Multi-criteria analysis towards the new end use of recycled water for household laundry: A case study in Sydney

Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
The Science of the Total Environment, 2012, 438 pp. 59 - 65
Issue Date:
2012-01
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This paper aims to put forward several management alternatives regarding the application of recycled water for household laundry in Sydney. Based on different recycled water treatment techniques such as microfiltration (MF), granular activated carbon (GAC) or reverse osmosis (RO), and types of washing machines (WMs), five alternatives were proposed as follows: (1) do nothing scenario; (2) MF+existing WMs; (3) MF+newWMs; (4) MFâGAC+existing WMs; and (5) MFâRO+existing WMs. Accordingly, a comprehensive quantitative assessment on the trade-off among a variety of issues (e.g., engineering feasibility, initial cost, energy consumption, supply flexibility and water savings) was performed over the alternatives. This was achieved by a computer-based multi-criteria analysis (MCA) using the rank order weight generation together with preference ranking organization method for enrichment evaluation (PROMETHEE) outranking techniques. Particularly, the generated 10,000 combinations of weights via Monte Carlo simulation were able to significantly reduce the man-made errors of single fixed set of weights because of its objectivity and high efficiency. To illustrate the methodology, a case study on Rouse Hill Development Area (RHDA), Sydney, Australia was carried out afterwards. The study was concluded by highlighting the feasibility of using highly treated recycled water for existing and new washing machines. This could provide a powerful guidance for sustainable water reuse management in the long term. However, more detailed field trials and investigations are still needed to effectively understand, predict and manage the impact of selected recycled water for new end use alternatives.
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