Orange County California Water and Sanitation districts incorporated a wastewater treatment plan that allows them to both meet the increased demand for potable water and respond to the conditions of extended droughts.
The Orange County Global Water Recycling system puts highly treated sewer water through a three-step process that purifies using microfiltration, reverse osmosis and UV light with hydrogen peroxide.
The purified water is injected either into a subsurface seawater barrier or permeates into aquifers before supplying 500,000 consumers with a new high quality water source.
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District in Calabasas, California overcame public resistance to recycled non-potable water.
Although the technology required to process wastewater into non-potable recycled water is easily attainable; the acceptance of this water relies on the salesmanship of the supplier, excellent public relations or a government initiative.
For example, by law Las Vegas golf courses are required to use recycled water.
In Las Virgenes, the water district encourages use of recycled water by pricing it below the cost of potable water.
The potential cost savings attracted a variety of customers such as golf courses, parks, school districts and cemeteries who use it for irrigation.
20% of the water sold by the district is now recycled water and they envision building a water storage reservoir for the recycled water so that they can respond when demand is high.
In the tar sands of Northern Alberta, Canada evaporation technology will be developed to recycle much of the steam generator blowdown formed in the production of bitumen.
The evaporators will be used to treat the blowdown so that it can be recycled into boiler feedwater.
This process can replace disposal of the blowdown by deep well injection.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, BlackGold Biofuels has established a wastewater receiving and recycling facility which removes the grease from commercial and institutional kitchens’ wastewater.
After removing any trash and food particles from the wastewater, the remaining oils are extracted and purified.
In the Charlotte area, it is estimated that grease causes 50% to 60% of the sanitary sewer overflows.
The BlackGold process not only reduces the wastewater treatment burden by pre-discharge cleaning; it also produces a biofuel.
Austin Water in Austin, Texas has incorporated several Flowpoint automated bulk water truckfill systems to supply bulk quantities of reclaimed water to use for dust control, street cleaning, irrigation and construction projects.
Phosphorus from effluent discharge and agricultural runoff is responsible for eutrophication in aquatic environments.
Conversely, phosphorus is an essential nutrient and supplies of mined phosphate under current us will last about 100 years. Finding alternative resources for phosphorus is crucial.
In Germany, researchers from the German Phosphorus Platform network are using magnets to trap the phosphorus in wastewater.
The researchers attach phosphorus bonding sites to super magnetic particles.
In the presence of a magnet the coupled phosphorus is easily cleared from the wastewater.
In addition to providing a source of phosphorus and cleaning up wastewater; this technique can also be used to extract toxic heavy metals.