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In Search of the Perfect Reuse Plant

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King County, Washington (Seattle) recently adopted a Regional Wastewater Services Plan to guide policy and planning decisions for the next 40 years. A key element of this plan is the exploration and development of a variety of reclaimed water applications. Potential uses of this water include traditional application such as urban irrigation, and more innovative approaches including wetlands creation, groundwater recharge and streamflow augmentation to increase environmental protection for fisheries recently listed under the Endangered Species Act. Each of these applications has differing water quality requirements.

King County anticipates that implementation of the reuse program will involve dispersed satellite plants that may operate on a seasonal basis. These facilities may need to be located in sensitive urban developments; consequently compact footprints, aesthetic appearance and minimal operational impact on surrounding neighbors will be important. Also, given the remote location of the facilities, the County has a strong desire for facilities that are simple to operate and control, and can be run unattended. Finally, given the competitive price of other water supplies in the Seattle area, affordability of the treatment processes will be a key determinant of the feasibility of the program.

The “Reuse Technology Demonstration Project” is designed to identify preferred combinations of technologies with which to implement the County's reclaimed water program, and to develop information regarding cost and performance to help guide policy and implementation planning. The project also is being used to demonstrate to regulators and other stakeholders, the performance of alternative treatment combinations in meeting differing water quality objectives.

Unit processes to be included in the test program include fuzzy filters (primary and tertiary applications), two types of ballasted flocculation, single-stage and two-stage BAFs, membrane bioreactor, microfiltration, continuous upflow filtration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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