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Characteristics and treatment of greywater—a review

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Abstract

Safe and sufficient quantity of water is necessary for a healthy growth of human beings. The gap between water demand and available water supply is increasing day by day. Proper sanitation, especially decentralized approach, can solve the problem of water supply and wastewater management and that can be done by reuse of greywater. Typically, from a household, greywater (GW) flow is around 65 % of the total wastewater flow. Further light greywater is around 50 % of the total GW. Hence, GW has a high potential for recycle and reuse. The aim of this article is to reveal the present state of art in GW treatment and to identify the further scope for research. Present article contains a review on per capita GW generation, GW characteristics, and its treatment. Around 22 treatment systems comprising different treatment processes are discussed in detail for removal efficiency of pollutants, effluent concentrations and their compliance with wastewater reuse guidelines and standards. Constructed wetland and filtration were found efficient in the removal of most of the reuse parameters compared to other technologies. Anaerobic followed by aerobic system with post-disinfection unit may be a sustainable option for GW treatment for reuse. There is a need to develop the technologies for GW treatment at household level to increase the reuse practises at grass root level. Further, there is need of development of flow diagram with different technologies by targeting the type of reuse (flushing, gardening, agriculture, etc.).

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Abbreviations

BOD:

Biochemical oxygen demand (5 day)

BW:

Black water

COD:

Chemical oxygen demand

CGW:

Combined greywater

E. coli :

Escherichia coli

GW:

Greywater

GWTP:

Greywater treatment plant

HIC:

High-income country

HRT:

Hydraulic retention time

LIC:

Low-income country

Lpcd:

Litre/capita/day

MBAS:

Methylene blue active substance

Qg:

Quantity of greywater flow

TDS:

Total dissolved solids

Tot.:

Total

TP:

Treatment plant

TS:

Total solids

TSS:

Total suspended solids

WW:

Wastewater

WWTP:

Wastewater treatment plant

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank Dr. M. Mansoor Ahammed for his technical guidance and Ramchandra Joshi for his language support in this paper.

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Correspondence to Dilip M. Ghaitidak.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Ghaitidak, D.M., Yadav, K.D. Characteristics and treatment of greywater—a review. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20, 2795–2809 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-013-1533-0

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