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Article

Light or Dark Greywater for Water Reuse? Economic Assessment of On-Site Greywater Treatment Systems in Rural Areas

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Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Facultad de Química y de Farmacia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Avenida Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago 7820436, Chile
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Departamento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Avenida Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago 7820436, Chile
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Instituto de Geografía, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Avenida Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Santiago 7820436, Chile
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Escuela de Biotecnología, Universidad Mayor, Camino La Pirámide 5750, Huechuraba, Santiago 8580745, Chile
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Cristina Santos and Cristina Matos
Water 2021, 13(24), 3637; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243637
Received: 15 November 2021 / Revised: 10 December 2021 / Accepted: 13 December 2021 / Published: 17 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Wastewater Reuse – Challenges, Risks and Opportunities)
Water scarcity is causing a great impact on the population. Rural areas are most affected by often lacking a stable water supply, being more susceptible to the impact of drought events, and with greater risk of contamination due to the lack of appropriate water treatment systems. Decentralized greywater treatment systems for water reuse in rural areas can be a powerful alternative to alleviate these impacts. However, the economic feasibility of these systems must be thoroughly evaluated. This study reports an economic analysis carried out on the viability of greywater reuse considering scenarios with light greywater or dark greywater to be treated. For this, data obtained from the assembly and monitoring of greywater treatment systems located in the north-central zone of Chile, supplemented with data obtained from the literature were used. The results showed that both scenarios are not economically viable, since the investment and operating costs are not amortized by the savings in water. In both evaluated cases (public schools), the economic indicators were less negative when treating light greywater compared with the sum of light greywater and dark greywater as the inlet water to be treated. The investment and operating costs restrict the implementation of these water reuse systems, since in the evaluation period (20 years) a return on the initial investment is not achieved. Even so, our results suggest that the best alternative to reuse greywater in small-scale decentralized systems is to treat light greywater, but it is necessary to consider a state subsidy that not only supports capital costs but also reduces operating and maintenance costs. These findings support the idea that the type of water to be treated is a factor to consider in the implementation of decentralized greywater treatment systems for the reuse of water in rural areas and can help decision-making on the design and configuration of these systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: greywater; light greywater; dark greywater; water reuse; economic evaluation greywater; light greywater; dark greywater; water reuse; economic evaluation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leiva, E.; Rodríguez, C.; Sánchez, R.; Serrano, J. Light or Dark Greywater for Water Reuse? Economic Assessment of On-Site Greywater Treatment Systems in Rural Areas. Water 2021, 13, 3637. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243637

AMA Style

Leiva E, Rodríguez C, Sánchez R, Serrano J. Light or Dark Greywater for Water Reuse? Economic Assessment of On-Site Greywater Treatment Systems in Rural Areas. Water. 2021; 13(24):3637. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243637

Chicago/Turabian Style

Leiva, Eduardo, Carolina Rodríguez, Rafael Sánchez, and Jennyfer Serrano. 2021. "Light or Dark Greywater for Water Reuse? Economic Assessment of On-Site Greywater Treatment Systems in Rural Areas" Water 13, no. 24: 3637. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243637

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