Grey water characterization and treatment for reuse in an arid environment

E. Smith, K. Bani-Melhem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Grey water from a university facilities building in Cairo, Egypt was analysed for basic wastewater parameters. Mean concentrations were calculated based on grab samples over a 16-month period. Values for chemical oxygen demand (COD) and nutrients exceeded values reported in a number of other studies of grey water, while coliform counts were also high. A submerged membrane bioreactor (SMBR) system using a hollow fibre ultrafiltration membrane was used to treat the grey water with the aim of producing effluent that meets reuse guidelines for agriculture. A test run for 50 days at constant transmembrane pressure resulted in very good removal for key parameters including COD, total suspended solids (TSS), colour, turbidity, ammonia nitrogen, anionic surfactants, and coliform bacteria. High standard deviations were observed for COD and coliform concentrations for both monthly grab samples and influent values from the 50-day SMBR experiment. SMBR effluent meets international and local guidelines for at least restricted irrigation, particularly as pertains to COD, TSS, and faecal coliforms which were reduced to mean treated values of 50 mg/L, 0 mg/L (i.e., not detected), and
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalWater Science & Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 8 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): UK-C0015
Acknowledgements: This publication is based on work supported by Award No. UK-C0015, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


Dive into the research topics of 'Grey water characterization and treatment for reuse in an arid environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this