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Characterization and treatment of grey water : option for (re)use

  • Abu-Ghunmi, L.N.A.H.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2009
Wageningen University and Researchcenter Publications
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Addressing the issues of water shortage and appropriate sanitation in Jordan, domestic grey water treatment receives growing interest. Grey water comprises the domestic wastewater flows excluding waters associated with the toilet. The topics of concern for grey water are its characteristics, treatment and potentials for use after treatment. The target of this thesis is to develop a concept for treating grey water on-site for agricultural usage, thus sustaining a recycling process of grey water in Jordan. A review was made regarding the currently available grey water treatment technologies. In addition, grey water was quantitatively and qualitatively characterized, and then grey water reuse requirements including treatment, were analyzed. Biodegradability and biodegradation rates of the grey water were investigated for selecting appropriate design and operation criteria of the treatment technology to be developed. A low-tech semi-technical scale treatment system was tested to treat grey water discharges from a dormitory at the Jordan University campus. The treatment system was evaluated on obtained removal efficiencies and conformity of the effluent to the guidelines for the use of reclaimed water for irrigation in Jordan. Finally, the objectives, approaches and the results of each chapter are summarized, and then both the results and the potential of applying decentralised sanitation and reuse (DeSaR) concepts in Jordan are discussed. Results show that storage and treatment are prerequisites for any type of grey water use. Grey water is aerobically and anaerobically biodegradable but the conversion rates are low. The core of the treatment concept consists of an integrated storage and anaerobic treatment unit, fed with a natural influent flow pattern, in a down-flow mode, up to a one day operational cycle, i.e. a variable HRT ≤ 24 hours. The second step consists of an aerobic post-treatment, mechanically aerated in a down-flow mode and a one day operational cycle, i.e. 24 hours HRT. Both units need insulation in the winter period. The final effluent, stable in winter and summer, meets the Jordanian standard, except for the pathogens, for usage in restricted irrigation. The achievable treatment efficiency for the CODtot is 44% in the anaerobic unit and 70% in the combined anaerobic-aerobic, unlike the high anaerobic and aerobic biodegradability in batch experiments, viz. 70 and 86%, respectively. The highest removal efficiency achieved was for the CODss fraction, viz. 71% in the anaerobic and 85% in the combined system. Therefore, it is expected that the CODtot removal efficiency of the system can be improved, by enhancing the CODcol and CODdis, removal, i.e. applying filtration and/or adding chemicals such as adsorbents, coagulants and/or flocculants to the treatment units.

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