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Impacts of Advanced Treatment on Climate Change — Evaluating the Carbon Footprint of Membrane Filtration and Advanced Oxidation Processes for Water Reuse Treatment

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Advanced treatment can produce exceptional water quality, with nearly complete removal of pathogens and micro-constituents. However, this comes at a high energy cost and increased carbon footprint. Is the incremental reduction in human health risk worth the corresponding increase in GHG emissions and impacts to climate change? Clearly there is no way of making a direct comparison based on a common metric. This paper presents both sides of this debate and provides valuable information to discuss the best use of water resources to alleviate water shortages through beneficial reuse while not expending a significant amount of carbon resources in doing so.

Keywords: Carbon footprint; high level disinfection; membrane filtration; ultraviolet light; ultraviolet light and advanced oxidation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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