Water reuse applications increasingly are popping up across the globe, many applying membrane technology to put water once deemed a waste product to good use.
These new and redevelopment reuse projects range from small-scale to massive, from microfiltration to membrane bioreactors, from graywater treatment in privately owned buildings to effluent treatment at municipal wastewater plants; the treated water may be used for irrigation, toilet flushing, industrial processes or groundwater replenishment, to name some practices.
The results of the earliest membrane/reuse projects are becoming clearer, and in many cases the numbers and end-user feedback convey success stories. These testimonials, coupled with the rising quality and declining costs of related technologies, indicate that the logical pairing of membranes and reclamation is here to stay.
For proof, look no further than this issue’s article “Reuse in the Northeast” (see page 6), which profiles the University of Connecticut’s recent efforts to reclaim water in order to ease demand on limited supplies. The sustainably minded university implemented microfiltration, ultraviolet disinfection and reverse osmosis to treat effluent to water fit for athletic field irrigation, cooling towers and to serve as boiler feedwater.
Together, projects like those outlined above can make a world of difference in our industry and beyond. They will help conserve potable water (nearly half the global population will live in water-stressed nations by 2015, according to the National Intelligence Council), protect watersheds and source water, control operational costs and educate the public about the value of clean water.
Finally, some of you may recognize me as managing editor of Storm Water Solutions and a regular editorial contributor on Water & Wastes Digest. I’ll be the new face of Membrane Technology and look forward to delivering the membrane information you need to keep knowledgeable and competitive in today’s water and wastewater market. Former managing editor Clare Pierson has relocated to begin a new life chapter; she will be missed, and we wish her all the best.