Indirect potable reuse schemes are an important consideration in the sustainable management of scarce water resources. However, communities still hold real concerns about the potential health risks of micropullutants in recycled water entering their potable water supply. Microfiltration or ultrafiltration followed by reverse osmosis is currently the standard treatment technology for potable use of recycled water. Nevertheless, membranes are not 100% efficient in the removal of trace organic contaminants and the potential health risks of these micropullutants need to be assessed. The aim of this paper is to present a three-tiered approach for the preliminary assessment of micropullutants in recycled water. A risk quotient is calculated by comparing measured concentrations against benchmark values. Tier 1 corresponds to regulated chemicals; the maximum contaminant level in drinking water is used as benchmark value. Tier 2 corresponds to unregulated chemicals with toxicity information; slope factors or risk specific doses are used to calculate benchmark values. Tier 3 corresponds to unregulated chemicals without toxicity information. The “Threshold of Toxicological Concern” concept is used to calculate benchmark values. The characterization of chemicals of concern following reverse osmosis in a water reclamation plant and the application of the three-tiered approach for the evaluation of the potential health risks is presented.

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