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Water, Engineering and Development Centre Household use of grey water, wastewater and rainwater Mike Smith.

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Presentation on theme: "Water, Engineering and Development Centre Household use of grey water, wastewater and rainwater Mike Smith."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water, Engineering and Development Centre Household use of grey water, wastewater and rainwater Mike Smith

2 People-centred solutions for sustainable development since Operating principles 2. Experience Grey-water recycling Rainwater collection 3. Water quantities 4. Water quality issues Grey-water Rainwater 5. Economic aspects 6. Summary

3 To sewers Piped water Washbasins, showers, washing machines Treatment unit Rainwater Storage Toilets Overflow Schematic principles of a domestic grey-water recycling system Treatment wastes Top-up water if needed

4 Treated grey-water could be used for: Non-potable domestic purposes Irrigation * * See, for example, “Draft guidelines for the reuse of Greywater in Western Australia” (2002)

5 Examples of domestic re-use Loughborough University (UK) Treated grey-water and rainwater used for toilet flushing in a student accommodation block. Annecy (France) Treated grey-water used for toilet flushing in an apartment block, and landscape irrigation. Hockerton Housing project (UK) Rainwater used for drinking water. Treatment is by filtration and UV disinfection. Nottingham Eco-home (UK) Rainwater used for toilet flushing and laundry. Storage is the only treatment provided.

6 Water quantities Percentages of water used for toilet flushing: Typical domestic range29% to 47% Millennium Dome48% Typical office63% Four UK universities39% to 54%

7 Typical water usage at LU student accommodation block

8 Data from a study, by Thames Water and Cranfield University, of grey-water re-use in five homes House12345 % of total36%-21%9%17% water saved Mean per capita consumption (lpcd) Source: Hills, Birks, Diaper, Jeffrey, (2003)

9 Water quality issues Characteristics of greywater from various studies Parameter Metcalf and Eddy (1991) Lazarova (2001) Smith et al. (2001) Surendran and Wheatley (1998) Rose et al. (1991) Laine (2001) Christova-Boal et al. (1996) Greywater type SewageDarkV. Light 1 Light and Dark 2 Light 3 Light BOD 5 (mg/L)110–400275– –252 (light) 472–536 (dark) *129–15576–200 COD (mg/L)250–1,000471– – –936*367–587* SS (mg/L)100–35071– –76 (light) 68 (dark) *58–15348–120 NH3-N (mg/L) 12–500.6–18.8*0.5– – –3.2* <0.1–15 TKN (mg/L)*3.9–22.84*0.6–5.26.6– –20 TP (mg/L)4–155 – 26.7* 1.6–45.5 (light) 15.6–101 (dark) 4–35*0.11–1.8 TC (CFU/100 ml) 10 5 – × 10 6 – 1.8 × × 10 3 – >2.4 × × 10 4 – 6 × 10 6 (light) 7 × 10 5 (dark) 6.1 × × 10 3 – 9.4 × – 2.4 × 10 7 FC (CFU/100 ml) 10 4 – × 10 5 – 1.6 × 10 8 * 32–600 (light) 728 dark) 1.8 × 10 4 – 7.9 × 10 6 * 169 – 3.3 × 10 3 E. coli (CFU/100 ml) * 7.6 × 10 5 – 2.04 × – >2.4 × 106**10 – 1.5 × 10 3 *

10 Grey-water is similar in quality to settled sewage. (Better than Raw sewage.) BOD, Suspended solids and bacterial numbers are high, and grey-water will quickly smell unless treated. Treatment is needed to: Minimise health risks from contact and aerosols; Improve appearance; Reduce odour; Minimise biological growth, scaling and corrosion.

11 1.Storage of Greywater. Including storage capacity to accommodate sludge accumulation. 2. Balancing and screening: pH correction, and screening to remove suspended solids, including hair. 3. Aerobic treatment: This may include aeration, sedimentation, flotation, dilution, and addition of chemicals such as alum, lime, or chlorine. 4. Slow filtration: Filters may use foam, slow sand filters, carbon filters or membranes. 5. Storage of partially-treated grey-water. Handling of grey-water

12 Rainwater quality The quality of rainwater depends upon the cleanliness of the collecting surface. Recent studies show that storage, and flow through a series of tanks, significantly improves the bacterial quality of rainwater.

13 Loughborough University 2005

14 Tank 1 Tank 2 Tank 4 Tank 3 Typical thermotolerant coliform count in tank series

15 Valley Road, Loughborough (2005)

16 Nottingham Eco-home (2005)


18 Economics and justification For individual houses, grey-water recycling offers negligible economic benefits. For Loughborough University, retrofit costs could be recovered in 8 or 9 years. Benefits can be considered in terms of reduced demand on limited water resources, and reduced sewage flows. Full benefits depend on specific social, technical, economic and climatic conditions.

19 Perceptions of users Surveys suggest that users generally have a positive attitude to using recycled water for toilet flushing. Householders want a simple, reliable, facility, requiring little or no maintenance. (They want a ‘fit and forget’ unit.) Re-use of grey-water and rainwater for toilet flushing is more attractive where a maintenance team is available.

20 Summary Currently, the cost and convenience of piped water supplies in UK does not encourage recycling of grey-water. Incentives for recycling could include: Personal or ethical preferences Environmental concerns Legislation Tax incentives

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