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Article

Assessment of Full-Scale Indirect Potable Water Reuse in El Port de la Selva, Spain

1
Chair of Urban Water Systems Engineering, Technical University of Munich, Am Coulombwall 3, 85748 Garching, Germany
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Department of Water Technology and Environmental Engineering, University of Chemistry and Technology, Technická 5, 166 28 Prague, Czech Republic
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Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH, Cicerostr. 24, 10709 Berlin, Germany
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Federal Institute of Hydrology, Am Mainzer Tor 1, 56068 Koblenz, Germany
5
Consorci Costa Brava, Plaça Josep Pla 4, 3er 1a, 17001 Girona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giusy Lofrano
Water 2021, 13(3), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030325
Received: 23 December 2020 / Revised: 20 January 2021 / Accepted: 22 January 2021 / Published: 28 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse)
In 2015, the town of El Port de la Selva in Spain implemented soil-aquifer treatment (SAT) using tertiary treated wastewater effluents to replenish the local potable aquifer. This study evaluated the initial phase of this indirect potable water reuse system including a characterization of hydraulic conditions in the aquifer and monitoring of microbial contaminants and 151 chemicals of emerging concern (CECs). The combined treatment resulted in very low abundances of indicator bacteria, enteric viruses and phages in the monitoring wells after three days of infiltration and a reduction of antibiotic microbial resistance to background levels of local groundwater. After tertiary treatment, 94 CECs were detected in the infiltration basin of which 15 chemicals exceeded drinking water thresholds or health-based monitoring trigger levels. Although SAT provided an effective barrier for many chemicals, 5 CECs were detected above health-based threshold levels in monitoring wells after short hydraulic retention times. However, additional attenuation is expected due to dilution prior to abstraction via downstream drinking water wells and during granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration, which was recently installed to mitigate residual CECs. Overall, the results demonstrate that indirect potable water reuse can be a reliable option for smaller communities, if related risks from microbial and chemical contaminants are adequately addressed by tertiary treatment and subsequent SAT, providing sufficient hydraulic retention times for pathogen decay and CEC removal. View Full-Text
Keywords: antibiotic microbial resistance; chemicals of emerging concern; microbial contaminants; pathogens; potable water reuse; soil-aquifer treatment antibiotic microbial resistance; chemicals of emerging concern; microbial contaminants; pathogens; potable water reuse; soil-aquifer treatment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fajnorová, S.; Sprenger, C.; Hermes, N.; Ternes, T.A.; Sala, L.; Miehe, U.; Drewes, J.E.; Hübner, U. Assessment of Full-Scale Indirect Potable Water Reuse in El Port de la Selva, Spain. Water 2021, 13, 325. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030325

AMA Style

Fajnorová S, Sprenger C, Hermes N, Ternes TA, Sala L, Miehe U, Drewes JE, Hübner U. Assessment of Full-Scale Indirect Potable Water Reuse in El Port de la Selva, Spain. Water. 2021; 13(3):325. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030325

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fajnorová, Soňa, Christoph Sprenger, Nina Hermes, Thomas A. Ternes, Lluís Sala, Ulf Miehe, Jörg E. Drewes, and Uwe Hübner. 2021. "Assessment of Full-Scale Indirect Potable Water Reuse in El Port de la Selva, Spain" Water 13, no. 3: 325. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13030325

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