Secondary effluent reclamation and reuse has been considered as an alternative for agricultural irrigation water. Whilst all constituents in the reclaimed wastewater could affect plant growth and soil characteristics, the most important parameters for agricultural irrigation are salinity and SAR (Sodium Adsorption Ratio). Salinity affects the availability of crop water and sodium causes clay soils to disperse. Membrane technologies, especially NF (Nano-Filtration) and RO (Reverse Osmosis), have played in a key role reclaiming the secondary effluent. RO can remove monovalent and divalent cations simultaneously. However NF processes reject preferably divalent cations and most monovalent ions are allowed to pass through the NF membranes. This could make them have different SAR values for both NF and RO processes. Therefore the primary objective of this study is to examine if the SAR values of the reclaimed water could be changed while they undergo NF and RO processes. The measured SAR values of the secondary effluent, NF permeate, and RO permeate were 1.78, 4.67, and 0.72 respectively. The SAR value after NF (=4.67) increased to more than twice that of the feed solution, whereas the SAR of the RO permeate decreased to 0.72. In general, the higher SAR the water has, the greater risk the soils have. Although the SAR value after NF was within the safe range, this increased SAR value will affect permeability of soil, thus limiting the reclaimed wastewater use for as agricultural irrigation water. Consequently, when the NF system is used for the reclamation of the secondary effluent, SAR has to be examined first because potentially it tends to increase the SAR value.
Comparison of SAR (sodium adsorption ratio) between RO and NF processes for the reclamation of secondary effluent
I.-S. Chang, E.-W. Lee, S. Oh, Y. Kim; Comparison of SAR (sodium adsorption ratio) between RO and NF processes for the reclamation of secondary effluent. Water Sci Technol 1 March 2005; 51 (6-7): 313–318. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2005.0651
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