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Almost daily, one hears of water shortages throughout the world. We here in the United States are no exception and even in the water “rich” areas such as the eastern US, problems are beginning to surface. In 2002, the drought in the eastern part of the United States clearly demonstrated the need for a new water resources planning paradigm. While states in the West have been dealing with drought for over a decade, many states in the East are now just beginning to adapt. Some states have begun to adopt rules that require an alternative analysis be completed for any new water or wastewater plant or any upgrade to an existing plant that insures an evaluation of the potential for use of reclaimed water. Facilities constructed to accomplish reuse objectives range from point-of-sale (satellite) reuse facilities to more centralized facilities located at existing POTWs. Either of these options would accomplish a number of objectives under such rules: conservation of a scarce resource (water) and the reuse of wastewater for productive purposes.

For the most part, reclaimed water has been used for golf course and landscape irrigation and certain industrial uses, such as cooling water supplementation. Communities are faced with a myriad of options for establishing reuse opportunities, types of treatment and possible vendors to supply reclaimed water for identified uses. This paper presents a methodology (guidelines) to assist communities and their consultants through this process.

Such a methodology must deal with a variety of factors ranging from the conduct of a market study, evaluation of various treatment options for the identified reclaimed water uses, and possible prequalification of vendors, all of which affect the ultimate design of facilities. Such techniques have been applied to a wide range of facilities. These include 0.4 mgd plant in a beach community in eastern North Carolina, a 10 mgd facility in Arizona and a 139 mgd facility in Bangkok, Thailand. The diversity of these opportunities (in terms of sheer size) appears extreme, but the structure of the approach is surprisingly the same.

Details of each of these case studies will provide the reader with an appreciation for a structured approach to developing the best solution for a community seeking to implement or expand it's water reuse options.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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