MBR Effluent with no color ! Possible ?


I need some suggestion on MBR effluent for reuse potential. The effluent water meets the EPA reuse Standards with turbidity <1 NTU. But the effluent is very light brown in color. Thus making it not usable for secondary water application (other than gardening). If I need to reuse it, the water should be aesthetically acceptable.

Any suggestions ? Activated carbon might help but it will increase the overall cost of the treatment unit.

The wastewater is from toilets and a coffee shop. Effluent WW characteristics are:

(mg/L) F. Coliform < 1.8 BOD <2 COD ~ 50 O&G 3 pH 7.5 TSS <5



Rick Wadley
Hello, We currently manufacture and operate MBR plants that produce clear treated effluent. This is a standard practice.
Shawn Seah
I suppose with no colour is a very vague statement. The turbidty and TSS generated are definitely much lower than normal treatment. More detials on the quality of water will be better for analysis. I only can think it is possible only after some settling time. Hope this helps. Regards, Shawn Seah
kanagaraj rajagopal
yes I had saw a researcher working with that using electrodes but it was not patterened till now so brief explanation can't be made
lyseconcept jean Marius

Paul Jacob: I think that you travel the wrong road. All the ALIVE one on ground is programmed as of the end of its existence to bedestroyed/transformed to make reappear the ALIVE one.
Thus nature closes the loop of the LIFE, that it is, the vegetalized organic matter that of human origin animal or the third which is food. This destruction/transformation devinet a fertilizer for the topsoil and all the vegetalized biodiversity.
The waste waters contain diffuse pollution that nobody nor no device some it is are not in measurement to eliminate it. There will remain always natural chemical molecules which will be fixed in blood and will be factors of epidemics of disease of handicap. To divert a natural functionas simple as the rain is to carry reached to a écosystem some share on ground.
Xavier Doló Masnou
Hi I inject ozone venturi or a special measuring, decant the particles in suspension and organically disinfect the water, if you give me more details of the deal you tell m3 dose exacta.A we work
Ademar Cesar Ferreira
I think that best approach is using oxidation process. Any way test it. We have had some promises of some suppliers in removing colours using membranes and oxidation process that did nork in field. Be careful because colour is a challenge. Reasons were already discussed in this forum
Edwin Ricarte
with MBR, anything can happen. Your requirement is just very stringent and its very costly. You will have to use a smaller membrane(say 0.2micron) where a pigment can be prevented to go with the effluent. In this case, your overhead /vertical height of the MBR tanks must be very high (maybe 10 times) as the height holds a bigger body of water that pushed the liquor to the membrane. I say again Mr Jacob that its very costly. At 0.2micron, any micro organisms are prevented, inorganic matters and most of the organics.
Engr. Mansoor Ahmed PhD. Scholar
Dear Pual,

As described above, Oxidation Process is one of the option i.e. Hydrogen Per Oxide H2O2 and for that you need have a basin and a proper contact time.

What I feel Ozone has very strong tendency to remove color along with disinfection. Depending upon the flow rate, you can contact any of the Ozonator Supplier for economical supply.

But please keep in mind, nothing is free. You have to spend some on continuous basis. All you need to search for a good economical supplier for your color removal and disinfection.
Paul Jacob
Thanks Mansoor, I think investing in ozone or h2O2 would be Ok as in turn it might not cost me much w.r.t sludge transportation and disposal. Thanks for the advice. I will look into it.
emilio munoz
The effluent seems to reach an acceptable quality but with intense colour, I would suggest installing a polishing treatment (such as a UF membrane), but as mentioned above, try a variation in the pH and let´s see the final result.
Paul Jacob
Thanks for the advice. I think I will check pH alteration and additionally chlorination of the effluent. UF membrane polishing will yield to higher cost. Maybe I will try to use a tighter membrane in the MBR to solve the problem.
Linda Tannouri
The color can be detected by the consumer that if increased about 15 units a real color True Colour Units TCU and produces the color in the water due to the melting of organic materials such as Fulvic acids and Alheiomk melting metals such as iron, which causes the brown color of the water.
Paul Jacob
Maybe pH alternation might help to ppt out the color then. Thanks for your insight. I will look into it.
Willi Brunner
Hi Paul
is your MBR a membrane bio reactor or a multiple step bioreactor. when it is the second choice use a tight ultrafiltration membrane which you operate with ambient pressure. The flow you can can expect is about 10 l/h m2 membrane. If it is the first the easiest is to use active carbon or a simple filtration through earth material like the nature does it. Then you need an additional filtration device.
Paul Jacob
Single stage. I was thinking about using a tighter UF. AC will increase the overall cost. One of major concerns. But I will look into the operational parameters to improve the treatment efficiency. Thanks for the advice.
Ciaran Gillen
The colour is coming from the coffee shop wastewater. Have you considered using PAC in the MBR?
Paul Jacob
PAC will increase the cost of the system and then I need to either replace. I think maybe I will try separating the ww from coffee shop first. Thanks for the suggestion.
Sri Chandana
I would suggest for chemical coagulation or pH alteration...
Paul Jacob
Coagulation would lead to again sludge which needs to further handled and increasing the overall cost w.r.t chemical and also transportation for sludge. I think I will check for pH alternation. Thanks for the suggestion.
Raymond Borg
Suggest lab testing in beakers using various commercially available oxidants, Hydrogen Peroxide, Sodium Hypochlorite, Potassium Permanganate solutions to establish which works best (least colour at lowest dose & lowest cost) then another trial to optimise dose. Alternatively, if the colour is due to coffee grounds, ensure these entering the system are kept to a minimum and in lieu of oxidants, trial various polyacrylomide polymers (cationic, anionic, nonionic, and the variety of low, medium and high molecular weights).
Paul Jacob
Thanks. I was also thinking about conducting some lab scale experiments using oxidants. But first I will look into management issues with the ww. Maybe I can control the color by not introducing the ww from coffee shop with the septic tank ww. Then check if I can improve the MBR operation.
This would be the final stage by oxidizing the color.

Great suggestion. Thanks again.
Raymond Borg
Good luck Paul and if I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me via ray@sustainableideas.com.au
Muhammad Abbas Khan
Use SS Filtered Balnders of water on 3 stages or in 3 capsules of filtration
Paul Jacob
I worry that would increase the overall capital,operation and maintenance cost. But if nothing work I will look into it. Thanks.
lyseconcept jean Marius

The effluent of which you speak is the representation of the liquid element of waste waters of a normal habitat. The color brown clearly shows that it contains corresponds to the diffuse pollution of waste waters. A part comes from the dissolved fecal matter by the micro organizations, a part comes from the urine (Urea, ammonia, nitrogenize, nitrate, mug up, phophate and other chemical components). Micro materials.
For that he is necessary to add water to it (rinsing of the toilets, lava hands) and the water of the bar (sink, washing of glasses of the small Dishes) it is necessary to add to it the water of flow of the various devices (fridge, coffee machine, cooling agent, refrigerator). Dirty water coming from the cleaning of the ground and surface medical.
Micro pollutant chemical what gives for this effluent a toxic concentration is very important: With not using so that it is. DANGER
Paul Jacob
Yes, I agree with you totally. I think before coming upto reuse standards we need to do a post treatment of the effluent using either, chlorination, UV or a tighter membrane etc.

I will first look into ww characteristics maybe I can solve the issue by separating the coffee shop ww from the septic tank effluent and then look into the process control. Like tighter membrane or increasing the HRT etc. Then see if I need a post treatment. But to meet acceptable reuse standards for customers I need, not only to meet standards but make the water look good and clean.
Rick Wadley
Hi Paul,
What is the daily flow?
I will be able to suggest a number of economical options.
Rick Wadley
Vortex Water
Güray Emir
You can use adsorbent such as al2o3 or anything else. It is chepaer than activated carbon, and provide high performance for color reduction.
Paul Jacob
Thanks. But I worry about creating additional sludge using Al2O3 which needs to securely landfilled, adding to the cost for transportation. I will consider as an option but I will check chlorination first.
Julian Agua
perhaps you can assay with small amonuts of H2O2, hidrogen peroxide... diluted in water...
Paul Jacob
Wow. This was something I didnt think about at all. Maybe it would work. Thanks for this advice.
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