The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of nanofiltration (NF) and ozonation for indirect potable reuse in terms of pharmaceutical residuals. To simultaneously obtain a reasonable retentate volume for further treatment, the tests were performed at a high volume reduction factor (VRF) of 60. The feed to the pilot plant was the effluent from a BNR plant with a final process step of chemical precipitation and rapid sand filtration. Two tests were performed 1) nanofiltration of treated wastewater followed by ozonation and 2) ozonated treated wastewater as feed to NF. Of the 95 pharmaceuticals analysed, three were not removed to the quantification limit, oxazepam in the first test and glibenclamide and ketoprofen in the second. The water quality after the two processes was similar, with an overall removal of pharmaceutical residuals of 99%. There are two advantages of ozonated water as feed to NF—a higher specific flux of 35% and a potential removal of ozonation by-products. The retention of some pharmaceuticals by NF was lower than anticipated, the major removal occurring in the ozonation. A tighter NF or RO is required in order to achieve higher pharmaceutical retention for further treatment of the retentate.
Keywords: nanofiltration, ozonation, pharmaceutical residuals, wastewater reuse