Effect of heavy metals in recycled water used for household laundry on quality of cloth and washing machine

Taylor and Francis Inc.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Desalination and Water Treatment, 2015, 54 (1), pp. 178 - 190
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Recycled water for washing clothes saves significant amount of potable water and hence has a great potential for sustainable urban-water management. To date, there has been no official acceptance and very rare practice of use of recycled water for household laundry. This study investigates the effects of critical heavy metals (Pb, Mn, Fe, Cu and Zn) on cloth quality and corrosive/scaling of washing machine to evaluate the feasibility of using recycled water for household laundry. The experimental data can be used for future recycled-water-quality guidelines. Five representative cloth materials namely polyester, satin, polycotton, denim and organic cotton were selected for washing in tap water and synthetic recycled water which contained different concentrations of heavy metals. Cloth durability, surface morphology and textile colour of washed cloth samples were measured to investigate the effects of heavy metals on quality of fabric. Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) was used as the indicator for predicting corrosive/scaling effects on washing machine. The results indicated that quality of fabrics after 50 wash cycles was found to have no change by recycled water when concentration of Pb and Mn < 0.5 mg/L, Fe < 1 mg/L, Cu < 5 mg/L and Zn < 30 mg/L. Lower than the above values, the LSI indicated that recycled water would not lead to any negative impact on washing machine.
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