Wastewater reclamation using discarded reverse osmosis membranes for reuse in irrigation in Djibouti, an arid country

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The purpose of this paper is to establish the feasibility of recovering discarded reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in order to reduce the salinity of domestic treated wastewater. This study shows that the reuse of RO membranes is of particular interest for arid countries having naturally high mineralized water such as Djibouti. The pilot desalination unit reduces the electrical conductivity, the turbidity and the total dissolved salt respectively at 75–85, 96.7 and 95.4%. The water produced with this desalination unit contains an average of 254 cfu/100 mL total coliforms and 87 cfu/100 mL fecal coliforms. This effluent meets the World Health Organization standards for treated wastewater reuse for agricultural purposes. The annual cost of the desalination unit was evaluated as US $/m3 0.82, indicating the relatively high cost of this process. Nevertheless, such processes are required to produce an effluent, with a high reuse potential.

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