Project #1669

Fit for Purpose Water: The Cost of "Over-Treating" Reclaimed and other Water

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Mr. Justin Mattingly
Utility Management
Advanced Treatment


Selecting the appropriate treatment technology and level of treatment for wastewater can be a complex decision dependent on numerous factors, such as regulations, effluent water quality, end uses of the treated water, and public perception. Recent experiences within the water reuse industry have demonstrated that reuse decisions are unduly influenced by perceptions that advanced treatment technologies are synonymous with better treatment. This is due in part to a lack of understanding of the full financial, environmental, and social factors related to the treatment technology. It is the goal of this project to provide clarification for decision makers by quantifying the cost of the overtreatment of wastewater. The overall objective of this project was to develop and apply a Triple Bottom Line (TBL) framework to help guide sound selection of an appropriate water reuse treatment process. In addition, this project aims to match the level of treatment to its intended use without expending unnecessary funds or energy, while minimizing other environmental and social costs.

Originally funded as WERF project Reuse-10-01.