Tag Archives: wastewater reuse

Water Conservation Limits Wastewater Reuse

Luckmann J, Grethe H, McDonald S. When water saving limits recycling: Modelling economy-wide linkages of wastewater use. Water Research. 2016 Jan 1;88:972-80. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2015.11.004.

The reclamation of wastewater is an increasingly important water source in parts of the world. It is claimed that wastewater recycling is a cheap and reliable form of water supply, which preserves water resources and is economically efficient. However, the quantity of reclaimed wastewater depends on water consumption by economic agents connected to a sewage system. This study uses a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to analyse such a cascading water system. A case study of Israel shows that failing to include this linkage can lead to an overestimation of the potential of wastewater recycling, especially when economic agents engage in water saving.

Ventura, California Launches Wastewater Reuse Demonstration Facility

“As the drought worsens, California is looking for solutions on how to meet water needs, and one of those solutions is coming to the surface in our own backyard, at the new Water Pure Demonstration Facility in Ventura.” click here

Potable Water Reuse in California

Harris-Lovett S, Binz C, Sedlak DL, Kiparsky M, Truffer B. Beyond User Acceptance: A Legitimacy Framework for Potable Water Reuse in California. Environmental Science and Technology. 2015 Jun 1. 

Water resource managers often tout the potential of potable water reuse to provide a reliable, local source of drinking water in water-scarce regions. Despite data documenting the ability of advanced treatment technologies to treat municipal wastewater effluent to meet existing drinking water quality standards, many utilities face skepticism from the public about potable water reuse. Prior research on this topic has mainly focused on marketing strategies for garnering public acceptance of the process. This study takes a broader perspective on the adoption of potable water reuse based on concepts of societal legitimacy, which is the generalized perception or assumption that a technology is desirable or appropriate within its social context. To assess why some potable reuse projects were successfully implemented while others confronted fierce public opposition, we performed a series of 20 expert interviews and reviewed in-depth case studies from potable reuse projects in California. Results show that a legitimated potable water reuse project in Orange County, California engaged in a portfolio of strategies that addressed three main dimensions of legitimacy, while other proposed projects that faced extensive public opposition relied on a smaller set of legitimation strategies that focused near-exclusively on the development of robust water treatment technology. Widespread legitimation of potable water reuse projects, including direct potable water reuse, may require the establishment of a portfolio of standards, procedures and possibly new institutions.

Indirect Wastewater Reuse in the United States: Low Impact

Rice J, Westerhoff P. Spatial and Temporal Variation in De Facto Wastewater Reuse in Drinking Water Systems across the U.S.A. Environmental Science and Technology. 2014 Dec 29.

De facto potable reuse occurs when treated wastewater is discharged into surface waters upstream of potable drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) intakes. Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharges may pose water quality risks at the downstream DWTP, but additional flow aids in providing a reliable water supply source. In this work de facto reuse is analyzed for 2056 surface water intakes serving 1210 DWTPs across the U.S.A. that serve greater than 10 000 people, covering approximately 82% of the nation’s population. An ArcGIS model is developed to assess spatial relationships between DWTPs and WWTPs, with a python script designed to perform a network analysis by hydrologic region. A high frequency of de facto reuse occurrence was observed; 50% of the DWTP intakes are potentially impacted by upstream WWTP discharges. However, the magnitude of de facto reuse was seen to be relatively low, where 50% of the impacted intakes contained less than 1% treated municipal wastewater under average streamflow conditions. De facto reuse increased greatly under low streamflow conditions (modeled by Q95), with 32 of the 80 sites yielding at least 50% treated wastewater, this portion of the analysis is limited to sites where stream gauge data was readily available.

Click here for paper (fee).

Micropollutants in Recycled Wastewater; Are They Harmfull?

Tang JY, Busetti F, Charrois JW, Escher BI. Which chemicals drive biological effects in wastewater and recycled water? Water Research 2014 Sep 1; Vol. 60, pp. 289-99.


Removal of organic micropollutants from wastewater during secondary treatment followed by reverse osmosis and UV disinfection was evaluated by a combination of four in-vitro cell-based bioassays and chemical analysis of 299 organic compounds. Concentrations detected in recycled water were below the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling. Thus the detected chemicals were considered not to pose any health risk. The detected pesticides in the wastewater treatment plant effluent and partially advanced treated water explained all observed effects on photosynthesis inhibition. In contrast, mixture toxicity experiments with designed mixtures containing all detected chemicals at their measured concentrations demonstrated that the known chemicals explained less than 3% of the observed cytotoxicity and less than 1% of the oxidative stress response. Pesticides followed by pharmaceuticals and personal care products dominated the observed mixture effects. The detected chemicals were not related to the observed genotoxicity. The large proportion of unknown toxicity calls for effect monitoring complementary to chemical monitoring.

Click here for paper (fee).


Durban residents object to wastewater reuse plan….

“More than 5 000 Durban residents have given the thumbs-down to the city’s controversial toilet-to-tap water recycling proposal.” Click here for more….

Fontana (CA) to use recycled water…

A recycled water distribution system will be constructed that will save drinking water and use a less expensive alternative for landscaping and commercial uses. The project is a partnership between the city of Fontana, Fontana Water Co. and the Chino-based Inland Empire Utilities Agency. Click here for more…..