Quantification and characterization of greywater from schools

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Survey of schools of different education levels (primary, intermediate and secondary) in Kuwait showed an average greywater generation rate of 7.3 L/p/d and varied in the range of 2.9–16 l/p/d, reflecting the school level of education (i.e. student age). The highest rates were observed for primary schools while the lowest rates were observed in secondary schools where students are more mature and use the water more wisely. The greywater characteristics indicated waste with low chemical oxygen demand (COD) and 5-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) values but relatively high solids, conductivity, and sodium content due to excessive use of hand soap. Total coliform values ranged between 89 and 352 most probable number (MPN)/mL with an average of 196 MPN/mL while no fecal coliform values were detected. Greywater collected from schools is classified as light greywater and contains much lower levels of organic matter and nutrients compared to residential greywater and domestic wastewater. It is suitable for non-potable reuse after minimal treatment since microbial contamination may pose a serious threat to health if greywater comes into contact with humans. It also provides a good opportunity for reuse in toilet flushing since it can be easily collected from wash sinks and fountains, as major sources, and recycled.

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