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Introduction

02.The recycling process What exactly is recycled water? Water recycling is the process of taking effluent (wastewater and sewage) and treating it to a level that’s appropriate for its intended use. For potable (drinkable) use, the recycled water has to be treated to a sufficiently high level that it’s suitable for human consumption.

The indirect potable reuse process being implemented in southeast Queensland, trialled in Perth and under discussion in Goulburn adds another step: highly treated recycled water is mixed with other water supplies above or below ground before it arrives at your tap (see Jargon buster).

There’s no standard 'off the shelf' project — each one is unique, with different specific technologies and very diverse natural water catchment characteristics — but generally speaking indirect potable reuse involves a number of steps. After going through micro filters, the water undergoes a reverse osmosis process, which involves forcing the water molecules across a dense plastic film. The water can pass through the film, but other molecules, including viruses, bacteria and even tiny salt molecules, can’t. As an added precaution the water undergoes oxidation and disinfection, using hydrogen peroxide and very strong ultraviolet light. The recycled water is then added to a reservoir or groundwater aquifer, where it can be stored and blended with the regular water supply. Before being put into the drinking water system, the blended recycled and regular water also undergoes the normal drinking water treatment process. The process CAPTION: Effluent gets treated at existing wastewater treatment plants, before it reaches the recycling plant. The recycled water is then mixed with the natural water supply and undergoes existing drinking water treatment before arriving again at your tap.

There’s a difference between this kind of planned reuse — with advanced water treatment and risk management — and incidental reuse. In some river systems, towns upstream discharge their treated sewage into the river and towns further downstream draw water from the same river. For example, people living in towns that draw water from the Murrumbidgee below Canberra, and then down the Murray to Adelaide, are already partly using reuse water.

Even the city of London is located downstream from a number of wastewater treatment plants that discharge into the Thames, so part of its water supplies also reuse water. And Sydney’s water supply receives some treated sewage from Goulburn and Lithgow. This water goes through the regular water treatment system and is considered perfectly fit to drink.

With national guidelines on recycling water for drinking likely to be finalised in April, greater expansion of water recycling is anticipated over the longer term. The aim of the guidelines is to make sure recycling is done safely, without being sidetracked by whether recycling is a good or bad idea. The guidelines will explain what the risks are, and how to manage them. Decision makers and project managers should use the guidelines when assessing and carrying out projects. Jargon buster Potable water: Water intended for human consumption — suitable on the basis of both health and aesthetic considerations for drinking or culinary purposes. Indirect potable reuse: The discharge of recycled water into surface water or groundwater (called managed aquifer recharge) to supplement drinking water supply, rather than going directly from the treatment plant to your tap. Recycled water: Water that’s been reclaimed from sewage, greywater or stormwater systems and treated to a standard that’s appropriate for its intended use. Reverse osmosis: An advanced method of wastewater treatment that works by forcing water molecules across a semi-permeable membrane to separate it from impurities. Sewage: Material from internal household and other building drains. It includes faecal waste and urine from toilets; shower and bath water; laundry water and kitchen water. (Sewerage is the network of pipes and infrastructure that transport the sewage.) Water recycling: A generic term for water reclamation and reuse. process PO Box 8357 Sunnybank Queensland 4109 Australia Phone 0409 076 063 Australian Business & People s Alliance Council Inc. 07- 4697 3185 Incorporated Association No. IA35600 pax 07-32438755 E-mail abba_pl@tpg.com.au AIMS TO STOP PREMIER BLIGH FROM ADDING RECYCLED SEWAGE TO S-E QUEENSLAND DRINKING WATER SUPPLIES ... period ! Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has appeared on TV, Radio and in Newspapers telling us that Recycled Sewage will be "Safe To Drink" because it will be put through a SEVEN BARRIER PROCESS that Will Remove All Contaminants. Surely the Premier has said it all - SEVEN Barriers ... what's there to worry about ?!! With such a definite and SIGNIFICANT Number of Barriers in the Process, everyone must surely accept that the End Product Will Be Safe To Drink. There is no open discussion about what the Barriers DO, or how EFFICACIOUS they are ... ONLY THE SPIN - a marketing strategy to "con" the public into accepting their message. More SPIN - Premier Bligh goes on to tell you that the Barriers include: • Microfiltration, • Reverse Osmosis and • Advanced Oxidation processes. By now, you have to be totally impressed. Not necessarily convinced, but softened up by this triple-whammy of technology, so that when Premier Bligh'gives you her "genuine" assurance that Purified Recycled Water is Safe To Drink, you just have to accept it. And ... just for those final few sceptics ... we have the highly-acclaimed Professor Greenfield from Queensland University, endorsing that Purified Recycled Water is Safe To Drink. NOW DOESN'T THAT JUST MAKE YOU FEEL SO SAFE ! WHY ?? You don't even know what the SEVEN BARRIERS are ... Do You ? Let alone what each Barrier is supposed to do and WHY the Product that Premier Bligh is going to make you drink, is supposed tobegafe...(?) Well, let's have a look at What the SEVEN BARRIERS Are ... ... then we'll have a brief look at What They Do (or are supposed to do). THE SEVEN BARRIERS The Queensland Water Commission has defined the Seven Barriers in a Fact Sheet as : "Barrier 1—Source Control: prevents harmful chemicals being released into the sewerage system" "Barrier 2—Wastewater Treatment Plant: removes nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, some microorganisms, and most regulated chemicals " "Barrier 3—Microfiltration or Ultra filtration: removes small particles, proteins and most microorganisms" "Barrier 4—Reverse Osmosis: removes a vast majority of dissolved chemicals and any remaining microorganisms." Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc. "Barrier 5—Disinfection and Advanced Oxidation: removes any remaining microorganisms and destroys any remaining chemicals " "Barrier 6—Natural Environment: After purified recycled water has been produced it is blended into an environmental buffer such as a dam, river, or underground aquifer. This environmental buffer allows the purified recycled water to mix with the natural water in the catchment, providing separation between the water recycling process and the normal drinking water treatment process. " "Barrier 7—Water Treatment Plant: removes taste, odour, turbidity and microorganisms" - Bet You never knew that the Very FIRST BARRIER of the highly touted SEVEN BARRIER Process that will remove all contaminants, is the very scientific and technological process of asking You and everyone else, NOT TO PUT HARMFUL CHEMICALS INTO THE SEWERAGE SYSTEM'. This FIRST BARRIER is enough to convince anyone - that "What Premier Bligh claims" is unsustainable - that the remaining SIX BARRIERS cannot remove All Contaminants BARRIER ONE CONTRADICTS THE CLAIM THAT ALL CONTAMINANTS WILL BE REMOVED. If you can REMOVE ALL CONTAMINANTS ... WHY do you need to "Prevent harmful chemicals being released into the Sewerage System" ? The obvious answer is "You can't remove All Contaminants". Then, the only way to ensure these harmful chemicals do not finish up in the Drinking Water Supply, is to stop them from getting into the system in the first place. This is what the Queensland Water Commission (QWC) goes on to say about BARRIER ONE: 11 All hospitals must obtain a trade waste approval and have waste management plans in place to ensure that hospital waste, such as unused Pharmaceuticals, clinical waste, cytotoxic waste from cancer treatments and radioactive waste are disposed of appropriately and do not enter the sewers. While source control is currently an important barrier in the process, source management would be further reviewed and strengthened as part of the introduction of purified recycled water. Ongoing monitoring through sophisticated control systems will also be in place." The QWC introduces some fancy but hollow phrases. "Review and strengthen Source Management" "Ongoing monitoring through sophisticated control systems." What they fail to recognise is that by using such important sounding measures, THEY are highlighting the NEED TO STOP HARMFUL CHEMICALS from getting into the sewerage system ... not just in any simple way, but with Sophisticated Control Systems. BARRIER ONE indicates that the QWC does not believe it can get rid of all contaminants through the use of Barriers 2 to 7. Here is another interesting point about BARRIER ONE - Hospitals are not the only source whereby Harmful Chemicals can get into the sewerage system. Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc. There's Industrial and Trade Waste, Accidents and Spillages and ... Household Waste. That's right - HOUSEHOLD WASTE. This is a Source of : Unused Pharmaceuticals, PCP's (Personal Care Products), Drugs, Disease-causing Organisms (microbiological contaminants), Chemicals and Steroid Hormones (Endocrine System Disrupters). If all these Harmful Substances are going into the sewerage system, does BARRIER ONE even exist ?? Very Doubtful. So much for the SEVEN BARRIER PROCESS - BARRIER ONE contradicts the claims that the rest of the Process can remove all contaminants ... and, in reality, it doesn't exist. We're left with a SIX BARRIER PROCESS (Sorry Premier ... that's One Down and Six to go!) BARRIER TWO is defined above as "Wastewater Treatment Plant: removes nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, some microorganisms, and most regulated chemicals " This is the Standard Sewerage Treatment currently taking place ... and according to the QWC, it removes Nitrogen and Phosphorus. But, according to the Queensland Government, Environment Protection Agency (EPA), as stated in the Queensland Water Recycling Guidelines December 2005 - "Secondary treated effluent, without nutrient reduction, will generally have a total nitrogen concentration of 25-50 mg/L. With the use of nutrient reduction technology this can be reduced to less than 5 mg/L." "Phosphorus concentrations in secondary treated effluent usually range from 8 to 12 mg/L Further nutrient reduction can reduce this to less than 1 mg/L." The EPA tells us that some 8 - 10% of the nutrients are not removed in spite of the use of nutrient reduction technology. Please note the application of the word "REDUCTION" and not "REMOVAL" when describing this Technology. It appears that the scientists and researchers who work in this field acknowledge the fact that they cannot REMOVE the Nutrients from Secondary Treated Effluent, but can only REDUCE the level of Nutrients that will be present. The presence of Nutrients is important and it is mentioned again in another section of the Queensland Water Recycling Guidelines December 2005 - "Although algal blooms can occur in many different kinds of water body, elevated nutrient levels in recycled water storages may make blooms more likely." The importance is due to the fact that these Nutrients, in the presence of other chemicals, are capable of forming a vast array of Chemical Substances, some of which can be very harmful to human health. Also important is the fact that the QWC (Queensland Water Commission) has either not consulted the Queensland Water Recycling Guidelines December 2005, or has totally ignored them. Either way the QWC has misstated the facts ... and whether this was a Misrepresentation, blatantly aimed at MISLEADING THE PUBLIC, or not ... you decide. Either Way, BARRIER TWO has been misrepresented. It does allow-a significant percentage of Nutrients through and on that basis, one would have to question the validity of the claim that it removes Most Regulated Chemicals. BARRIER TWO is neither new, nor does it do what has been stated that it can do. Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc. BARRIER THREE is Microfiltration or Ultrafiltration: and it is claimed that it... removes small particles, proteins and most microorganisms" The QWC also stated that "In the microfiltration and ultrafiltration process, water is forced under pressure through microporous membranes, which act as a filter to separate small particles" (the membranes are made of artificial organic polymer such as polypropylene). Firstly, let's get BARRIER THREE right - it will be MICROFILTRATION. The difference is that Ultrafiltration is 10 times finer than Microfiltration. It costs more for the membranes and they require more maintenance - again, more cost. Also, the finer membranes may not allow sufficient flow for the volume of Secondary Effluent that the Premier wants to pass through. So, Queenslanders will get whatever will produce MORE MONEY - less costs and a greater rate of flow. Perhaps it is also relevant that there is no point in spending more money, when neither of these processes achieve what is claimed of them. The next level up from both of these processes is NANOFILTRATION (this is 10 times finer than Ultrafiltration and 100 times finer than Microfiltration). A study was performed by 4 Researchers from Yale University and the University of Wollongong and their results were published in a paper "The role of endocrine disrupters in water recycling: risk or mania ?" L.D. Nghiem, J McCutcheon, A.I. Schafer and M. Elimelech Environmental Engineering Program, Yale University, New Haven, USA Environmental Engineering, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia The subject to be addressed in their study is best described in their own words, as follows : "The widespread occurrence of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) such as steroid hormones, in secondary wastewater effluents has become a major concern in water recycling pra ctice Prominent among these endocrine disrupting contaminants are steroid hormones, which are excreted continuously by humans and animals. Due to incomplete removal during primary and secondary treatment processes, they are ubiquitous in secondary wastewater effluents at concentrations in the lower ng/L range (Harries et a/., 1999; Ternes et al., 1999). Despite their lower concentrations, these contaminants are of major health concern because of their high endocrine disrupting potency" Their conclusion : "... The results indicate that nanofiltration may not be a complete barrier to many micro-pollutants such as hormones. This results not only in a reduced retention ability of some membranes (mechanisms are currently investigated) but also means that a release of the accumulated compounds can result in very high permeate concentrations. The risks of such high concentrations require further investigation." If Nanofiltration is only a Partial Barrier to steroid hormones and micro-pollutants, how much less of a Barrier is Microfiltration which has Membranes that have pores 100 times bigger and what else will get through ? BARRIER THREE works on the physical removal of suspended material and microorganisms through the principle of adsorption (the ability of the membrane surface to hold on to the particles it contacts). Thus the "integrity of the membrane" is of great importance in this process, which is why the QWC require regular monitoring of the membrane (refer above). Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc. It should be noted that this 'integrity' can be compromised by chemical action, as well as soiling and deterioration. "Care must be taken in the management of the membranes as their efficiency can be considerably reduced and life shortened by 'poisoning', for example by chlorine (Barr 2003)" from: WATER RECYCLING IN AUSTRALIA 2004 Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering This suggests that the composition of the Secondary Effluent produced by the Sewerage Treatment Process will influence how much or how little BARRIER THREE will do. But no-one will really know what the composition of the Secondary Effluent will be, as it depends on what comes in through the sewerage system and what quantity of chemicals are applied during the treatment process and if Disinfection is used - as this generally produces a residual chlorine which impacts on the Membranes (refer above). The concentration of both contaminants and chemicals in the secondary effluent must impact on the efficiency of the membranes and the likelihood of many chemical substances not being "sieved out" during the Microfiltration Process appears very high, especially considering the factors which allow chemicals to pass through the membrane : • Passage of chemical substances dissolved in water • Passage of substances that pass through 0.1 micron membranes • Reduced retention ability of the membrane caused by high contaminant concentrations • Breakthrough due to accumulated concentrations • Breakthrough caused by pH changes or pressure increases BARRIER THREE DOES NOT SUPPORT THAT RECYCLED SEWAGE IS SAFE TO DRINK. Sorry Premier Bligh - this is the first of Your Technological Big Guns ... and it's a FIZZER Technologically & Scientifically. BARRIER FOUR - more Technology ... Reverse Osmosis: which the QWC claims "removes a vast majority of dissolved chemicals and any remaining microorganisms." The Reverse Osmosis System is the darling of Desalination. Here we have the same Membranes as those used in Microfiltration ... only they are usually spiral wound and have a water-collecting porous layer sandwiched between two membrane surfaces. High pressure salt water passes through the membranes which separate most of the water and conduct it to a central collection tube which delivers it. Salty concentrate is collected via a separate tube. In respect of Recycled Sewage, we have seen that the Effluent from Barrier Three still contains a significant number of highly undesirable contaminants. The Polypropylene Membranes did not remove them. BARRIER FOUR (Reverse Osmosis) uses the same Polypropylene Membranes so it will have a similar result - perhaps slightly enhanced by the layers of Membranes used. Tests show that Reverse Osmosis does not remove all the salt from salt water, A residual of 1 - 2% remains. Coupled with the information above showing Microlfiltration Membranes do not remove many harmful substances, it has to be expected that these harmful substances WILL NOT BE REMOVED BY BARRIER FOUR. The claim by the QWC that BARRIER FOUR removes "a vast majority of dissolved chemicals and any remaining microorganisms" in the summary of BARRIER FOUR is shown, here, to be untrue. BARRIER FOUR DOES NOT SUPPORT THAT RECYCLED SEWAGE IS SAFE TO DRINK. Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc. So far we have TWO out of TWO BARRIERS boasting Technology to make Recycled Sewage SAFE TO DRINK ... but BOTH FALL SHORT of the mark when put to the test. That leaves the last of the trumps in Premier Bligh's hand - Advanced Oxidation. BARRIER FIVE — Disinfection and Advanced Oxidation: The QWC state that this process "removes any remaining microorganisms and destroys any remaining chemicals " Before examining this Process, let's just read the QWC's claim again - removes any remaining microorganisms. BUT ... BARRIER FOUR removes any remaining microorganisms - just read above. The QWC clearly states that after BARRIER FOUR there are NO REMAINING Microorganisms. How did microorganisms get to BARRIER FIVE if they were removed in BARRIER FOUR ??! This anomoly CLEARLY declares that BARRIER FOUR DOES NOT remove any remaining microorganisms but that it removes SOME microorganisms. Using the QWC's twist of language, we must assume that BARRIER FIVE also only removes SOME microorganisms and SOME Chemicals. Immediately, it becomes evident that the QWC's claim that Purified Recycled Water is Safe to Drink is not well-founded. It is not based on fact but fiction - they write what they think will support their claims ... not necessarily the truth. The truth about Disinfection and Advanced Oxidation is that these processes are inherent with uncertainties. Disinfection The QWC specifically mentions Chlorination as being the likely Chemical Disinfection Process Ultraviolet Irradiation is a much more expensive treatment - it is in use in Singapore but will not be used in SE Queensland, even though it is a more efficient form of Disinfection. Note: Ultraviolet Irradiation is also used in removing pathogens (disease-carrying microbes) from the air. Even though the same volume of air passes through the treatment TWELVE TIMES AN HOUR the maximum level of removal is claimed at 99% - how efficient would the Treatment be for a Single Pass with a greater level of contamination ? (Incidentally, the samples of "Recycled Purified Water" that are handed out in the QWC's Recycled Water Promotions have been bottles from Singapore - Recycled Water produced under different conditions to that which are proposed for SE Queensland.) The Problem with Disinfection of Recycled Wastewater and quite specifically Chlorination is that the process can produce By-Products, some (or many) of which may prove to be harmful. "Wastewater contains many contaminants not found in rainwater, especially relatively higher concentrations of nitrogen compounds believed to be precursors to the formation of NDMA. The likelihood for a host of unwanted and unexpected disinfection by-products, especially trihalao-methanes and haloacetic acids, to be formed when Chlorination is used to disinfect treated wastewater is certainly high. Some of these halogenated disinfection byproducts are carcinogenic in animals and are therefore possible human carcinogens, but along these lines there is a another great concern—the formation of NDMA" from Water Recycling in Australia 2004. Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc. Why is there concern about NDMA ? "N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a member of a family of extremely potent carcinogens, the N-nitrosamines. Current concern focuses on NDMA as a drinking water contaminant resulting from reactions occurring during chlorination or via direct industrial contamination. Because of relatively high concentrations of NDMA formed during wastewater chlorination, the intentional and unintentional reuse of municipal wastewater is a particularly important area of concern " N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) as a Drinking Water Contaminant: A Review William A. Mitch, Jonathan O. Sharp, R Rhodes Trussell, Richard L. Valentine, Lisa Alvarez-Cohen & David Sedlak Yale University (New Haven), University of California (Berkeley, University of Iowa Iowa City) Treatment... As a small, uncharged molecule, NDMA is poorly removed via reverse osmosis membranes ... NDMA sorbs poorly to soil, activated carbon, and other sorbents ....Currently, the most commonly applied aqueous NDMA treatment is photolysis by ultraviolet (UV) radiation , the UV dosage required... is approximately 10 times higher than that required for equivalent virus removal (UV treatment for disinfection) Because UV photolysis may not destroy NDMA precursors, some have suggested that reformation of NDMA may occur within drinking water distribution systems if chlorination is performed after the UV treatment (Jobb et a I., 1994) Addition of hydrogen peroxide to generate hydroxyl radical for NDMA oxidation does not significantly increase NDMA destruction efficiency (Jobb et a I., 1994; Liang, 2002) " N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) as a Drinking Water Contaminant: A Review William A. Mitch, Jonathan O. Sharp, R Rhodes Trussell, Richard L. Valentine,relating to the Lisa Alvarez-Cohen & David Sedlak Yale University (New Haven), University of California (Berkeley, University of Iowa Iowa City) "N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) was not detected when the limit of detection was 1000 parts per trillion (ppt), but that detection limit has been reduced to 1 ppt. It and its precursors have been identified in raw sewage, its origins being a chloramination by-product of disinfection, chemicals used in root control incursions into sewer pipes, or possibly from trade wastes from metal treatments used in the manufacture of circuit boards." from Water Recycling in Australia 2004. Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering These references indicate several areas of concern, with probably the most severe being the source water undergoing treatment - the words "Wastewater" and "Sewage" feature strongly The contaminants and the chemical substances (precursors) which have the ability to form contaminants have been stated to be poorly removed via Reverse Osmosis and so they enter the sphere of Disinfection where they can form any number of substances due to the spectrum of unknown substances in Wastewater that are not removed by BARRIER FOUR. Any suggestion that the Advanced Oxidation Process will remove such substances is also dismissed by the statement that generating hydroxyl radical for NDMA oxidation does not significantly increase NDMA destruction efficiency (Jobb eta/., 1994; Liang, 2002). The references to NDMA above should be considered as being a good illustration that the Disinfection Process is not a BARRIER AGAINST Contaminants, but also a BARRIER that can PRODUCE Contaminants in the form of Disinfection By-Products. These are limited only by the substances in the Recycled Water Matrix and have the possibility to produce hereto unknown harmful substances which may have serious health effects through long-term ingestion. The fact that they are unknown is a dilemma in itself as there is no way of testing for them. Please note: "NDMA was not noted until the detection limits were reduced to 1 ppt (one part per trillion), which happened later in the 1990'$. The highly acclaimed 'Water Factory 21' 8 Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc of Orange County Water District (Southern California) since 1975 treating wastewater to drinking water standards and injecting it into the groundwater basin to create a freshwater pressure ridge preventing seawater intrusion into the groundwater basin, underwent testing using best practices during the early 1990's and showed no signs of NDMA. A great concern about the possible contamination of the aquifer (groundwater) led to developing better testing methods which reported levels of NDMA exceeding 20 ppt, the reportable limit set in the case of drinking water. The treated water from Water Factory 21 was discovered to contain substantial amounts of NDMA (up to 400 ppt). Two drinking water wells near the seawater intrusion barrier were taken out of service while the problem was addressed" (C.K. Davis 2006). If such a harmful substance went undetected for some 20 years, how many others are there that will remain undetected are how many new ones may emerge. Again let us reiterate that the Advanced Oxidation Process will not remove the problem, but may exacerbate it by increasing the range and number of emerging Contaminants. Advanced Oxidation The name conjures up the impression of "advanced technology" which it is not. Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) are 2-stage processes : Stage 1 - involves the formation of strong oxidants (hydroxyl radicals) Stage 2 - involves the reaction of these oxidants with organic contaminants in water. The name ADVANCED OXIDATION merely refers to the 2nd Stage Reactions. Both these chemical processes are non-selective and may be impacted by the presence of organic and inorganic substances which react with the oxidizing agent in place of target contaminants, making their effectiveness questionable, especially in relation to the water quality matrix of the influent water that must be treated. The in-line effect of using BARRIERS TWO, THREE and FOUR to provide treated effluent with a constant quality matrix is not achieved - refer previous pages. The design of the Advanced Oxidation Process therefore, can only be based on an estimation of the quality of treated effluent that it will be required to process. The chemical dosages in this estimation would then have to be increased to allow for variance in the quality of product being treated. The limit of the higher dosage of treatment chemicals and/or the increase in energy (in the case of UV light irradiation) may be subject to economic constraints. In this situation, not only would there be a discharge of oxidation by-products, but also excess hydroxvl radicals which may form substances of unknown toxicity, either before or after they pass into the next two barriers. "There are many water quality parameters that may impact the effectiveness of any particular AOP (Advanced Oxidation Process). For example, nearly all dissolved organic compounds present in the source water will serve to reduce the removal efficiency of the target compound by consuming hydroxyl radicals (Hoigne 1998)." The above is from a Report prepared for The California MTBE Research Partnership, dated February 2000 — and is contained in Section "3.0 ADVANCED OXIDATION PROCESSES"by : Sunil Kommenini, Ph.D., Jeffrey Zoeckler, Andrew Stocking, P.E., Sun Liang, Ph.D., Amparo Flores, Michael Kavanaugh, Ph.D., P.E. (Literature Review) Rey Rodriguez, Tom Browne, Ph.D., P.E., Ruth Roberts, Ph./D., Anthony Brown, Andrew Stocking, P.E. (Technology Cost Estimates) Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc. This document also states that "the production of oxidation by-products is a general disadvantage of AOPs. The reaction between hydroxyl radicals and many organic contaminants occurs rapidly; however, this reaction by itself does not mineralize these contaminants, but produces Organic Oxidation By-products , which further react with the hydroxyl radical". "The type of by-products that may be produced by incomplete mineralization of organic contaminants and NOM (natural organic material) includes : short-chained carboxylic acids, alcohols, aldehydes, and acetone (Hoigne 1998)." "These compounds represent a source of concern in drinking water applications due to their high solubility and uncertain toxicity. In addition, the presence of these more easily degradable compounds can promote biological growth and fouling in the distribution system." The comments by the six Scientists who prepared the Report in 2000 have been reiterated here, in Queensland in 2005 by the EPA (Queensland Government), as follows : "There are many oxidation processes ... the most commonly used is ozonation. ... ...A disadvantage of ozonation is that it produces small quantities of disinfection byproducts that may be hazardous to human health when ingested or inhaled in sufficient quantities. In addition, ozone gas is extremely toxic so ozone generating facilities must be managed in accordance with appropriate workplace health and safety provisions. If ozone-treated recycled water has a significant amount of residence time in pipes, it is also likely to require a chlorine residual to prevent microbial regrowth." Queensland Water Recycling Guidelines December 2005 - Queensland Government, Environment Protection Agency To say, with any certainty, that the treated effluent and wastewater which the Queensland Water Commission calls "Purified Recycled Water' after it emerges from BARRIER FIVE, IS SAFE to add to our drinking water sources, is to avoid a great amount of scientific evidence that shows otherwise. There is a far greater certainty to state that - IT IS NOT SAFE TO DRINK. So far, we have seen that BARRIER ONE is a COMMENT, Not a PROCESS and it contradicts the entire claim of being able to remove all contaminants. The Chemical and Technological Processes of BARRIERS TWO, THREE, FOUR and FIVE are not only Inefficient in this Application THEY ADD TO THE CONCERNS with the production of By-Products of unknown toxicity. BARRIER SIX — Natural Environment: The QWC states "After purified recycled water has been produced it is blended into an environmental buffer such as a dam, river, or underground aquifer. This environmental buffer allows the purified recycled water to mix with the natural water in the catchment, providing separation between the water recycling process and the normal drinking water treatment process." How this "separation between the water recycling process and the normal drinking water treatment process" can be claimed to be a BARRIER is unspecified. But WHY it is claimed to be a BARRIER is very IMPORTANT. The QWC claims it has a Seven Barrier Process, so each "Barrier" must be deemed to have a "Function" in the removal process of Contaminants. Therefore, having a BARRIER SIX indicates that BARRIERS ONE to FIVE do not fully accomplish the removal of all contaminants. 10 Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc. This has been established by the discussions on these Barriers above and is now confirmed, albeit in a rather back-handed manner, by the QWC. A possible function of BARRIER SIX may have relevance as follows : Contaminants of concern get through and/or are formed within the Processes of the System and are passed out into the "Natural Environment" Barrier. The spreading of purified recycled water over the surface of a dam (e.g. Wivenhoe) exposes it to UV in sunlight and may a last-ditch effort to reduce the contaminants that either come through the Barriers intact, or are formed during the processes used. In the dam water these contaminants and toxicants either retain their composition (if they are stable chemical compounds) or if they have been destabilised during the oxidation phase, form new compounds or are in an unstable state and ready to react with a receptor which this leads to its own area of concern. "Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) comprise large, diverse arrays of chemicals that can occur in the environment as unregulated pollutants." "These diverse galaxies of chemicals comprise potentially thousands of distinct parent structures, which can gain entry to the environment merely by consumer end use (such as excretion and bathing) and by disposal of unwanted or expired materials to waste drains. The numbers of these chemical entities are then susceptible to amplification simply by the action of biological transformation processes, which can create cascades of other modified structures, some of which harbour biological activity of their own." "Less appreciated, however, is that many also possess promiscuous potential for interacting with a wide range of as-yet unidentified receptors. A number of little-discussed toxicological factors further complicates a realistic assessment of hazard (Daughton 2004b)" Christian Daughton Ph.D., Chief—Environment Chemistry Branch Environmental Sciences Division, Office of Research and Development U.S. Environmental Protection Authority, Las Vegas, Nevada. So is BARRIER SIX a functioning part of the Recycled Sewage purifying process, or is it a breeding ground for chemical substances which may include toxicants that are neither know, nor will they be tested for - they may only manifest their presence in due course through "ill-health effects" suffered by Consumers. Another interesting thought - what if the warning in Barrier Two affected Wivenhoe Dam ?? "Although algal blooms can occur in many different kinds of water body, elevated nutrient levels in recycled water storages may make blooms more likely." Queensland Water Recycling Guidelines December 2005 BARRIER SEVEN - Water Treatment Plant: The QWC gives a more detailed explanation of this Barrier than the others - Water extracted from dams or rivers is treated at a drinking water treatment plant prior to consumption. The drinking water treatment process in South East Queensland usually involves a combination of flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection. The treatment can be supplemented with ozonation and granular activated carbon (which absorbs any remaining chemicals). The primary objective of treating drinking water is to remove pathogens that are introduced from surface run-off and may cause infections. The most common methods to remove microorganisms in the water supply are filtration, oxidation with chemicals such as chlorine, or treatment with ultra-violet (UV) radiation. The secondary objective of drinking water treatment is to improve the aesthetic quality of the water including the colour, taste and odour that may be due to iron, manganese, algae and organic matter from the catchment. 11 Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc. A chlorine residual is added to the water before distribution to prevent the regrowth of microorganisms BARRIER SEVEN contradicts the claim that all harmful substances are removed by the multi-barrier process (Barriers 2—5). If the Purified Recycled Water is of such high quality, why is it mixed with lesser quality water and then treated ? The Water Treatment Plant has been designed to treat natural water from catchments—NOT water containing : - additional Totally Dissolved Salts, - Heavy Metal Toxicants, - Endocrine Disrupting Hormones, - Concentrations of Stable Organic and Inorganic Substances, - Emerging Contaminants from Personal Care Products and Pharmaceuticals, Household Chemicals and Detergents. ... together with Disinfection and Oxidation By-products and other toxicants which may emerge from the non-selective chemical reactions in BARRIERS FIVE and SIX. The Water Treatment Plant is also a source of non-selective reactions. So BARRIERS FIVE, SIX and SEVEN present as areas promoting a multiplying effect on the possible production of harmful substances. < BARRIER SEVEN is not only a contradiction, but an area of concern—it DOES NOT SUPPORT the claim that Purified Recycled Water is Safe To Drink. THIS VIEW is supported by documented statements such as those in the Introductory Report of 2002 in respect of the California Water Plan, the 2005 Update of the California Water Plan and in the following : "Several water quality factors are commonly referred to, in Australia and overseas, as areas of particular concern : * microbiological quality / disease-causing organisms * total mineral content (e.g./ total dissolved solids and salts), * presence of toxicants of the heavy metal type * Pharmaceuticals, radionuclides and * the concentration of stable organic substances, pesticides, hormone-affecting and cancer-causing compounds excreted into the sewerage system." Research Brief no. 2, 2005-O6, ISSN 1832-2883 Dated 16 August 2005 - Parliamentary Library of the Parliament of Australia "Four water quality factors are of particular concern : (1) microbiological quality, (2) total mineral content (e.g./ total dissolved solids), (3) presence of toxicants of the heavy metal type, and (4) the concentration of stable organic substances. Particularly for the last two categories, recent studies in environmental toxicology and pharmacology have revealed potential longterm health risks associated with chemical compounds such as disinfection by-products(DBPs) such as N-nitrosodimethyl amine (NDMA), pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs), pesticides, and personal care products (PCP's) at low concentrations (orders of ppb and ppt). These trace organic compounds along with some inorganic compounds such as arsenic and hexavalent chromium found in recycled water are of special concern for human and ecological health risk. In addition there are growing concerns with those trace contaminants in recycled water, which were coincided with increasingly sensitive detection techniques that enabled detection of extremely low contaminant concentration." Introductory Report of 2002 - Cofffornia Recycle Water Task Force Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc. The SEVEN BARRIER PROCESS - Verdict The QUEENSLAND WATER COMMISSION and PREMIER ANNA BLIGH have promoted the SEVEN BARRIER PROCESS as the reason for their claim that "Recycled Purified Water is SAFE TO DRINK". How much of that do you believe now ... now that you have seen how each one of the BARRIERS is either a contradiction to their claim, or is compromised to the extent that it refutes the claim outright ? In fact ... how many of the BARRIERS ACTUALLY ADD TO THE PROBLEMS with their ability to increase the amount of contaminants and toxicants to the Drinking Water Supply ?? To give an opinion, based on what has been presented here, one would surely have to say that the integrity of the SEVEN BARRIER PROCESS is severely flawed in this application. As a result of this, surely the integrity of the QUEENSLAND WATER COMMISSION and PREMIER ANNA BLIGH should be questioned. In the light of so much evidence (easily sourced on the World Wide Web) how could it be ignored and the health of some 2.7 million people put at risk ... no matter how small ? There is another compounding factor to these considerations - FLUORIDATION. From all that has been discussed in respect of removing TOXIC SUBSTANCES from Recycled Sewage, Premier Bligh is now ADDING INDUSTRIAL TOXIC WASTE to it before delivering this "Cocktail" to the people of SE Queensland. HOW DANGEROUS DOES SHE WANT THE DRINKING WATER TO BE ? So, how do we STOP Recycled Sewage from being added to our Drinking Water ? You can see that the arguments for Purified Recycled Water being Safe are totally FLAWED. You can argue on those grounds that the claim that It IS SAFE is a LIE. You can do whatever you like AGAINST Recycled Sewage going into Drinking Water ... And You will still GET IT. WHY ? Because Premier Bligh says you WILL ! WHY ? Because Premier Bligh believes she has the RIGHT ! The ONLY WAY to STOP Recycled Sewage from being added to our Drinking Water... and ... Stop Fluoridation at the same time ... IS TO CHALLENGE PREMIER BLIGH'S RIGHT TO ENFORCE THESE THINGS. If you believe that you live in a Democratic Queensland and that you can use the arguments stated in this document to challenge the Addition of Recycled Sewage to Drinking Water Supplies, then it's time to tell you to Wake Up. On 15 March 2008 elections were held to produce Amalgamated Councils. Prior to this date, there were Plebiscites (Referenda) held in 85 Shires/Councils which resulted in a resounding NO AMALGAMATIONS Vote (77% against). Premier Bligh said it wouldn't matter, the Amalgamations would go ahead ... and they did. 13 Australian Business & People's Alliance Council inc. This is no longer a Democracy - there is proof in Legislation to that effect - so the sooner we stand together and challenge Premier Bligh's right to dictate to us the sooner we will stop the Recycled Sewage issue and the Fluoridation issue. As a Community, we should also be able to bring accountability back into positions of Public Trust and remove the right of a Premier to claim indemnity from same as shown by Premier Peter Beattie when he publicly declared "I am not accountable". It is time to unite on One Platform to reinstate a Democracy in Queensland. AND That Time is NOW ... before One Drop of Recycled Sewage is dumped into Our Drinking Water Join ABPAC and take the fight up to the Premier ! Australian Business & People's Alliance Council Inc. Incorporated Association No. IA35600 Mail to : P 0 BOX 8357 SUNNYBANK Qld 4109 E-mail : abba pl@tpg.com.au Fax : 07 - 3423 8755 Phone : 0409 076 063 Membership of ABPAC costs only $5 a year, or you may prefer to join on a fully paid up basis for $100. ABPAC will be ongoing to monitor our Community well-being and support such causes as the Members consider important. ABPAC is a non-profit organisation and money raised that is not used to support a cause will be donated to such charities as the Members may consider appropriate. NOTE : It is important that you maintain your presence in your current organisation and that your organisation keeps on doing what it feels it must do to register dissent to the Premier's insidious plans to add Recycled Sewage and Fluoride to Drinking Water. Becoming a Member of ABPAC means that you will be on the same platform as other Queenslanders and when the time comes, we will all stand up together, for Our Rights. Alik Gura Vice Chairman ABPAC - Australian Business and People's Alliance Council Inc. In Melbourne water is not used for recycling recycled water Why recycle our water? Water recycling can include: · Recycling treated effluent from our sewage treatment plants · Greywater (water from our laundries and bathrooms) recycling · Stormwater recycling In Melbourne, we use over 400,000 million litres of high quality drinking water each year. At home, a lot of this water is used for activities that do not need high quality drinking water. Using recycled water instead of drinking water for activities like flushing the toilet, means that there is less strain on our precious drinking water supplies. It also means we make use of treated effluent, a resource from our sewage treatment plants. How safe is recycled water? Recycled water can be used to irrigate open spaces Class A recycled water is safe for most uses except for drinking, cooking and swimming. There are many guidelines on what recycled water can be used for and how it needs to be controlled, depending on its quality. These guidelines are to protect us and the environment. People who use recycled water must monitor and report their use regularly to ensure all standards are met. We currently supply Class A recycled water from our sewage treatment plants according to government guidelines. These guidelines are in line with what is currently practiced in other states and overseas. How can recycled water be used? Vegetables Recycled water can be used for just about anything, as long as it has been treated to the right level. The right level of treatment would depend on how the water will be used. For example, will recycled water be used to water fruit orchards, parks and gardens? Or, will it be used to cool power stations? The most common uses for recycled water include: · Irrigating farms and market gardens · watering parks, gardens, golf courses · industrial processes in factories · toilet flushing · washing and cooling in power stations and mills. Other possible uses include: · fire fighting · council sportgrounds and new housing estates · topping up wetlands and maintaining river flow It is now also possible to produce safe drinking water from sewage. In several countries sewage is recycled to drinking water (potable) quality (e.g. Orange County, California, USA and Singapore). This does not occur in Australia. However, some local councils with severe water shortages are considering this option. What is recycled water?
Recycled water is water taken from any waste stream and treated to a high standard so it can be used for a new activity. On this website, ‘recycled water’ generally refers to fully treated effluent from sewage treatment plants. Recycled water is a secure alternative water source that, when treated as required, is fit for a range of purposes, such as: agricultural irrigation industrial processing such as for cooling municipal uses such as watering parks and gardens domestic uses such as toilet flushing, car washing, and garden watering. Melbourne Water's role
We produce recycled water from our two sewage treatment plants, the Western Treatment Plant at Werribee and the Eastern Treatment Plant at Bangholme. Recycled water from the two plants is either used onsite or sold to recycled water retailers. These companies then distribute and supply recycled water directly to individual users. For information on other water supplies such as stormwater, greywater and industrial water recycling and reuse see: Other water supplies For information on how to access recycled water see: Recycled water suppliers How much water is recycled?
In 2009/10 Melbourne Water and the retail water businesses supplied about 63,330 million litres of recycled water for a range of activities such as the irrigation of agriculture, vineyards, market gardens, conservation areas, dual pipe (or third pipe) schemes and golf courses. This represents 21.4% of the total amount of sewage treated in metropolitan Melbourne, exceeding the Victorian Government’s recycling target of 20% by 2010. As the largest producer of recycled water, Melbourne Water contributed about 57,618 million litres of recycled water, which equates to 19.5% of sewage treated in Melbourne. We are also working with the metropolitan water retailers to develop additional recycling projects for activities that do not require drinking quality water. For example, in Melbourne’s east there are several schemes that have approval (or approval in principle) to deliver an expected 9 billion litres of additional recycled water per year. A range of other projects are being investigated that could increase offsite recycling by a further 20 billion litres annually. Why recycled water?
Water recycling is supported by the Victorian Government to provide long-term solutions to secure our water supplies. Melburnians use around 400 billion litres of drinking water a year for a range of purposes. Many of these uses, such as toilet flushing and irrigation, do not require drinking quality water. These activities can potentially use alternative water sources, if available. Recycled water has been used in Australia and other parts of the world for many years. Places such as Singapore, California, Florida, United Arab Emirates and Israel use recycled water as a key part of improving the security of future water supplies. More information:

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