The Singapore Water Reclamation Study, also known as the NEWater study, was performed in order to observe scientific results concerning a special multi-barrier approach to microbial and chemical contaminant removal in water.
The end result was a water product that is safe to replenish aquifers, surface water reservoirs and in some cases even go directly into the drinking water systems such as the system used in Denver, Colorado USA.
A planned Indirect Potable Reuse or Planned IPRwas the objective of this study and NEWater (recycled water from sewage treatment facilities) has historically been showing positive results in the US for more than 20 years, since as early as 1976.
The NEWater results from the Bedok Water Reclamation Plant where the study was performed, were satisfactory and above, receiving around 95% of its water from domestic wastewater sources and yet, still able to comply, and in some cases overachieve rigorous standards.
No specific pH standard was set but met at pH 5.9, TOC Removal was set at 97% while an actual 99% was achieved, Ammonia Removal was set at 90% while a 94% was actually achieved.
TDS Removal was set and achieved at 97% as was MF Filtrate Turbidity set and achieved at 0.1 NTU, meeting those two standards precisely.
What characterizes NEWater from other treatment systems is the use of advanced dual-membrane (microfiltration and reverse osmosis) and ultraviolet technologies that spend less energy to remove pollutants and chemicals with a cleaner, more efficient water product that is almost drinkable.
Drinking water parameters from the most current WHO and USEPA were used to analyze a total of 190 physical, chemical and microbial samples; measuring and relating their water quality.
By studying the effects of NEWater on one of the most sensitive species of mice as well as one of the most sensitive species of fish, over the long-term, no apparent dangers were reported, with tissue and health conditions remaining normal in both testspecies when compared to those exposed instead to raw reservoir water over the same period.
The study concluded that NEWater is considered safe for potable use based on two years of analysis, in compliance to USEPA and WHO standards and the Singapore Government should consider NEWater for Indirect Potable Reuse.
The Singapore Water Reclamation Study suggests that not only is the process safe, but blending NEWater with the Singapore reservoir water supply would help recover trace minerals eliminated in the reverse osmosis process thereby providing a better taste as well as improve public acceptance.
Oakley City Water Reclamation Facility – Interesting video on filtration membranes.