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Optimization of Various MBR Systems for Water Reclamation

Samer Adham, Ph.D. (MWH) - James F. DeCarolis (MWH) - William Pearce (City of San Diego)

Desalination and Water Purification Research and Development , Report No. 103

U.S. Department of the Interior
Bureau of Reclamation
Technical Service Center
Denver, Colorado


Wastewater reclamation is gaining popularity worldwide as a means of conserving natural
resources used for drinking water supply. The use of membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology, which combines conventional activated sludge treatment with low pressure membrane filtration, has been proven to be a feasible and efficient method of producing reclaimed water

The membrane component of the MBR process eliminates the need for a clarifier and is performed using low-pressure membranes such as microfiltration (MF) or ultrafiltration UF)

MBR technology offers several advantages to conventional wastewater treatment including reduced footprint, consistent and superior effluent water quality and ease of operation. For many areas, it is necessary to further treat reclaimed wastewater to reduce its inherent salinity making it useable for irrigation and industrial use

The superior effluent water quality of the MBR process makes it suitable for further treatment by reverse osmosis (RO) membranes as a final polishing step in reducing the salinity of reclaimed water

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