WERF guidance on indirect reuse contaminant removal

A new report from the Water Environment Research Foundation in the USA concludes that examining multiple barriers of drinking-water systems can help assure the absence of detectable levels of trace organic compounds in recycled water.

Recent reports of trace levels of chemicals detected in municipal wastewater effluent has raised concerns about the possibility of contaminants in water produced by indirect potable reuse systems.

The report, Development of Indicators and Surrogates for Chemical Contaminant Removal during Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation, (04-HHE-1CO) , a collaborative effort between WERF and the WateReuse Foundation, provides guidance to the water-reuse industry on the removal of wastewater-derived chemical contaminants in indirect potable reuse systems, which introduce highly treated reclaimed water into potable water supply.

Since it is impossible to measure all chemicals present in recycled water, the study’s approach uses a combination of surrogate parameters (such changes in total organic carbon, conductivity, and ammonia) as “multiple barriers” that are easy to measure and can serve as performance measures of a treatment process for a number of trace organic compounds.