Potable reuse of reclaimed wastewater: challenges for sustainable water management

Aravinthan, Vasantha (2006) Potable reuse of reclaimed wastewater: challenges for sustainable water management. In: Enviro 2006 Conference: Building Sustainable Cities, 9-11 May 2006, Melbourne, Australia.

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Australia, being the driest continent in the world, experiences its worst drought currently. The cities located around the coastal areas look for desalination of seawater for potable supplies whereas inland cities explore the possibilities of wastewater reclamation as a last resort for indirect potable supply. The concept of reclaimed wastewater to be considered as a resource for indirectly augmenting the potable supplies has been a subject of debate. Wastewaters can introduce microbial and chemical contaminants into the environment. Even though the existing wastewater treatment plants can successfully remove the conventional contaminants such as organics and nutrients, they are less effective in removing the emerging contaminants such as pharmaceutical and personal care products, endocrine disrupting chemicals and new emerging microbial contaminants. Surface water partly fed with the effluents is widely used as water resource for drinking water and therefore the occurrence of trace organics in surface water is of concern. They are not causing any immediate threat to the humans when exposed since they are present in very low concentrations; however, we need to take precautionary measures to remove the presence of them from potable supplies to minimize the risk of unpredictable long-term effects. Planned indirect potable reuse aims to remove these contaminants in the tertiary treated effluent using advanced treatment technologies with multiple barriers before discharging them into the water bodies to augment the drinking water supply downstream or of their own. Advanced drinking water treatments could also be used to enhance the treatment. This paper discusses how waste treatment and source control will have to be equally managed for successful sustainable water resources management system of potable reuse of reclaimed wastewater.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No access restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2013 00:33
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2013 00:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: drinking water; recycled water; health impacts
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0904 Chemical Engineering > 090410 Water Treatment Processes
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090508 Water Quality Engineering
09 Engineering > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090703 Environmental Technologies
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/2274

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