Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: Feature Papers

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Wastewater Treatment and Reuse".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2022) | Viewed by 24447

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Department of Environmental Sciences, College of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
Interests: water pollution; phytoplankton ecology topic; marine pollution and phytoplankton ecology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.3 calls for an improvement of water quality by a reduction in pollution, elimination of dumping, and minimization of the release of hazardous chemicals and materials by the year 2030. To achieve these goals, the proportion of wastewater that is untreated is to be reduced by a factor of 2, and there is to be a substantial global increase in the recycling and safe reuse of wastewater. Wastewater production currently amounts to roughly 360 billion m3 per year, about 9% of global freshwater use. About 48% of that wastewater is released without treatment, and only 11% is recycled. This Special Issue of Water concerns the strategies that will need to be implemented to achieve SDG 6.3. These strategies are expected to include more affordable ways to treat wastewater, ways to incentivize the use of wastewater to irrigate crops, recycling of manufactured products and/or modification of production processes to reduce wastewater production by industry, ways to minimize land runoff, and more efficacious ways to monitor treated waste to ensure that it is safe for reuse.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Treatment of wastewater by wetlands;
  • Reduction in land runoff;
  • Creating incentives for the use of wastewater to irrigate crops;
  • Monitoring wastewater: Is it safe for reuse?;
  • Strategies for reducing wastewater production by industries;
  • Transitioning from center pivot and flood irrigation to drip irrigation.

Prof. Dr. Edward Laws
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • irrigation
  • nutrients
  • pathogens
  • runoff
  • toxic chemicals
  • wastewater reuse
  • wastewater treatment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 4478 KiB  
Article
Performance Evaluation of a Hybrid Enhanced Membrane Bioreactor (eMBR) System Treating Synthetic Textile Effluent
by Kryssian Romeiro Manoel dos Santos, Rosangela Bergamasco and Veeriah Jegatheesan
Water 2022, 14(11), 1708; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111708 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1732
Abstract
The textile industry produces a high volume of wastewater rich in toxic and harmful chemicals. Therefore, it is necessary to apply wastewater treatment methods such as membrane bioreactor (MBR) to achieve high efficiency, process stability, small footprint, and low maintenance costs. This work [...] Read more.
The textile industry produces a high volume of wastewater rich in toxic and harmful chemicals. Therefore, it is necessary to apply wastewater treatment methods such as membrane bioreactor (MBR) to achieve high efficiency, process stability, small footprint, and low maintenance costs. This work performed a study on a synthetic textile wastewater treatment using an enhanced membrane bioreactor (eMBR) equipped with two anoxic and one aerobic reactor and a UV disinfection unit. The results showed 100% removal of total suspended solids, 81.8% removal of chemical oxygen demand, and 96% removal of color. The SEM analysis indicated that the pores of the membrane were blocked by a compact and dense gel layer, as observed by the presence of the fouling layer. According to these results, an eMBR hybrid system is a suitable option for treating synthetic textile wastewater. Opportunities to increase the efficiencies in the removal of some pollutants, as well as stabilizing and standardizing the process are the improvements which require further investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: Feature Papers)
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12 pages, 2227 KiB  
Article
Refining Assignment of Runoff Control Targets with a Landscape Statistical Model: A Case Study in the Beijing Urban Sub-Center, China
by Zijing Liu, Ke Li, Haifeng Jia and Zheng Wang
Water 2022, 14(9), 1466; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14091466 - 4 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1545
Abstract
Rapid urbanization has triggered large changes to both the urban landscape and the yield and degree of confluence of runoff. The annual runoff volume control rate (ARVCR) is the key target identified in sponge city overall planning and is based on local natural [...] Read more.
Rapid urbanization has triggered large changes to both the urban landscape and the yield and degree of confluence of runoff. The annual runoff volume control rate (ARVCR) is the key target identified in sponge city overall planning and is based on local natural and social conditions. However, the large impact that landscape patterns have on the runoff process causes the capacity to implement the targets to differ between those patterns. Refinement of ARVCR targets based on landscape pattern indices is therefore needed. This study identified statistical relationships between landscape indices and runoff control targets in the delta pilot region of the Beijing urban sub-center and extended the statistical model to the Beijing urban sub-center, an area almost 20 times larger than the pilot region. Landscape factors were quantified based on their area, shape, and distribution. In the delta pilot region, the runoff control volume for each block was obtained from a simulation using the SWMM model, and the correlation between landscape indices and runoff control volume capacity in different functional land-use blocks was identified by multiple linear stepwise regression. Because the distributions of landscape indices were similar in the pilot delta area and the Beijing urban sub-center, the model could be extended to the much larger study area. The statistical model provided a runoff control scheme that produced a refined assignment of the total annual runoff control target and provided guidance that could be implemented in land-use planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: Feature Papers)
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23 pages, 1453 KiB  
Article
Are Fresh Water and Reclaimed Water Safe for Vegetable Irrigation? Empirical Evidence from Lebanon
by Marie Therese Abi Saab, Ihab Jomaa, Rima El Hage, Sleiman Skaf, Salim Fahed, Ziad Rizk, Randa Massaad, Dany Romanos, Yara Khairallah, Valerie Azzi, Rhend Sleiman, Roula Abi Saad, Celine Hajjar, Mohamed Houssemeddine Sellami, Rodolph Aziz, Rita Sfeir, Marie Helene Nassif and Javier Mateo-Sagasta
Water 2022, 14(9), 1437; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14091437 - 30 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4470
Abstract
The use of polluted water to irrigate is an increasing problem in the developing world. Lebanon is a case in point, with heavily polluted irrigation waters, particularly in the Litani River Basin. This study evaluated the potential health risks of irrigating vegetables (radishes, [...] Read more.
The use of polluted water to irrigate is an increasing problem in the developing world. Lebanon is a case in point, with heavily polluted irrigation waters, particularly in the Litani River Basin. This study evaluated the potential health risks of irrigating vegetables (radishes, parsley, onions, and lettuce) using three water sources (groundwater, river water, and treated wastewater) and three irrigation methods (drip, sprinkler, and surface) over two growing seasons in 2019 and 2020. Water, crop, and soil samples were analyzed for physicochemical parameters, pathogens, and metals (Cu, Cd, Ni, Cr, and Zn). In addition, the bioaccumulation factor, estimated dietary intakes, health risk index, and target hazard quotients were calculated to assess the health risk associated with metal contamination. The study showed that, for water with less than 2 log E. coli CFU/100 mL, no pathogens (Escherichia coli, salmonella, parasite eggs) were detected in irrigated vegetables, irrespective of the irrigation method. With over 2 log E. coli CFU/100 mL in the water, 8.33% of the sprinkler-and surface-irrigated vegetables, and 2.78% of the drip-irrigated root crops (radishes and onions), showed some degree of parasitic contamination. E. coli appeared only on root crops when irrigated with water having over 3 log CFU/100 mL. The concentrations of most metals were significantly lower than the safe limits of the FAO/WHO of the Food Standards Programme Codex, except for zinc and chromium. The trends in the bioaccumulation factor and the estimated dietary intakes of metals were in the order of Cu < Cd < Ni < Cr < Zn. The target hazard quotient values for all metals were lower than 1.0. Under trial conditions, the adoption of drip irrigation with water with less than 3 log E. coli CFU/100 mL proved to be safe, even for vegetables consumed raw, except for root crops such as onions and radishes that should not be irrigated with water having over 2 log E. coli CFU/100 mL. Treated wastewater had no adverse effect on vegetable quality compared to vegetables irrigated with other water sources. These results support efforts to update the Lebanese standards for water reuse in agriculture; standards proposed in 2011 by the FAO, and currently being reviewed by the Lebanese Institution of Standards. This research will inform a sustainable water management policy aimed at protecting the Litani River watershed by monitoring water quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: Feature Papers)
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Review

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22 pages, 1590 KiB  
Review
Integrating Virus Monitoring Strategies for Safe Non-Potable Water Reuse
by Sunny C. Jiang, Heather N. Bischel, Ramesh Goel, Diego Rosso, Samendra P. Sherchan, Katrine L. Whiteson, Tao Yan and Helena M. Solo-Gabriele
Water 2022, 14(8), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14081187 - 7 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3629
Abstract
Wastewater reclamation and reuse have the potential to supplement water supplies, offering resiliency in times of drought and helping to meet increased water demands associated with population growth. Non-potable water reuse represents the largest potential reuse market. Yet, economic constraints for new water [...] Read more.
Wastewater reclamation and reuse have the potential to supplement water supplies, offering resiliency in times of drought and helping to meet increased water demands associated with population growth. Non-potable water reuse represents the largest potential reuse market. Yet, economic constraints for new water reuse infrastructure and safety concerns due to microbial water quality, especially viral pathogen exposure, limit the widespread implementation of water reuse. Cost-effective, real-time methods to measure or indicate the viral quality of recycled water would do much to instill greater confidence in the practice. This manuscript discusses advancements in monitoring and modeling viral health risks in the context of water reuse. First, we describe current wastewater reclamation processes and treatment technologies with an emphasis on virus removal. Second, we review technologies for the measurement of viruses, both culture- and molecular-based, along with their advantages and disadvantages. We outline promising viral surrogates and specific pathogenic viruses that can serve as indicators of viral risk for water reuse. We suggest metagenomic analyses for viral screening and flow cytometry for quantification of virus-like particles as new approaches to complement more traditional methods. Third, we describe modeling to assess health risks through quantitative microbial risk assessments (QMRAs), the most common strategy to couple data on virus concentrations with human exposure scenarios. We then explore the potential of artificial neural networks (ANNs) to incorporate suites of data from wastewater treatment processes, water quality parameters, and viral surrogates. We recommend ANNs as a means to utilize existing water quality data, alongside new complementary measures of viral quality, to achieve cost-effective strategies to assess risks associated with infectious human viruses in recycled water. Given the review, we conclude that technologies will be ready to identify and implement viral surrogates for health risk reduction in the next decade. Incorporating modeling with monitoring data would likely result in a more robust assessment of water reuse risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: Feature Papers)
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19 pages, 18963 KiB  
Review
Wetlands in China: Evolution, Carbon Sequestrations and Services, Threats, and Preservation/Restoration
by Siyuan Ye, Lixin Pei, Lei He, Liujuan Xie, Guangming Zhao, Hongming Yuan, Xigui Ding, Shaofeng Pei, Shixiong Yang, Xue Li and Edward A. Laws
Water 2022, 14(7), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071152 - 3 Apr 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5723
Abstract
China has a wetland area of 53.42 million hectares, the fourth largest in the world; it includes all types of wetlands defined by the Ramsar Convention and has a carbon sink capacity of more than 1.71 million metric tons per year. Inland wetlands [...] Read more.
China has a wetland area of 53.42 million hectares, the fourth largest in the world; it includes all types of wetlands defined by the Ramsar Convention and has a carbon sink capacity of more than 1.71 million metric tons per year. Inland wetlands in China are mainly distributed in 10 major catchments, among which the Yellow River, the Yangtze River, the rivers in the northwest, and the rivers in the northeast each have more than 8 million hectares of wetlands. There are 4220 species of plants and 4015 species of animals in China’s wetland ecosystem. The wetland resources that have been developed and utilized include edible products, reeds for paper making, peat for fertilizer, fuel for power generation, and chemical, pharmaceutical, ceramic, and building materials. However, wetland areas in China have shrunk by about 54% since 1980. In recent years, China’s central government has set great store by Chinese wetlands, and although 49.03% of wetland area is now officially protected, many issues have confounded the implementation of that protection. It is imperative that knowledge gained from scientific research be used to formulate a sound wetland protection and management plan that takes into consideration social, economic, and ecological issues in a way that facilitates the sustainable use of wetland resources and informs decision-makers of the paths that must be followed to achieve that goal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: Feature Papers)
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20 pages, 989 KiB  
Review
The WHO Guidelines for Safe Wastewater Use in Agriculture: A Review of Implementation Challenges and Possible Solutions in the Global South
by Pay Drechsel, Manzoor Qadir and David Galibourg
Water 2022, 14(6), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14060864 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 6481
Abstract
Globally, the use of untreated, often diluted, or partly treated wastewater in agriculture covers about 30 million ha, far exceeding the area under the planned use of well-treated (reclaimed) wastewater which has been estimated in this paper at around 1.0 million ha. This [...] Read more.
Globally, the use of untreated, often diluted, or partly treated wastewater in agriculture covers about 30 million ha, far exceeding the area under the planned use of well-treated (reclaimed) wastewater which has been estimated in this paper at around 1.0 million ha. This gap has likely increased over the last decade despite significant investments in treatment capacities, due to the even larger increases in population, water consumption, and wastewater generation. To minimize the human health risks from unsafe wastewater irrigation, the WHO’s related 2006 guidelines suggest a broader concept than the previous (1989) edition by emphasizing, especially for low-income countries, the importance of risk-reducing practices from ‘farm to fork’. This shift from relying on technical solutions to facilitating and monitoring human behaviour change is, however, challenging. Another challenge concerns local capacities for quantitative risk assessment and the determination of a risk reduction target. Being aware of these challenges, the WHO has invested in a sanitation safety planning manual which has helped to operationalize the rather academic 2006 guidelines, but without addressing key questions, e.g., on how to trigger, support, and sustain the expected behaviour change, as training alone is unlikely to increase the adoption of health-related practices. This review summarizes the perceived challenges and suggests several considerations for further editions or national adaptations of the WHO guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Section Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: Feature Papers)
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