RP (eds.) Global Atlas of Excreta, Wastewater Sludge, and Biosolids Management: Moving
Forward the Sustainable and Welcome Uses of a Global Resource: UNHSP, pp. 169–179.
0
20
40
60
80
100
R
i
c
h
e
s
t

2
0
%
P
o
o
r
e
s
t

2
0
%
R
i
c
h
e
s
t

2
0
%
P
o
o
r
e
s
t

2
0
%
R
i
c
h
e
s
t

2
0
%
P
o
o
r
e
s
t

2
0
%
R
i
c
h
e
s
t

2
0
%
P
o
o
r
e
s
t

2
0
%
R
i
c
h
e
s
t

2
0
%
P
o
o
r
e
s
t

2
0
%
Colombia,
2005
Kyrgyzstan,
1997
Namibia,
2000
Peru, 2000 Zambia,
2001−02
Flush toilet Pit latrine No facility
%
Figure 8 Type of facilities provided for the richest and poorest quintiles in some countries. Data from Lenghton L, Wright A, and Davis K (eds.)
(2005) Health, Dignity and Development: What Will It Take? Millennium Development Goals. London: Earthscan.
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 171
excreta extraction mechanisms; (3) wastewater treatment
plants; (4) sludge management and disposal units; and (5)
wastewater disposal or reuse facilities. Before presenting these
components in detail, the two options in which they can be
managed (centralized or decentralized) are discussed.
Conventionally, to handle wastewater, sewers connected to
wastewater treatment plants have been used. This is known as
a centralized system and is a well-mastered and well-managed
technology approach applicable to cities, provided funds for
its construction and operation are available. In terms of op-
eration, centralized systems are often cheaper and easier to
handle than decentralized ones.
For isolated slums and dispersed rural areas and even for
cities where new sewerage systems is too costly, it is advisable
to use decentralized wastewater management systems. In
these, sewers of reduced size result in a lower capital cost
(around 30%) due to the smaller diameter and length of the
used pipelines. In addition, they offer the following benefits
(Lenghton et al., 2005; Correlje and Schuetze, 2008): (1) they
allow investments to be made stepwise, in line with available
funds, local development, and population growth; (2) they are
used in smaller areas of service that are easier to manage; (3)
they allow the use of different technologies to provide services
to different socioeconomic groups; and (4) they facilitate the
reuse of water on-site. Nevertheless, all these advantages need
to be assessed in practice, as they cannot be taken for granted
universally. As for many water utilities, decentralized systems
represent a higher number of systems to manage, which is
difficult and complex; to overcome this limitation, centralized
management of decentralized systems is recommended. This
way it is possible to ensure high performance and reliable
operation, reduce costs, and also ensure the need for special-
ized operators (Hughes et al., 2006).
4.06.6.1 Basic Sanitation Facilities
From a technical point of view, there are four important
components to consider when providing a basic sanitation
service: (1) the type of toilet, (2) the storage facility for feces
which frequently are associated to the toilet, (3) the way in
which feces are extracted from the pit, and (4) their further
management. This section deals with the first two com-
ponents. Their main characteristics are discussed here; for
design, it is recommended to consult specialized books. A
good option to begin with is the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) website (see section titled ‘Relevant
websites’).
4.06.6.1.1 Traditional latrines
Latrines are the most widespread type of on-site sanitation
facility. They are used in rural settings and deprived areas in
cities. They consist of a makeshift pit dug in the ground and
Box 5 Women and sanitation (with information from Lenghton L, Wright A, and Davis K (eds.) (2005) Health, Dignity and
Development: What Will It Take? Millennium Development Goals. London: Earthscan.)
One explanation for the low effective demand for sanitation is gender inequality. Women tend to place a higher value on household toilets than do men for a number
of reasons, among them privacy, cultural norms, care-giving responsibilities, and the risk of sexual harassment and assault. In addition, the unique sanitation needs
of women and girls (e.g., during menstruation and during and after pregnancy) receive little recognition when discussions about sanitation and hygiene occur. Yet,
the limited political and personal power of women in many developing countries means that some of sanitation’s strongest advocates are virtually absent from
decision making and priority-setting processes.
0
20
40
60
80
100
A
l
g
e
r
i
a
B
r
a
z
i
l
C
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i
n
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a
n
a
G
u
a
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e
m
a
l
a
I
n
d
i
a
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a
n
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o
r
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e
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a
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o
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a
S
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r
i
a
T
u
n
i
s
i
a
Y
e
m
e
n
% Sanitation % Wastewater treatment
Figure 9 Percentage of sanitation coverage and treated wastewater. Data from CONAGUA and WWC (2006) Regional Document for the Americas
Prepared for the 4th World Water Forum. Ciudad de Me´xico, Mexico, 16–22 March. Vienna: UN, Hashimoto (2009, personal communication),
Wikipedia (2009), and Bahri A (2008) Water reuse situation on the Middle Eastern and North African countries. In: Jime´nez B and Asano T (eds.) Water
Reuse: An International Survey of Current Practice, Issues and Needs, pp. 27–48. London: IWA Publishing.
172 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
generally covered with any material (a wooden, plant, or
metallic cover, whichever is available). When latrines are full
they can be emptied (this is unpleasant and has an associated
cost) or closed to build another one (this requires the avail-
ability of land).
4.06.6.1.2 Ventilated improved pit latrine
These latrines, instead of having a single vault, are made up of
a shallow pit divided into two 1–2m
3
vaults. Their major
advantage is that they are a permanent facility due to the al-
ternate use of each pit. The name comes from the inclusion of
a properly designed pipe allowing ventilation, which also re-
quires a screen to avoid the accumulation of flies. The pit cover
is made of precast concrete, wood, palm leaves, or metallic
material, and is removable. Emptying is performed manually
in low-income areas, but can be done mechanically every 3–4
years. The ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrine with multiple
pits can be built for collective use, such as in schools, markets,
fueling stations, and administrative buildings (Mamadou,
2008).
4.06.6.1.3 Septic tank
The septic tank is commonly used as primary treatment in
rural areas, low-income urban settings, isolated households,
or on sites where soil is not suitable for the installation of
sewers (Jime´nez and Wang, 2006). They are built where a
constant water supply is available and are used to partially
treat domestic wastewater and to digest the settled sludge.
They remove around 50% of the organic matter and sus-
pended solid content in 2–4 days. For sludge digestion, 0.5–1
year is required; during this time, sludge is mineralized and its
volume is reduced. Septic tanks are made up of a series of
communicating chambers. They must be water sealed to avoid
underground infiltration and are built using bricks, mortar, or
concrete. A variation of the septic tank is the Imhoff tank,
having the advantage of a shape that allows the removal of
suspended solids and the control of foul odors in a better
manner. Septic tanks need to be periodically cleaned (1–2
times per year, leaving 20% of the mature sludge as inoculum
for digestion). This represents an additional cost that cannot
always be afforded by poor people. Septage (the slurry taken
out of septic tanks) is sent to wastewater treatment plants or
treated separately. To treat septage, lime is frequently added
until a pH of 12 is reached, over a period of 30min (Jime´nez
and Wang, 2006). Effluents from septic tanks are discharged
into trenches for subsoil infiltration or diverted to the sewer-
age system (when available). Septic tanks are widespread
sanitation systems but are often responsible for environmental
pollution due to poor purification effects and leakages notably
affecting groundwater.
4.06.6.1.4 Composting toilets
Composting toilets are characterized by the separation of
urine and feces. For this reason, they are also referred to as
urine diversion (UD) toilets. They are constructed with two
vaults or chambers. When the first vault is full, the pedestal is
moved over to the second vault, and the first hole is closed.
When the second vault is full, the first vault is emptied and so
on. The urine is diverted to a soakaway. In comparison to VIP
latrines, they have a lower cost associated with emptying the
pits (Snyman, 2008). Urine is collected in small cans (10–20l)
and can be used to enrich the soil after a stabilization period
of 30 days. Feces are treated using an aerobic composting
process. To control odors and to assist in the mineralization of
feces, materials, such as ashes or pieces of wood, are used daily
to raise the pH. The pathogens in fecal matter are inactivated
over time through the drying process so they can be safely
removed by the owner at no cost to the municipality. Once the
sludge is digested, disinfected, and removed, it is used as
fertilizer.
UD toilets are seen as a viable option for rural appli-
cations. The main reasons are that they are cost-effective and,
since the rural community is accustomed to the use of ma-
nure, the UD toilet is socially acceptable. However, its use in
periurban areas is more problematic. The emptying of the
vaults requires large-scale programs for which small businesses
can contribute to the emptying of tanks (from UD or VIPs)
either manually, using appropriate safety equipment, or by the
use of a tanker. The disposal of the fecal matter in periurban
areas is challenging due to the lack of land. If space
allows, fecal sludge is buried on-site. Where this is not feasible,
the sludge is blended into the waterborne system. This fre-
quently leads to the complete overloading of the wastewater
treatment plant (Snyman, 2008). There are several opti-
ons of composting toilets (see section titled ‘Relevant
websites’).
4.06.6.1.5 Pour-flush toilets
Pour-flush toilets have been developed based on traditional
flush toilets, which rely upon a water seal to perform cleansing
and to control odors and insect infestations. The system works
via a manual flush, where 2–3 l of water are poured into the
toilet. The water, urine, and excreta are collected in an anaer-
obic chamber, which works similarly to a septic tank. The
chamber needs to be periodically emptied and the partially
treated wastewater needs to be disposed of, normally to land
(Hughes et al., 2006). In the context of water-scarce areas, a
very interesting option is combining graywater reuse with
basic sanitation using pour-flush toilets. This concept was
developed by United Nations International Children’s Emer-
gency fund (UNICEF) on a system called the Wise Water
Management scheme (Godfrey et al., 2007). This system was
conceived to provide both water supply and sanitation services
for water-scarce areas and can be used for both rural and low-
income urban areas. It was conceived in Madhya Pradesh,
India, a densely populated and poor area. The WWMS uses
groundwater as the primary source of water and also includes
rainwater harvesting, used to dilute groundwater when pol-
luted with fluoride to reduce its content for human con-
sumption (Figure 10). First-use water is employed for cooking,
handwashing, and bathing. Water from these two activities is
recovered and properly treated in a sand filter to be used for
toilet flushing and kitchen garden irrigation. The graywater
reuse system can be installed independently of the rainwater
harvesting system. By matching water demands, in quantity
and quality, to different conventional and nonconventional
water sources, the WWMS increases water availability by nearly
60%. Sanitation using low-consumption reused water flush
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 173
toilets has proven sustainable under the prevailing local con-
ditions and has eradicated open defecation.
4.06.6.1.6 Additional recommendations to set up basic
sanitation facilities
One important aspect to keep in mind when selecting the
technology is that facilities need to be operational and, to
achieve this, there is a need to sustain them under operation
from the economical, technical, and cultural perspectives. In-
vestment costs are linked to the type of sanitation system se-
lected, the construction materials, and labor. Frequently, to
reduce costs, cheap materials and the users are employed to
build the facilities. However, this may result in failures, as
cheap material frequently means low quality and the users are
not people experienced enough, even if trained. It is thus
preferable to invest in good and durable material and to use
experienced workers. In India, for instance, sanitation pro-
grams using professional well-trained masons are being im-
plemented in which the same masons for whom sanitation is
a source of income become at the same time sanitation
promoters.
Norms and institutional capacity to provide basic sani-
tation constitute another weak link in the complex chain
needed to implement and provide services. How to build in-
stitutions, policies, and human resources to provide successful
sanitation services is better known in high-income countries
than in developing ones. Each country/region needs to look
for the proper way to solve their problems. Finally, concerning
basic sanitation, it needs to be considered that in several
places, providing basic sanitation means to change open
defecation habits and to handle domestic solid wastes
(Box 6). It means as well to properly dispose of the toilet
paper.
4.06.6.2 Toilets
Under this section, only the toilets using less water or none at
all are described as compared to the others (pour flushing
toilets using 415 l of water is a well-known technology widely
spread commercially). Concerning these toilets, one aspect to
highlight is that even if convenient from the point of view of
the used water, care must be taken when designing treatment
plants as wastewater will be not only lower in volume but also
highly concentrated, notably in terms of its organic matter
content.
4.06.6.2.1 Water-saving toilets
These toilets are based on the same working principles as
common flush toilets but they are specially designed to fully
operate with less water (6–8 l). In such toilets, it is possible to
select either a full flush (with 4, 6, or 9 l depending on the
model) for solids or a half flush (2–4.5l) for liquids.
Fresh water
source
Ground or surface
water
Pluvial water
Cooking and
human
consumption
House
cleaning
activities
Soil
disposal
Bathing
Hand
washing
Gray
water
treatment
Reclaimed
water
Kitchen
garden
Toilet
flushing
Soil
disposal
Leach pit
Soil
disposal
Figure 10 Flow diagram of the Wise Water Management Scheme.
Box 6 Poor people have a globalized attitude towards excreta management
As described for Senegal by Ba (2008), in most poor areas of the developing world, water from baths and in some cases from showers are routed to septic tanks
from which the effluent is sent to infiltration wells or trenches. Kitchen and laundry water is generally poured directly into the street, discharge areas in the wild, a
well, a nearby river, or riverbed. Wastewater and noncollected solids are also frequently mixed creating breeding sites, odor problems, and development of flies.
174 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
These toilets are also available with separate drainage for urine
to reduce the impact of nutrients and pharmaceuticals on the
sewage and to facilitate the reuse of urine as a fertilizer.
However, most water-saving toilets available on the market
are designed to be connected to typical drainage systems.
There are several technological options on the market, some
of which use a vacuum to transport feces at a much higher
cost. The investment cost for low-volume toilets is comparable
to high-volume toilets. However, dual flush toilets may cost
more than common ones (nearly double). The installation of
water-saving toilets must be stimulated by education (e.g., in
the form of campaigns to raise awareness concerning water-
saving issues), water metering, and pricing. Water-saving ur-
inals, using 1–3 l, are also available (Correlje and Schuetze,
2008).
4.06.6.2.2 Toilets not using water
The idea of dry toilets is not new. They have been used for
thousands of years in East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea). Dry
toilets are available as industrial prefabricated products and
can also be constructed in local workshops; however, know-
how for its good operation and to avoid foul odors is required.
Investment, construction, or installation costs vary signifi-
cantly and depend on the specific system and design. The cost
ranges from low investment for simple dry toilets to com-
paratively high cost for industrialized composting toilets. Due
to the large size of the storage and composting chambers,
these toilets require a large space underneath; if this is not
possible, then they need to be regularly emptied and feces
need to be transported to treatment facilities. User acceptance
depends on cultural background and awareness. Generally,
people who are already using flush toilets do not readily
switch to dry toilets because the image of dry toilets is less
attractive than that of flush toilets.
4.06.6.3 Sludge Extraction from On-Site Sanitation System
Equally important as the type of on-site sanitation system
selected is the provision of all the services associated. Past
experiences (Water Decade, 1980–90) have shown that mas-
sive sanitation infrastructure provision without a proper
planning of the whole scheme can be a complete failure
(Kone´, 2010). Besides the technical aspects that are discussed
later, the most worrying aspect is the lack of financial, insti-
tutional, and regulatory framework in most of the developing
countries to establish the network required. Management of
on-site sanitation infrastructure comprises on-site sanitation
systems emptying, fecal sludge haulage, treatment, and safe
reuse or disposal (Kone´, 2010).
Fecal sludges refer to sludge collected from on-site sani-
tation systems such as latrines, nonsewered public toilets, or
septic tanks. The criteria to select an extraction method – a task
that is never pleasant – depend on (1) the TS content and (2)
the funds available. Sludges with less than B2% TS, such as
those produced in septic tanks, can be pumped; but, for the
rest of facilities producing all sludge with 10% TS, pits need to
be emptied using cesspit trucks or manually by laborers (Kone´,
2010). Even though when mechanically emptied and water is
used for toilet cleansing, 20–50% of the contents in the lower
pit part need to be manually emptied to extract the thicker
sludge. The use of mechanical equipment allows carrying away
the sludge several kilometers for disposal on controlled sites
or on treatment facilities, but this is often expensive and needs
proper equipment and skilled laborers. In contrast, when
sludge is manually emptied, this is deposited in nearby lanes
or on open spaces representing a source of risk. According to
Kone´ (2010) 30–50% of the on-site sanitation facilities from
West African countries are emptied manually. In addition, in
almost every developing country, fecal sludge collection and
haulage are conducted by private entrepreneurs. However,
their important role and responsibilities as key stakeholders
are not yet fully recognized and legalized (Kone´, 2010).
4.06.6.4 Sewerage Systems
4.06.6.4.1 Small sewers
In many low-income areas, the sanitation problem begins
with the lack of sewerage. One option is to build sewers of
small extent coupled with on-site sanitation systems. Sewers
carry the treated effluent to disposal (usually to soil for infil-
tration, to irrigation canals, or into water receptors), to was-
tewater treatment plants, and/or to reuse sites located within a
short distance. As these sewers frequently convey partially
treated wastewater (such as septic tank effluents), they are
designed for self-cleaning using a high wastewater velocity
and/or a steep slope. This option is applicable for rural areas
or urban ones where adequate land is available.
Another option is to use simplified sewers. These are rec-
ommended where an uncertain population increase is occur-
ring, as normally happens in periurban areas or slums. Small
sewers are built to reduce the infrastructure and maintenance
costs, as well to allow high operational flexibility. Inspection
chambers such as manholes are replaced by inspection
cleanout. The life expectancy of such sewers is in the order of
20 years rather than the 30 years quoted for conventional
sewers. Such sewers are short and shallow (Hughes et al.,
2006). One example of simplified sewers are condominial
ones in which pipelines are laid through housing lots instead
of on the side street, in a way that allows isolated and stepwise
construction (UNEP, 2002). Condominial sewers were de-
veloped in the 1980s in Brazil with the aim of extending
sanitation services to low-income communities. This tech-
nology has now become a standard sanitation solution for
some urban areas in Brazil, irrespective of income levels.
Condominial sewers reduce the per capita costs of service by
replacing the traditional model of individual household
connections to a public sewer with a model in which house-
hold waste is discharged into branch sewers, and eventually
into a public sewer through a group (or block) connection
(Watson, 1999 cited in Lenghton et al., 2005).
4.06.6.4.2 Conventional sewers
These are structures that are bigger and deeper than those
previously discussed. Details for design can be found in con-
ventional literature on sewers.
4.06.6.4.3 Pluvial sewers
Many developing countries are located within regions subject
to tropical storms, or in areas where there are only two seasons
per year: wet and dry. Therefore, urban hydraulic infrastructure
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 175
needs to be designed accordingly to have sewers that can
handle large peaks of stormwater and the normal wastewater
flows (wastewater treatment plants should also be capable of
dealing with the varying wastewater characteristics in quantity
and quality, at least in large cities). Sewers in tropical areas
produce a high amount of sediments to be disposed off, which
turns out to be a peculiar and difficult-to-solve problem not
frequently commented upon in specialized literature but that
needs proper methods to extract sludge and handle it. In
addition, when conveyed in sewerage systems, stormwater
must be treated in treatment plants at the same time as was-
tewater; but, if transported separately, it can be discharged to
surface water or into wells for groundwater infiltration re-
ceiving treatment in soil. In this case, it must be kept in mind
that stormwater quantity and quality are determined by rain-
fall, catchment processes, and human activities, which cause
its flow and composition to vary in space and time. Normally,
for the first rains of the year, stormwater has higher suspended
solids, heavy metal content, and bacterial numbers than
nontreated wastewater, and lower dissolved solids, nutrients,
and oxygen demand than secondary-treated sewage effluent.
4.06.6.5 Wastewater Treatment
Wastewater treatment is the typical method applied for sani-
tation, and is the predominant option used in developed
countries for that purpose. Although it cannot be considered a
caveat for all the negative impacts produced by wastewater, it
is still a very important option, and, in many cases, the only
one. There are several steps to treat wastewater. The primary
step basically serves to remove easily decantable and floating
solids. The secondary one, generally a biological process, is
used to remove biodegradable (mostly) dissolved suspended
material. The tertiary step is used to refine the quality of the
effluent produced by a secondary treatment. It may have dif-
ferent purposes, most commonly being the removal of nutri-
ents (N and P). As the treatment steps were conceived
following treatment needs, in practice, they are usually im-
plemented in separate tanks or in well-defined sections of
wastewater treatment facilities; however, it is possible to use
compact processes eliminating physical separation among
steps and thus reducing costs (Jime´nez, 2003). Wastewater
treatment plants are not common facilities in low-income
countries. In contrast to developed countries, in developing
ones, the sanitation figure (50% according to WHO–UNICEF
(2006)) does not include the treatment of wastewater, which
barely reaches 15% (US-EPA, 1992). Moreover, when avail-
able, the treatment merely consists of a primary step or in-
cluding eventually a secondary step that is not always properly
functioning. In many developing countries, the main issue
concerning treatment is still the proper disposal of feces,
particularly in low-income urban or rural areas. This, com-
bined with a high content of pathogens in wastewater, sludge,
or fecal sludge, implies the need to properly select the treat-
ment process in order to effectively control disease dissemin-
ation. In general, coupling any kind of secondary wastewater
treatment process (biological or physico-chemical) with a fil-
tration step before disinfection will considerably reduce the
pathogen content. However, this is rarely feasible for eco-
nomic reasons and therefore it is sensible to consider the use
of other technologies alone or combined with other type of
intervention methods to build up a multiple barrier system to
control wastewater risks (Jime´nez, 2009b). In the following
sections, guidance will be provided to support the selection for
treatment options, based on the type of pollutants.
4.06.6.5.1 Conventional pollutants treatment
To address problems caused by suspended solids, organic
matter, nutrients, and fecal coliforms, there is a wide variety of
available technologies supported by literature and practical
results. Their affordability in economic terms and the suit-
ability of the processes for local conditions are among the
important aspects to consider for developing countries. It is
beyond the scope of this chapter to provide a full description
of treatment technologies for conventional pollutants, which
can be found elsewhere in the literature. Table 8 shows the
removal of pollutants by different processes so that it is pos-
sible to identify those acting upon the same type of pollutants.
4.06.6.5.2 Pathogens treatment
Table 9 presents organisms’ removal or inactivation achieved
by different wastewater treatment processes. This table is a
guide for selecting a process. However, to design complete
treatment schemes, the operating conditions need to be
properly selected as well as the pre-and post-treatment.
Table 9 differs from the one presented by WHO (2006) in
showing the removal efficiency data for helminth eggs in
terms of a percentage instead of log removal. This is because
helminths eggs’ content is by far much lower and log units are
meaningless. For developing countries, the removal of proto-
zoa and helminths eggs is the main concern, considering their
content and the occurrence of diseases caused by these types of
agents. To remove protozoa, filtration is a good treatment
option. Conditions used to remove Cryptosporidium oocysts –
the targeted protozoan for developed countries – can be used
as well to remove protozoa relevant to developing countries.
Helminth eggs are not affected by conventional dis-
infection methods (chlorination, ultraviolet (UV) light, or
ozonation); thus, they are first removed from wastewater using
sedimentation, coagulation–flocculation, or filtration pro-
cesses to be subsequently inactivated in sludge (Jime´nez,
2008a). Removal occurs because eggs are particles 20–80mm
in size. It is estimated that for contents of 20–40mg l
À1
of TSS
in treated wastewater, the concentration of eggs is around 3–
10eggs l
À1
, while for values below 20mg l
À1
it is around
1egg l
À1
or less (Jime´nez, 2008a). However, for a process to be
reliable, besides the removal efficiency attained, it is important
for it to produce an effluent with constant concentration.
4.06.6.5.3 Emerging chemical pollutants
The removal efficiency of emerging chemical compounds
during conventional treatment can be found in Jime´nez
(2009b). It is recommended that experimental tests be per-
formed under laboratory conditions, prior to treatment
selection.
In the following, a description of main wastewater treat-
ment processes is made, highlighting aspects that are relevant
to developing countries, notably concerning their efficacy to
control pathogens.
176 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
Table 8 Removal of pollutants by different wastewater treatment process that can be used to buildup a multiple barriers treatment scheme (with information from Jime´nez (2003); Jime´nez (2009), and Correlje and
Schuetze (2008)
High
1 Cost
Low Medium
Sophistication/complexity
Low Medium High
Process
Pollutant
ONSS PS BT BT + NR CF FI Cl-D UASB LmP UV-D O-D NPh SAT WT Cl-O Oz-O UV-O Pp Ads MF UF NF RO
Suspended solids NO NO NO NO NO NO NO 15
Dissolved solids NO NO NO NO NO NO 3 NO 3 NO NO NO 3 NO NO NO NO 3 NO
BOD NO NO
TOC NO NO
Volatile organics NO NO 2 NO NO NO
Heavy metals NO 2 21 NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
Nutrients NO 21 NO 10 NO NO
Viruses∗ NO 7 NO 11 9 No on AC NO NO
Bacteria∗ NO 7 NO 11 9 2 No on AC
Protozoan∗ 9 9 2
Helminth eggs NO 9 NO NO ? 9 2
Pesticides NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO 11 11 12
Disinfection by products 8 8 8
Chemical emerging
pollutants
NO 3,4,5 5 6 8, 12 11 12 20 19 ? 12,13 12 14 5 16 NO 17 17 18
Processes: AC, activated carbon; Ads, adsorption; BT, biological treatment (any technology); BT+ NR, biological treatment with nutrient removal; CF, coagulation−flocculation (any technology) Cl-O, chlorine oxidation
Cl-D, chlorine disinfection; FI, filtration; Clo, chlorine oxidation; Lmp, lime precipitation; MF, microfiltration; UF, ultrafiltration; NF, nanofiltration; NPh, natural photolysis; O-D, disinfection with ozone;
ONSS, on-site sanitation systems; Oz-O, ozone oxidation; PS, primary sedimentation; Pp, precipitation; RO, reverse osmosis; UV-O, UV light oxidation; UASB, upflow anaerobic sludge blanket;
SAT, soil aquifer treatment and river bank filtration; UV-D, UV-light disinfection; WT, wetlands.
Low removal Medium removal High removal
1 Depending on the treatment level (primary, secondary, or tertiary).
2 Depending on the type of technology used.
3 Might increase the content.
4 Mostly in biological secondary treatment plants; widely depending on the chemical
composition of the pollutant; removal might represent only the transformation of the
compound or its adsorption into.
5 Depending on the specific compound.
6 If coupled with chemicals.
7 Produce the pollutant as by-product or increase its value.
8 With low reliability.
9 For phosphorus.
10 Depending on the operating conditions.
11 Noxious by-products can be formed.
12 If there is no competition with organic matter (BOD or COD).
13 Doses are several orders of magnitude higher than those used for disinfection.
14 If granular carbon is used.
15 High for nonpolar organic compounds with log K
OW
> 2 and when there is no competition with organic matter.
16 Medium to high depending on the presence of cations and organic matter.
17 High but not for low molecular weight uncharged compounds.
18 Effective for several EC but not for carbamazepine, primidone, and iodinated X-ray contrast media.
19 High for some EC, as it depends on the strength of solar irradiation removal will be different for different latitudes, or conditions.
20 Can be enhanced with photosensitizers.
? Unknown or insufficient information
∗, Can be removed or inactivated.
NO, not applicable for the pollutant.
2, 10
4.06.6.5.4 Slow filtration
Slowfiltration is recognized in water potabilization as an efficient
method to control microbial pollution in rural and low-income
communities. The few studies carried out on slow filtration of
wastewater have demonstrated a removal range of 60–80% of
suspended solids and 1–2 E. coli log, with coarse sand (Jime´nez,
2003). In rural areas, it may be coupled with absorption wells,
irrigation reuse, or a soil aquifer treatment (SAT) system.
4.06.6.5.5 Waste stabilization ponds
Waste stabilization ponds (WSPs) are shallow basins that use
natural factors such as biodegradation, sunlight, temperature,
sedimentation, predation, and adsorption to treat wastewater
(Mara, 2004). WSPs are capable of removing organic matter
with efficiencies similar to the activated sludge process and all
kind of pathogens. They are easy to design and operate but
require long retention times (several weeks). WSP systems
comprised several ponds connected in series. Lagoons are made
through the shallow excavation of around 1–2m, and they are
frequently unlined to reduce investment costs. After a period of
time, soil percolation and sedimentation form an impermeable
barrier. If the water table is very high at the site, ponds need to
be impermeable from the beginning. WSPs remove up to 6
bacteria log, up to 5 viruses log, and almost all the protozoa
and helminth ova. To control Cryptosporidium spp., almost 38
days’ retention time is needed (Jime´nez, 2008).
In developing countries with wet warm climates, the use of
stabilization ponds is recommended if land is available at a
reasonable price. For arid and semiarid regions, high evapor-
ation rates limit their application as there is a net loss of water
of 20–25% due to evaporation. This, in addition, increases the
salinity of the effluent limiting its use for agricultural irrigation
(Jime´nez, 2008). Sludge production in ponds is low but if
extracted it needs disinfection as helminth ova remain viable
in ponds for more than 9 years (Nelson et al., 2004).
Table 9 Reduction or inactivation of different biological pollutants in wastewater
Treatment process Log unit microorganisms removal Removal (%)
Viruses Bacteria Protozoan (oo)cysts Helminth eggs
Natural systems
Waste stabilization ponds, WSP 1–4 1–6 1–4 90–100
a, e, HR
Wastewater storage and treatment reservoirs 1 to 2/4 1 to 3/6 1–2 70–95
a, d, LR, g
Constructed wetlands 1–2 0.5–3 0.5–2 90?
a, e, L, R
Primary treatment
Primary sedimentation 0–1 0–1 0–1 90
a, LR
Chemically enhanced primary treatment or advanced primary treatment 1–2 1–2 0.5–2 90–99
a, e, HR
Anaerobic upflow sludge blanket reactors, UASB 0–1 1–2 0–1 60–96
a, e, LR
Filtration 0–1 0–0.5 0–1 90–95
Secondary treatment
Activated sludge þsecondary sedimentation 0–2 1–2 0–1 90–95
a, L, R
Trickling filters þsecondary sedimentation 0–1 1–1 0–0.5 85–90
c
Aerated lagoon or oxidation ditch þsettling pond 1–2 1–2 0–1 95–100
c
Slow filtration 1–2 90
c
Tertiary treatment
Coagulation/flocculation 1–3 0–1 1–3 95–99
a, e, HR
High-rate granular sand filtration 1–3 0–3 0–3 90–99
a, f, HR
Dual-media filtration 1–3 0–1 1–3 100
c
Membrane bioreactors 2.5 to 46 3.5 to 46 46 100
c
Disinfection
Chlorination (free chlorine) 1–3 2–7 0–1.5 0
a, f, b
Ozonation 3–6 2–6 1–2 30–70
b
UV irradiation 1 to 43 2 to 44 43 0
c
a
Have been tested at full scale.
b
From laboratory data.
c
Theoretical efficiency based on removal mechanisms.
d
Total helminth egg removal is only achieved when wetlands are coupled with a filtration step.
e
Tested with high helminth egg content.
f
Tested only with low helminth egg content.
g
Efficiency highly depends on size and operating conditions, notably the hydraulic retention time.
LR, low reliability; HR, high reliability.
Based on Shuval HI, Adin A, Fattal B, Rawitz E, and Yekutiel P (1986) Wastewater irrigation in developing countries: Health effects and technical solutions. World Bank Technical
Paper No. 51. The World Bank, Washington; WHO (1989) Guidelines of the Safe Use of Wastewater and Excreta in Agriculture and Aquaculture. Prepared by D. Mara and S.
Cairncross: Geneva: WHO. Von Sperling (2003, 2004); Rose (1999); Jime´nez B (2009b) Wastewater risks in the urban water cycle. In: Jime´nez B and Rose J (eds.) Urban Water
Security: Managing Risks, p. 324. Paris: UNESCO Leiden: Taylor and Francis Group; WHO (2006) Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater, Vol. 2:
Wastewater Use in Agriculture. Geneva: WHO.
178 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
WSPs can be coupled with aquaculture systems that are
shallow ponds or wetlands where fish, duckweed, or aquatic
vegetables are produced as is frequently done in Indonesia,
China, and Thailand. Ponds can be used to produce only one
crop such as duckweed that is used as food for the next pond
where grass carp are grown. Different species can also be
cultured in the same pond, as happens in nature. To operate
the system, wastewater is applied to ponds at the required rate
(estimated in terms of the organic load applied per hectare of
ponds per unit time), and the organic matter and the nutrients
contained serve as food for plant and animal production
(Hughes et al., 2006). In order to avoid health problems,
wastewater needs to be previously disinfected according to
WHO guidelines (2006).
4.06.6.5.6 Wetlands
Constructed wetlands are used to naturally remove organic
matter, pathogens, and nutrients from wastewater through
biodegradation, adsorption, or filtration in a similar way to
WSPs. Nutrients are also removed by plant uptake and
pathogens by competition and sun UV-light inactivation
(Jime´nez, 2003). Wetlands are shallow ponds where aquatic
macrophytes are planted in soil, sand, or gravel. There are
three main types: surface-flow, horizontal-flow subsurface, and
vertical-flow systems. Juncus spp. or Phragmites are commonly
used plants but any local plant can be employed. Construction
requires expertise and skilled labor. Once installed, operation
is relatively easy. Wetlands remove nitrogen, phosphorus, and
heavy metals. Up to 90–98% of thermo-tolerant coliforms,
67–84% of MS2 coliphages, and 60–100% of protozoa are
inactivated or removed using hydraulic retention times of 4–5
days. In practice, pathogen removal is highly variable and
depends on climate, type of wetland, and the kind of plant
used. To completely remove helminth ova, it is necessary to
couple wetlands with filtration, otherwise effluent with vari-
able content may be produced. Breeding of mosquitoes and
unpleasant odors can be a problem if wetlands are not oper-
ated correctly. Subsurface wetlands are used to avoid mosquito
breeding (Correlje and Schuetze, 2008).
Wetlands are a good solution for wastewater treatment in
urban or rural areas where space is available; as a rule of
thumb, 0.5–2.5 m
2
per person is required for the treatment of
graywater and 1–3m
2
per person for domestic wastewater.
They are considered environmentally sound technology by
UNEP for the treatment of graywater and stormwater urban
runoff. They are used as secondary or tertiary treatment units,
in which case, they treat effluents from septic tanks, anaerobic
ponds, upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors, or
conventional wastewater treatment plants. Treated wastewater
can be reused for agricultural irrigation, although its nutrient
content is low. Wetlands have been used in Bangladesh and
China to treat wastewater and to cultivate fish and ducks. In
addition, they have the advantage of producing a low quantity
of sludge.
4.06.6.5.7 Land treatment
Soil can be used to treat wastewater by infiltration. It has a
greater depollution capacity than water receptors, as there is
no limit for the oxygen transfer needed for biodegradation.
Land-based treatment is recognized as an environmentally
sound technology by UNEP (2002) that has a low cost when
used for primary effluents. Among its disadvantages is the high
demand for land (Jime´nez, 2003). In the case of land treat-
ment, depollution takes place in the unsaturated zone through
biodegradation, adsorption, ion-exchange filtration, and pre-
cipitation. For the removal of organisms, in addition to pre-
dation and humidity, the temperature also plays a role. Heavy
metals and trace organic compounds (such as emerging pol-
lutants) are removed mainly by adsorption. To operate, was-
tewater is to be applied at specific rates; if pretreatment is
needed primary sedimentation or sand filtration might be
used (Brissaud and Salgot, 1994; Jime´nez, 2003; Bouwer,
2002). In developed countries, pre-treatment usually consists
of a secondary treatment.
Wastewater application occurs in cycles at a rate that de-
pends on the soil infiltration characteristics. In a typical situ-
ation, the cycle involves 1 week of wastewater flooding where
infiltration is reduced by organic buildup, and 1 week of
drying where bacteria consume the organic matter and soil
drying takes place. There are several types of land treatment
options in specialized literature that can be consulted. For
efficient functioning, hydraulic loads (29–111m
3
m
À2
yr
À1
)
and mass loads should be limited. To avoid aquifer pollution,
application of wastewater (preferably partially treated) is re-
stricted to sites where groundwater is a minimum of 3m in
depth. Applied as primary or secondary treatment, land
treatment produces a consistently high-quality effluent (TSS
o1 mg l
À1
, organic carbon 3 mg l
À1
, and total nitrogen
6 mg l
À1
, with a phosphorus removal of almost 50% with
minimal pre-treatment). As tertiary treatment, it removes
492% of BOD, 85% of COD, 100% of TS, 455% of de-
tergents, 499% of ammoniacal nitrogen, 55% of total nitro-
gen, and 98% of phosphorus. Land treatment is effective for
the removal and/or inactivation of helminth eggs, protozoa,
bacteria, and even viruses (Jime´nez, 2003).Treated wastewater
can be used for irrigation or any other use and can be collected
on the surface or underground.
4.06.6.5.8 Reservoirs and water storage tanks
Reservoirs or wastewater storage tanks can be used as well to
treat wastewater. While wastewater is stored during the wet
season to provide water for irrigation during the dry season,
pathogens are removed or inactivated via sedimentation, UV-
sunlight inactivation, predation, and other similar processes,
which also occur in WSPs. Nevertheless, the efficiency is lower.
Procedures for designing wastewater storage and treatment
reservoirs are detailed in Juanico´ and Milstein (2004) and
Mara (2004). Reservoirs and storage tanks are easy to operate
and maintain, and if considered as part of the irrigation sys-
tem, they result in a low investment cost. However, they fa-
cilitate vector breeding if they are not well maintained and
operated, and algal development in effluents may interfere
with irrigation applications.
Effluent storage reservoirs remove 2 À4-log of viruses,
3À6-log of bacterial pathogens, and 1À2-log units of
protozoan (oo)cysts. If treatment reservoirs are operated as
batch systems with retention times over 20 days, the complete
removal of helminth eggs can be achieved (Juanico´ and
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 179
Milstein, 2004). In addition to large storage reservoirs, small
storage ponds can be utilized for pathogen removal when used
for urban agriculture irrigation as intermediate water storage
reservoirs. Such reservoirs reduce the helminth ova content by
around 70% (Keraita et al., 2008).
4.06.6.5.9 Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket
The UASB is used to remove organic biodegradable matter. A
UASB is a kind of attached system where microorganisms
adhere to themselves, forming flocs. UASBs are considered as
the most successful anaerobic process applied to treat waste-
water due to low hydraulic retention time compared to other
anaerobic processes thanks to the high density of biomass
attained in the blanket (Campos, 1999). The reactor is de-
signed to not only produce the biological reaction but also to
sediment and filter suspended solids from wastewater. In
addition, sludge retained in the bottom part of the reactor is
anaerobically digested (Campos, 1999). The UASB produces
better results when the wastewater has a high organic matter
content. As by-products, it produces methane and partially
treated sludge. The gas can be used as a source of energy, while
the sludge remaining, after proper treatment to control the
pathogen content, can be used to fertilize soil. UASBs remove
65–75% of BOD and COD and helminth eggs through fil-
tration in the sludge blanket and through sedimentation.
However, their efficiency with regard to the removal of
helminth eggs is very variable. From wastewater containing
64–320eggs l
À1
, they produce effluents with 1–45 eggs l
À1
(60–96% removal). Therefore, UASBs are frequently coupled
with other treatment process such as stabilization ponds or
filtration to completely and reliable remove helminth ova and
to inactivate other pathogens. Several stand-alone UASB plants
or those coupled with WSP are currently under operation in
Curitiba, Brazil. UASB reactors require careful design and
operation to avoid bypasses (Campos, 1999). The con-
struction, operation, and maintenance of improved anaerobic
technology such as biogas installations require considerable
expertise and skilled labor as well as space (Correlje and
Schuetze, 2008). UASB reactors have a low capacity for toler-
ating toxic loads, need several weeks to start up the process,
and require a post-treatment step.
4.06.6.5.10 Activated sludge
It is the most common way to treat wastewater in developed
countries. Compared to other secondary biological processes,
activated sludge is effective for pathogen control as it removes
10% more than trickling filters. Both sedimentation and aer-
ation play an important role in this. Sedimentation eliminates
heavy and large pathogens, while aeration promotes an-
tagonistic reactions between different microorganisms, caus-
ing their elimination. As a result of becoming entrapped
within the flocs (which are subsequently sedimented), there is
fairly good removal of small nonsedimentable microorgan-
isms, such as Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp., which
remain concentrated within the sludge (Jime´nez, 2003). Hel-
minths eggs are also removed, but due to continuous dif-
ficulties in achieving efficient and reliable sedimentation of
suspended solids in secondary decanters, protozoan and hel-
minths eggs may be found in effluents along with flocs. For an
initial helminths egg content of 20–120eggs l
À1
, effluents with
3–10eggs l
À1
are produced (Jime´nez, 2008).
Other biological secondary treatment options include
aerated ponds, oxidation ditches, and trickling filters. Much
specialized literature exists describing the processes that are
used to treat effluents before discharge into water bodies.
4.06.6.5.11 Coagulation–flocculation
This is a process that was almost abandoned for the treatment
of municipal wastewater in the 1960–70s due to the high
sludge production, which considerably increased the overall
wastewater treatment cost. The introduction of new chemical
products, in particular flocculants, combined with the possible
reuse of treated effluent for agricultural irrigation and ocean
disposal, has been instrumental in its reintroduction. Coagu-
lation–flocculation removes helminths eggs while preserving
nutrients and organic matter in contents suitable to grow
plants. When this process is applied using low coagulant doses
combined with a high molecular weight and high charge
density flocculants, it is called chemical enhanced primary
treatment (CEPT). If, a high-rate settler is used instead of a
conventional settler, it is referred to as advanced primary
treatment (APT). As a result, CEPT has a total hydraulic re-
tention time of 4–6 h while, for APT, this is only 0.5–1h.
Among the coagulants that have been used, iron and alum
compounds are the most common. APT removes 50–80% of
protozoan cysts (Giardia, Entamoeba coli, and E. histolytica) and
90–99% of helminths eggs. From a content of up to 120 eggs
l
À1
, an APT can consistently produce an effluent containing
0.5–2 eggs l
À1
. This process produces an effluent with a low
content of suspended solids or turbidity, which leads to
greater disinfection efficiency, either with chlorine or with UV
light. Likewise, the process allows the use of sprinkler irri-
gation in high-tech countries or countries where water is
scarce. The effluent quality is improved by the soil effect, and
aquifers can be used as water supply storage (Jime´nez, 2003,
2008).
APT and CEPT are useful in middle- and high-low-income
countries on large urban areas as an economical alternative to
an activated sludge process as the treatment cost for APT is
one-third of this process when considering sludge treatment
and disposal within 20km. Coagulation–flocculation can also
be applied as a tertiary treatment after a biological process.
This is a very good method to remove enteric viruses (Jime´nez,
2003).
4.06.6.5.12 Rapid filtration
Rapid filtration (at rates over 2 m
3
m
À2
h
À1
) is very efficient in
removing protozoa and helminth eggs from wastewater, pri-
mary effluents, and biological or physicochemical effluents.
It removes 90% of fecal coliforms, Salmonella, Pseudomonas
aeruginosa and enteroviruses, 50–80% of protozoan cysts
(Giardia, Entamoeba coli, and E. histolytica), and 90–99% of
helminths eggs. Efficiency can be increased to easily reach
499% if coagulants are added (Jime´nez, 2008). For helminth
ova removal, rapid filtration is performed in silica sand filters
with 0.8–1.2 mm media size, a bed depth of at least 1 m and
filtration rates of 7–10 m
3
m
À2
h
À1
. The helminth ova content
180 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
in the effluent is constantlyo0.1 HO l
À1
in filtration cycles of
20–35h for primary effluent (Jime´nez, 2003, 2008).
4.06.6.5.13 Disinfection
The challenge for any disinfection method is that micro-
organisms respond differently. Efficiency depends on the dis-
infecting agent, the type and content of microorganism, the
dosage, and the exposure time. The water matrix has as well a
relevant influence, which becomes more important as its
concentration and complexity increase. The most common
disinfection processes for wastewater are chlorination, ozo-
nation, and UV-light disinfection.
1. Chlorination. It is the most widely used process to control
microorganisms. It is effective for the inactivation of bac-
teria, less so for viruses and protozoa, and not at all for
helminth eggs. With regard to virus and bacteria, chlorine
has inactivation efficiencies of up to 5–7 log. However,
chlorine is a very reactive agent and, therefore, before at-
tacking microorganisms, it reacts with many substances
contained in wastewater, in particular with organic matter,
hydrogen sulfide, manganese, iron, nitrites, and ammonia.
As a result, chlorination is a process that, in order to be
efficient, needs to be applied at the end of treatment
schemes to avoid interferences. If, in treated wastewater,
ammoniacal nitrogen and organic matter are still pre-
sented, chloramines and organo-chlorinated compounds
are formed. These are compounds that increase cancer
risks. Notwithstanding such risks, it is always preferable to
chlorinate wastewater as microbial diseases have faster and
often more dramatic health effects (Jime´nez, 2003).
2. Ozonation. Ozone is very effective at inactivating viruses
and bacteria. It inactivates 3–4 log concentration units in a
very short time, provided there is a low demand for oxi-
dizing agents by wastewater. There is abundant infor-
mation in the literature concerning the design and
operation of the processes. Required ozone doses for sev-
eral microorganisms are also available in the literature
but, frequently, they are not affordable. As happens with
chlorine, by-products generated during ozonation are a
source of concern as many of them have been reported in
the literature as toxic (Jime´nez, 2003).
3. UV light. Nowadays, UV-light disinfection closely competes
with chlorination because it does not generate by-products
that are too costly to remove from wastewater. Besides,
compared to chlorination, UV light does not need storage
facilities, does not imply the handling of hazardous
chemicals, and uses very small-size treatment tanks as
disinfection contact times are very small (in the range of
seconds or minutes). Furthermore, due its simplicity of
operation and high adaptive potential, it is suitable for
rural and isolated communities.
4.06.6.6 Sanitation and Wastewater Treatment Costs
Figure 11 presents estimated cost for different sanitation op-
tions, including from basic sanitation system to wastewater
treatment plants. Simple services certainly are much cheaper
to provide, but they do not necessarily represent what the
society wishes to have due to the comfort level. As cost is an
important barrier to spread sanitation services, one would
expect that these data is a well-known parameter. Despite this,
in many developing countries there are no reference costs, as
exist in developed ones. As result of this situation, in many
bids, costs are established using international data that do not
necessarily reflect the local conditions (Table 10). Differences
are due not only to build the sanitation facilities but also for
the use of fuel and electricity, two important inputs to operate
wastewater treatment plants. Sludge management and dis-
posal (Figure 12) is another source of different affecting costs
(Figure 12). Table 10 also shows that the cost of emptying on-
site sanitation systems is not negligible.
4.06.6.7 Criteria for Selecting Wastewater Treatment
Processes
The selection criteria for wastewater treatment processes are
presented in Table 11, emphasizing the needs of developing
countries.
4.06.7 Wastewater Disposal versus Reintegration
After treating wastewater, the next step is its disposal. Recently,
some researchers have suggested (Asano, 2009) to use the term
‘dispersion’ instead of ‘disposal’ in order to change the per-
ception of getting rid of used water, but this term has to an
extent the connotation of wanting to dilute a problem. In this
chapter, the term ‘reintegration’ is introduced in order to
emphasize that water needs to be returned to the environment
or used once again (reuse). By reintegrating the water to the
environment, the responsibility of using it and then restoring
it back to the environment in a proper way may be realized.
As, well water can be reintegrated into the hydraulic cycles in
which is been used by the society, thus reducing the negative
impact of extracting water from the environment beyond
the amount needed for ecological use (environmental flow).
Water can be reintegrated to the environment by discharging it
to the soil or into water bodies. In the following, different
ways to reintegrate used water are discussed. This is followed
by discussing the reintegration of water through reuse.
4.06.7.1 Soil Disposal or Reintegration of Used Water to
Soil and to Groundwater
Soil reintegration (disposal) consists of discharging treated or
nontreated water into land. As discussed in the Section
4.06.6.5 the soil may act as a treatment step if a proper
management is provided. The options to reintegrate treated
wastewater into the environment are presented below. After
discharging used water to soil, it will be evaporated, infiltrated,
or will percolate to reach surface or groundwater bodies. The
extent of each of these will depend on the soil and local
conditions.
4.06.7.1.1 Leach drains
They are used mostly for on-site sanitation effluents. They
consist of a trench in which partially treated wastewater is
discharged to allow its infiltration to the subsoil. The seepage
in the trench allows uniform disposal of the wastewater over a
given area. The leach drain is often filled with gravel or highly
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 181
permeable material and a perforated pipe – from which used
water is distributed – is placed in the centre at about 0.2 m
beneath the soil surface. The perforated pipe is typically
around 0.1 m in diameter (Hughes et al., 2006). The size of the
trench depends on the wastewater load and the soil type,
groundwater depth, and precipitation. Leach drains are not
recommended disposal options if the groundwater table is
close to the surface (e.g.,o 0.5 m depth) or the soil has low
permeability (e.g.,o3mmd
À1
).
4.06.7.1.2 Evapotranspiration beds
They are convenient where soil is highly impermeable (e.g.,
clay) but can also be used in permeable soil from where water
is both evaporated and infiltrated. In each case, plants are
positioned to increase evapotranspiration and to remove nu-
trients from wastewater. If a limited area is available, evapo-
transpiration beds can be used in conjunction with a seepage
trench. To increase dispersal of the wastewater throughout the
whole bed, perforated pipes surrounded by gravel are used.
The design of the bed should ensure it is large enough to hold
wastewater loading and pluvial precipitation while, at the
same time, providing sufficient water and nutrients to plants
(Hughes et al., 2006).
4.06.7.1.3 Soil aquifer treatment and aquifer storage
recovery system
Soil disposal can be coupled with soil treatment in the soil
aquifer treatment–aquifer storage recovery system (SAT-ASR).
An aquifer storage recovery system (ASR) consists of holding
water in an appropriate underground formation, where it re-
mains available in such a way that it can be recycled by ex-
traction when needed. An ASR can have several objectives,
some of which are (Dillon and Jime´nez, 2008; Jime´nez, 2003)
temporary or long-term storage; decrease of disinfection
by-products; reestablishment of underground water levels;
0
200
400
600
800
Tertiary wastewater treatment
Sewer connection and secondary wastewater
treatment
Connection to conventional sewer
Sewer connection with local labor
Septic tank latrine
Pour flush latrine
Ventilated improved latrine
Simple pit latrine
Improved traditional practice
800
450
300
175
160
70
65
45
10
Estimated cost per person in USD
USD
Figure 11 Estimated cost for different options (with information from van de Guchte, and Vandeweerd, 2004).
Table 10 Comparisons of costs for wastewater treatment, diesel,
and electricity in selected countries for the year 2008 (with information
from LeBlanc et al. (2008))
Country USD per m
3
of
wastewater
USD per 1000 l
diesel fuel
USD per
kWh
À1
of electricity
Countries with high sanitation coverage
England 2.98 2152 0.29
Norway 2.92 2292 0.07
Austria 1.24 1897 0.18
Australia 1.14 1234 0.11
USA 0.92 753 0.04
New Zealand 0.73 990
Russian
Federation
0.42 800 0.12
Canada 0.39 1073 0.08
Italy 0.39 1899 0.26
Countries with low sanitation coverage
Czech Republic 2.93 1752 0.26
Jordan 2.30 700 0.06
Slovakia 1.47 1764 0.14
Hungary 1.39 1697 0.14
Turkey 0.59 3588 0.17
Senegal 0.35 1044 0.17
Bulgaria 0.31 1298 0.59
China 0.08 834 0.09
Iran 0.05 0.03
Per truckload
to empty
latrines
USD per 1000 l
diesel fuel
USD per
1 kW
h
À1
of
electricity
Cameroon 120 1120 0.12
Nigeria 45 935
Mali 38.2 1061 0.21
Ethiopia 16.50 742 0.06
182 Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas
maintenance or improvement of underground water quality;
prevention of saline intrusion; deferment of expansion of
water supply systems; aggressive water stabilization; hydraulic
control of contaminant plumes; and compensation of soil
salinity lixiviation. The major advantages of underground
storage is that evaporation losses are considerably lower than
dams (B1%) and do not have the eco-environmental prob-
lems associated with them (Dillon and Jime´nez, 2008).
Aquifers can be an economical option to reintegrate water to
the environment in arid and semi-arid countries where it re-
mains available for future use. They are also convenient in
densely populated urban areas where, besides storing treated
water, aquifiers can store stormwater runoff.
4.06.7.2 Disposal into Surface Water Bodies or
Reintegration of Used Water to Surface Water
Bodies
Effluents from treatment plants can be used for the augmen-
tation of surface water bodies, in which the effluent is diluted
with freshwater and reused as a source for water. The water
quality of receiving water should be preserved to facilitate a
safe water supply. For this, it is important to control pollutant
content in the effluent, notably pathogens, organic matter, and
nutrients (especially for surface water bodies with slow flow).
Two aspects need to be monitored: oxygen depletion in rivers
and eutrophication in dams and lakes. To avoid oxygen de-
pletion, biodegradable organic matter needs to be removed
before introducing the wastewater. There is considerable lit-
erature available concerning this aspect as it has been the main
target for most wastewater treatment processes. Control of
eutrophication is achieved by removing N and/or P from ef-
fluents; this is an operation costly to perform in wastewater
treatment plants for most developing countries. As an
alternative, land treatment can be used or treated wastewater
used first for agricultural irrigation recovering it from the
agricultural drainage before sending it to on lakes. Eutrophi-
cation of dams and lakes is a frequent problem in developing
countries; alternatives for its control are discussed in Box 7.
4.06.7.3 Reuse
Reuse is another option to reintegrate water to the environ-
ment but through its use. Due to the increase in the human
population and the increased use of water for almost all
human activities, water is becoming scarce and new tools are
needed to use it better. Such tools are (1) the efficient use of
water (using less water for the same activity – this is beyond
the scope of this chapter) and (2) water reuse. Water reuse
is a key component to alleviate the mismatch between water
supply and water demand.
At the global level, water availability is of around
8500m
3
inhab
À1
yr
À1
but with important variations at a re-
gional, national, and local level. For instance, it is estimated
that around 700 million people (11% of the total population)
in 43 countries live in areas with less than 1000 m
3
inhab
À1
yr
À1
. By the year 2025, 38% of the total world population will
live under such water stress, increasing to 50% (in 149
countries) by the year 2050 (UNDP, 2006). As shown in Maps
3, 4, and 9 (Annex 4), most of the affected people live in
developing countries. For these countries, three aspects can be
highlighted concerning water stress and water demand. First,
water is needed for economic development and a better
quality of life (even if industrialized countries are not com-
pletely making an efficient use of water; they use 30–50 times
more water than developing ones (UN/WWAP, 2003)). Sec-
ond, agriculture is the dominant user of water worldwide, but,
in addition, for developing countries, agriculture is usually the
0
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%
Figure 12 Estimated percentage of total wastewater treatment costs required for wastewater sludge treatment and management (with information
from LeBlanc et al., 2008).
Safe Sanitation in Low Economic Development Areas 183
Table 11 Criteria for selecting wastewater treatment operation and processes
Process applicability
Must be evaluated based on past experience, data from full-scale plants, published data, and from pilot and full-scale plant studies.
If few data or unusual conditions are encountered (atypical wastewater characteristics) pilot plant studies are essential.
For developing countries:
– Since much less experience is available, a good wastewater characterization is needed as well as a request during bids that the applicability of the
processes should be demonstrated before construction.
– Bids should encourage operating at lower costs at the same pace the process is optimized.
– Technology complexity need to be in agreement with the type of community being served: rural areas, rural isolated areas, small urban towns, large
towns, and megacities (low-, middle-, and high-income urban and periurban areas densely or dispersed populated).
– Possibility to combine treatment technologies with soft intervention methods (management).
Performance
Performance needs to be expressed not only in terms of the effluent quality but also on its allowed variability, and both must be consistent with the
effluent discharge requirements and the possible use of treated wastewater.
Performance needs also to be considered in terms of its reliability, as it may vary according to the process type. Reliability is very important when
the effluent is to be reused or treated water is to be discharged into sensitive aquatic environments.
For developing countries:
Performance should be verified in terms of the disinfection needs locally required.
Influent wastewater variability
Consider wastewater characteristic variations in probabilistic terms.
Con