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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 635; doi:10.3390/ijerph14060635

Drivers of Microbial Risk for Direct Potable Reuse and de Facto Reuse Treatment Schemes: The Impacts of Source Water Quality and Blending

1
Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
2
Engineering Research Center for Re-Inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), Berkeley, CA 94720-1710, USA
3
Drexel University Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Warish Ahmed and David J. Beale
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 13 June 2017
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Abstract

Although reclaimed water for potable applications has many potential benefits, it poses concerns for chemical and microbial risks to consumers. We present a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) Monte Carlo framework to compare a de facto water reuse scenario (treated wastewater-impacted surface water) with four hypothetical Direct Potable Reuse (DPR) scenarios for Norovirus, Cryptosporidium, and Salmonella. Consumer microbial risks of surface source water quality (impacted by 0–100% treated wastewater effluent) were assessed. Additionally, we assessed risks for different blending ratios (0–100% surface water blended into advanced-treated DPR water) when source surface water consisted of 50% wastewater effluent. De facto reuse risks exceeded the yearly 10−4 infections risk benchmark while all modeled DPR risks were significantly lower. Contamination with 1% or more wastewater effluent in the source water, and blending 1% or more wastewater-impacted surface water into the advanced-treated DPR water drove the risk closer to the 10−4 benchmark. We demonstrate that de facto reuse by itself, or as an input into DPR, drives microbial risks more so than the advanced-treated DPR water. When applied using location-specific inputs, this framework can contribute to project design and public awareness campaigns to build legitimacy for DPR. View Full-Text
Keywords: reclaimed water; direct potable reuse; quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA); norovirus; Salmonella; Cryptosporidium; blending reclaimed water; direct potable reuse; quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA); norovirus; Salmonella; Cryptosporidium; blending
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chaudhry, R.M.; Hamilton, K.A.; Haas, C.N.; Nelson, K.L. Drivers of Microbial Risk for Direct Potable Reuse and de Facto Reuse Treatment Schemes: The Impacts of Source Water Quality and Blending. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 635.

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