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Satellite Systems for Enhanced Wastewater Management in Urban Areas

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Wastewater management systems are under pressure due to changing economic and environmental conditions. For example, severe water shortages are being experienced in a number of metropolitan areas due to the combined effects of climate change, continued population growth, and over drafting of water supplies. Drought conditions have resulted in rationing of remaining water supplies, conflicts between environmental and agricultural uses of water, increases in the value of water, and restrictions on irrigation and domestic use in urban locations. Many locations throughout the world are expected to experience more frequent and extreme drought conditions in the near future. It is clear that more effective utilization must be made of existing water supplies, especially in urban areas.

Other examples of challenges faced by wastewater management systems include the recovery and utilization of energy and the removal of nutrients. In terms of energy, wastewater systems are often identified as large consumers of power and targeted for efficiency upgrades (even though on a per capita basis the power usage is relatively low compared to other uses). Effluent water quality requirements have further increased the power demand as more membrane and high intensity UV systems come online. While anaerobic digestion has been used for sludge management, there is a considerable amount of energy present in wastewater that is currently not utilized and instead places a demand on the aeration system during aerobic treatment. To overcome these challenges, hybrid wastewater systems using satellite facilities in urban areas are being considered.
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Keywords: Satellite; collection; distributed; energy recovery; sustainability; urine separation; water reuse

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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