Cost Effectiveness of Conventional and Advanced Water Treatment Technologies

Topics: Water, Water purification, Sewage treatment Pages: 7 (1569 words) Published: August 20, 2010
Geology Department
Faculty of Science, University of Malaya
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hydrogeology Presentation
Topic Proposal

Semester 1, Session 2009/2010

Proposed Presentation Topic

Assoc. Prof. Dr Ismail Yusof

Group Members
Munirah Zulkifli SEG070032
Nadine Levone SEG070033
Nooranissah Wahyuny Amis SEG070034
Zafirah Mohd Zamhari SEG070051

1.0 Introduction

Water is the elixir of life (Figure 1). It is the miraculous substance from which all life springs forth. It is essential to every life form on earth. Thus, the Earth’s water system must be kept clean and be maintained in quality so as to optimally nourish all life that depend on it.

Figure 1 Water is the elixir of life. © Marc Steinmetz

Unfortunately, due to evolving times and an exceedingly industrial-based world, contamination of our water supplies has become frequent and the need for water treatment and potential re-use of water has come abound in a most grave manner. It has become a necessity for all inhabitants of the world and therefore, must be made accessible and affordable for everyone.

Cost-effective water treatment technology is highly sought after and thus must be identified and analyzed thoroughly.

Water treatment technology is defined as any technology that purifies water and makes it suitable for drinking or any other use. Cost-effectiveness is regarded as the ability to generate sufficient value to offset an activity’s cost. In this case, the activity is water treatment.

There are many types of water treatment technologies and there is no unique water treatment technology. What this presentation aims to do is to pinpoint and identify which technologies are more feasible and which are less feasible. In Malaysia, water treatment facilities, whether municipal or industrial in nature, are known to be of various kinds. Fundamentally, however, they can be divided into two categories: conventional water treatment facilities or advanced water treatment facilities. Both aim to do the same: rid the water of contaminants. The only difference is the level of technological sophistication in achieving the desired treated water.

Note that actual figures for costs and charges are not available in this presentation as a degree of authorization is needed to obtain such information from the government-run water treatment facilities. This presentation will approximate and compare very generally the rates of expenditure for each type of water treatment technology based on information available in books, academic texts, journals, and the internet.

2.0 Statement of Problem

‘Conventional Methods of Water Treatment Technology’


‘Advanced Methods of Water Treatment Technology’

Which is more cost-effective? Which is more viable? Which is cheaper?

3.0 Literature Review

It is understood that water treatment technology aims to treat groundwater, wastewater, effluents or sludge and get rid of contaminants that are incorporated with it. Some of the important contaminants that are found in untreated water are mentioned in the following table labelled Table 1. The table also specifies the reason behind the importance of such a contaminant.

Contaminant| Reason for importance|
Suspended solids| Can lead to the development of sludge deposits and anaerobic conditions when untreated waste-water is discharged into an aquatic environment| Biodegradable organics| Proteins, carbohydrates and fats with biological stabilzation that can deplete natural oxygen resources and can cause septic conditions that are detrimental to aquatic species| Pathogenic organisms| Can cause infectious disease|

Priority pollutants| Organic and inorganic compounds that can be highly toxic, mutagenic or can even cause cancer (carcinogenic)| Refractory organics| Surfactants, phenols and agricultural pesticides that tend to...
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