How Much Does Trace Organic Contaminant Removal Cost in Water Reclamation?


  • B. D. Stanford, A. Reinert - Hazen and Sawyer
  • J. Debroux, M. Plumlee - Kennedy/Jenks
  • S. Snyder - University of Arizona

The WateReuse Research Foundation project 08-05 (“Use of Ozone in Water Reclamation for Contaminant Oxidation“) investigated the oxidation of trace organic contaminants (TOrCs) in wastewater treatment and water reuse systems. TOrCs were grouped according to reactivity with ozone (from easily oxidizable to recalcitrant) in order to assess the efficacy of various ozone doses toward TOrC oxidation and specific dose-response relationships were determined.

Once ozone dose-water quality relationships were established for each group of contaminants, Class 4 (i.e. conceptual level) cost estimates (AACE, 2011) were developed to support the TOrC oxidation data analysis and to provide a means for contextualizing options for treatment facilities in terms of capital costs and operations and maintenance costs. Conceptual level costs are defined as being accurate to -30% and +50% of actual costs and can be estimated when ~1% of design is completed, which is appropriate for this research project. The approach developed by the cost estimating team is summarized as follows:

- Choose unit processes that support the scope of the study

- Develop capital cost estimates for select, key unit processes based on literature and project reviews, as well as vendor interviews, updating costs to 2011 based on inflation and market changes

- Determine a relative cost estimate for support unit processes

- Apply one of three modularity curves to each unit process estimated cost to account for variability of per gallon costs associated with unit process capacity

- Use ozone bench and pilot scale project results (i.e. dosing for desired contaminant oxidation) to estimate operations and maintenance costs associated with unit processes

- Develop a template that a user can choose to estimate the capital and O&M cost for a group of specific unit processes at a specific flow capacity

This approach allows decision makers to choose several unit processes that would achieve the water quality goals of preliminary design and determine their collective capital and O&M Class 4 estimated costs. Through this process, a utility could compare the estimated costs associated with different technologies that achieve similar water quality objectives. This presentation will highlight the cost curves and decision making support process developed by the research team, will present the cost curves for various advanced water reuse technologies, and will provide examples of costs for utilities with various water qualities and wishing to achieve varying levels of TOrC treatment.

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