Reuse water treatment generally consists of advanced treatment of conventional wastewater treatment plant effluent via physical and chemical processes, depending upon the reuse water application. In some cases, the reuse water treatment is integrated into the conventional wastewater treatment to provide a higher quality effluent, such as in membrane bioreactor (MBR) applications for non-potable reuse. For indirect or direct potable reuse, the reuse water reaches purified status. The higher the water quality required for the specific use, the more the energy consumption and GHG emissions will be required.

Reuse Water Treatment energy and GHG emissions can also be affected by some of the other stages in the urban water cycle, particularly wastewater treatment and end users. However, factors other than those within the individual urban water stages can impact this stage’s energy consumption and GHG emissions. These other factors include the following:

  • Treatment technology selection and efficiency.
  • Pumping efficiency / operation.
  • Energy source (renewable, fossil fuels, grid energy mix).


Impacted by: Impacts:
Wastewater Treatment

Recycled water treatment can be impacted by wastewater treatment because the amount of wastewater to be recycled will depend on the amount of wastewater generated. The recycled water treatment system design and energy consumption is generally influenced by the amount and quality of source water available from wastewater treatment plant effluents.

Reuse Water Distribution

The capacity and location of the reuse water treatment facility impacts the pumping requirements of the distribution system.

End users

Depending upon the recycled water demand (quantity and water quality) by the end users, the level of treatment required will be defined and, hence, the related energy and GHG emissions. The higher the water quality, the more energy intensive the treatment process becomes.

End users

Reuse water for usages such as irrigation, cleaning, toilet flushing or even drinking, depends on the level of treatment of the reuse water.

What can you do?

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