Potable Water pp 153-179 | Cite as

Municipal Wastewater: A Rediscovered Resource for Sustainable Water Reuse

  • Gayathri Ram MohanEmail author
  • Thomas F. Speth
  • Daniel Murray
  • Jay L. Garland
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 30)


Both population growth and movement put forth the need for increased regional water supplies across the globe. While significant progress has been made in the area of building new infrastructure to capture freshwater and divert it to urban and rural areas, there exists a considerable difference in the supply and demand of high-quality water. The cost and non-sustainability of diverting ever increasing volumes of water to stressed areas have become difficult to justify. Therefore, a key step in finding a solution to it is to identify alternate water resources. Given that approximately 45 million cubic meters of municipal wastewater is discharged every day in the United States, researchers and water industry planners have identified municipal wastewater as a viable source for water reuse. Given this potential source, an appraisal of the varying qualities and characteristics of municipal wastewater affecting water reuse is made. This is followed by a discussion on different sectors such as urban, agriculture, and industry that are potential consumers of reclaimed water. The conventional and advanced treatment technologies used to treat municipal wastewater to meet reuse standards are then evaluated; and a number of case studies demonstrating water reuse schemes in different parts of the world are described in brief.


Water stress Wastewater reuse Water quality Municipal wastewater Membrane bioreactors 



The views expressed in this chapter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The chapter has been reviewed in accordance with EPA policy and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gayathri Ram Mohan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas F. Speth
    • 1
  • Daniel Murray
    • 1
  • Jay L. Garland
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyCincinnatiUSA

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