Presence of selected priority and personal care substances in an onsite bathroom greywater treatment facility

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

In recent years, concerns about climate change and the inefficient use and ongoing pollution of water resources have increased the political motivation to encourage water recycling. This has led to the widespread introduction of water saving measures and to advances in the decentralised treatment and reuse of wastewater. In particular, the treatment and reuse of greywater has received attention, although important information such as greywater substance loadings is still only rarely available. With the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive the focus on controlling and phasing-out Priority/Priority Hazardous Substances (PS/PHS) is growing, and it is vital to know their sources and flows in order to generate sustainable emission control strategies. The main objective of this study was to quantify the concentrations and loads of PS/PHS and personal care substances in bathroom greywater, and to thereby assess the contribution of household activities to municipal wastewater loads for these substances. Nickel and mercury may be sourced substantially from household activities as it shown in the paper that bathroom greywater contributed a significant proportion of the overall load of these substances at the municipal wastewater treatment plant. Organic matter in the influent greywater was found to be principally associated with large particles (>8 μm), however it was the dissolved and small sized particles that were predominantly removed in the treatment.

Keywords: domestic sources, grey wastewater, personal care products, priority substances, substance loads

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