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South Florida's Push to Exceed 100 MGD of Reclaimed Water: How Reverse Osmosis is Making it Possible

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Historically water rich areas of the country, such as South Florida, can expect to see significant population increases. Due to this significant population growth, coupled with natural climatic variability and the water demanding task of Everglades restoration, South Florida water utilities are facing some of the largest and most challenging water supply issues they have ever seen. Rather than praying for rain, utilities are being asked to find synergistic solutions to water supply, wastewater effluent disposal and reuse issues. These alternative water supply solutions include conserving water, recycling wastewater, or finding new water sources such as the deeper and more brackish Floridan Aquifer or seawater. However, since millions of gallons of treated wastewater are being dumped into the ocean or injected deep into the ground, regulatory agencies are highly encouraging a more sustainable approach focusing on wastewater reuse as the primary alternative water supply option. It has been estimated that South Florida reuse will exceed 100 mgd in the coming years.

This paper will focus on a few of the more advanced cutting edge initiatives that are applying state of the art dual membrane (micro filtration and reverse osmosis) technology for challenging applications such as indirect potable reuse that would recharge the Biscayne Aquifer, and spray irrigation using brackish water sources.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-01-01

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