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A Model Evaluation of a Non-potable Reuse Facility and a Potable Reuse Design
AdvisorMarchand, Eric A.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
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Since the widespread construction of wastewater facilities in the United States beginning in the 1970s, treatment technology has advanced slowly. Small changes have been adapted throughout the years; however, the layout of a typical wastewater treatment facility has remained the same. The common design is becoming dated, though. Concerns about diminishing supplies of freshwater have generated support for the adaptation of both potable and non-potable water reuse facilities. This study sought to further understand both types of water reuse. The first phase of the study examined the non-potable reuse systems at South Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (STMWRF) in Reno, NV. Due to elevated nutrient concentrations in the effluent from the facility, the storage of non-potable reuse water in nearby Huffaker Hills Reservoir was leading to seasonal algal populations. These algal populations were responsible for problems with the non-potable reuse water. As part of the study, effluent from the facility was collected, analyzed, and used to create a computer simulation of the facility's unit processes. From this simulation, new aeration cycles were developed for the oxidation ditches at STMWRF to decrease nutrient concentrations and reduce future algal populations in the reservoir. The second phase of the project proposed an innovative potable reuse system that could replace the current systems in use at STMWRF or other similar water reuse facilities. The proposed low-energy, high-effluent quality reuse system combined recent technologies in the wastewater field, including forward osmosis, membrane distillation, anaerobic membrane bioreactors, SHARON and ANAMMOX, and struvite precipitation. These unit processes form a mutualistic relationship that reduces the normally high cost of potable reuse through various resource recovery systems. The proposed potable reuse system was modeled using computer simulations, and then compared to the current treatment capabilities and operating conditions at STMWRF. The simulations demonstrated that the proposed potable reuse system operated on a similar monthly budget, with the majority of influent wastewater being discharged as a high-quality potable effluent. A smaller portion of the influent was then discharged as a non-potable effluent. The quality of the non-potable effluent was determined to be similar to STMWRF's current non-potable effluent. Overall, the proposed system demonstrated the plausibility of using potable reuse systems in the near future.