The concept and acceptance of water reuse has steadily increased, particularly in regions that rely on unpredictable water supplies and in industrial applications that benefit from a secondary source of recycled process water. The concept of reuse encompasses Centralized Water Reuse, where wastewater is centrally treated, stored, and distributed for various applications; and Decentralized Reuse, where on-site wastewaters including grey water, rainwater, and groundwater from dewatering building foundations are treated for beneficial use.
Membrane filtration has become a viable and recognized method of water treatment, producing a water quality safe for human consumption, improving the properties of a waste stream destined for downstream waterways, use in indirect potable reuse or in a few cases, direct potable reuse and offering a multitude of additional process advantages.
Membrane filtration for water reuse supports applications including Direct Potable Reuse (DPR), Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) where IPR waters are mixed with waters in the environment, and a wide range of non-potable applications including agricultural and industrial, aquifer replenishment, barrier control, commercial and environmental applications. While DPR projects are rare, interest in this technology is increasing, particularly in areas with severe water supply issues.
Various types of membrane technologies have been used successfully in centralized and decentralized waste reuse applications. The desired end use of the treated water dictates the degree of water quality and influences the membrane process necessary to achieve that goal. Microfiltration (MF), and Ultrafiltration (UF) are typically used due to their ability to produce waters extremely low in suspended solids and turbidity. Membrane Bio-Reactor (MBR) is used for direct wastewater treatment due to its ability to produce waters low in effluent nutrients. Nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are used for advanced wastewater post-treatment applications where a high quality permeate is necessary such as groundwater injection for IPR or a sensitive industrial application. Membrane treatment processes provide a significant advantage in water reuse applications due to their proven ability to provide reliable, predictable, and consistent water quality.
AMTA is the only industry organization that focuses specifically on membrane processes including reverse osmosis (RO), nanofiltration (NF), microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), electrodialysis reversal desalination (EDR), and membrane bioreactors (MBR). The AMTA website offers a wide range of proprietary Fact Sheets and a complete Digital Library of presentations, posters, and papers on all topics related to membrane treatment, membrane systems, and regulatory and compliance topics.
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