Abstract

Greywater is an important non-conventional water resource which can be treated and recycled in buildings. A decentralized greywater recycling system for 223 inhabitants started operating in 2006 in Berlin, Germany. High load greywater undergoes advanced treatment in a multistage moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) followed by sand filtration and UV disinfection. The treated water is used safely as service water for toilet flushing. Monitoring of the organic matter degradation was pursued to describe the degradation processes in each stage and optimize the system. Results showed that organic matter reduction was achieved for the most part in the first three reactors, whereas the highest reduction rate was observed in the third reactor in terms of COD (chemical oxygen demand), dissolved organic carbon and BOD7 (biological oxygen demand). The results also showed that the average loading rate entering the system was 3.7 kg COD/d, while the removal rate was 3.4 kg COD/d in a total bioreactor volume of 11.7 m³. In terms of BOD, the loading rate was 2.8 kg BOD/d and it was almost totally removed. This system requires little space (0.15 m²/person) and maintenance work of less than one hour per month and it shows operational stability under peak loads.

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