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Open Access Reclaiming Municipal and Industrial Wastewater Using Combined Membrane Bioreactor and Reverse Osmosis

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Gippsland Water is implementing the Gippsland Water Factory (GWF) to reclaim 35,000 m3/day (9.2 mgd) of municipal and industrial (pulp and paper) wastewater to a quality matching the pristine quality of the existing raw water supply. Bench- and pilot-scale testing supported selection of the most sustainable approach, which consists of separate treatment in parallel treatment trains of the municipal and industrial wastewater using membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology and reclamation of the municipal MBR effluent by reverse osmosis (RO). Primary treatment is incorporated into the municipal treatment train, while the industrial treatment train includes anaerobic pretreatment. The industrial anaerobic pretreatment unit is also being used to stabilize municipal primary and waste activated sludge prior to dewatering. Anaerobic pretreatment of industrial waste helped minimize MBR membrane fouling. Results demonstrated that additional treatment of the industrial MBR effluent is needed to control RO membrane fouling to allow reclamation of this difficult to treat industrial wastewater. Work to define the most suitable approach is ongoing. Organics levels must be reduced to allow a chloramine residual to be maintained, as well as to control organic fouling of the RO membranes. The project is being implemented using an alliance model. Stage 1, which will treat both wastewater streams and will reclaim the municipal wastewater, is currently under construction. Stage 2, which will allow reclamation of the industrial wastewater, is being planned. Bench- and pilot-scale testing to refine the Stage 2 facilities is continuing.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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