Economic assessment of an integrated membrane system for secondary effluent polishing for unrestricted reuse

Amos Bick, Leonid Gillerman, Yossi Manor, Gideon Oron

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Scopus citations


    Extra treatment stages are required to polish the secondary effluent for unrestricted reuse, primarily for agricultural irrigation. Improved technology for the removal of particles, turbidity, bacteria and cysts, without the use of disinfectants is based on MicroFiltration (MF) and UltraFiltration (UF) membrane technology and in series with Reverse Osmosis (RO) for dissolved solids removal. Field experiments were conducted using a mobile UF and RO membrane pilot unit at a capacity of around 1.0 m3/hr. A management model was defined and tested towards optimal polishing of secondary effluent. The two major purposes of the management model are: (i) to delineate a methodology for economic assessment of optimal membrane technology implementation for secondary effluent upgrading for unrestricted use, and; (ii) to provide guidelines for optimal RO membrane selection in regards to the pretreatment stage. The defined linear model takes into account the costs of the feed secondary effluent, the UF pretreatment and the RO process. Technological constraints refer primarily to the longevity of the membrane and their performance. Final treatment cost (the objective function) includes investment, operation and maintenance expenses, UF pretreatment, RO treatment, post treatment and incentive for low salinity permeate use. The cost range of water for irrigation according to the model is between 15 and 42 US cents per m3.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)219-236
    Number of pages18
    JournalWater (Switzerland)
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 9 May 2012


    • Effluent
    • Management modeling
    • Membranes
    • Optimization
    • Renovation
    • Reverse-osmosis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Aquatic Science
    • Water Science and Technology


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