Abstract

This paper presents the assessment of a planned scheme of indirect potable reuse (IPR) in the Vendée region of France in its potential risks for human health and ecosystems, and also in its overall environmental impacts. Methods of risk assessment (quantitative microbial and chemical risk assessment) and life cycle assessment (LCA) are used to characterize the risk associated with the use of reclaimed water for IPR, but also the environmental benefits compared with other options for additional drinking water supply. The LCA results show that IPR is competitive with other options of water supply in its energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions. Pathogens as the main health hazard are controlled effectively by existing and planned preventive measures. For chemicals the number of potentially relevant substances could be reduced substantially by the assessment. A demonstrator phase should now be implemented to validate the outcomes of this prospective assessment by improving data quality of the initial state and by monitoring effective impacts in an operating mode.

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