Low-Cost Treatment Technologies for Small-Scale Water Reclamation Plants
Andrew T. Salveson, P.E., Carollo Engineers, P.C.
The shortage of freshwater is a severe problem for many areas of the world. Water reclamation and reuse provide promising opportunities to ease freshwater shortage problems. However, data and technical information for low-cost treatment technologies for small-scale water reuse projects are often unavailable, especially to communities with limited financial and technical resources in rural areas and in developing countries.
In response to this need, this study identifies and evaluates established and innovative technologies that provide treatment of flows of less than 1 million gal per day. A range of conventional treatment processes, innovative treatment processes, and package systems were evaluated as part of this project. The primary value of this work is the extensive cost database, where the cost and operation data from existing small-scale wastewater treatment and water reuse facilities have been gathered and synthesized. From these data, the costs and maintenance issues for the various types of treatment technology are compared and contrasted.
The selection of small-scale reclamation systems will depend on many factors, such as regulations, availability of land, the budget, and trained staff. Based on the results of this project, natural systems (ponds plus wetlands) are the best economic alternative for small communities if inexpensive land is available and if effluent water quality can satisfy the local regulations. If high water quality is desired and a budget is available, nonmembrane systems can be used. Membrane-based systems can be used if even higher water quality is needed and if the budget allows.
(2010, 154 pages, 06-008-1)
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