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University of Johannesburg (2019)

The risks associated with wastewater reuse

Rambau, L.D.

Titre : The risks associated with wastewater reuse

Auteur : Rambau, L.D.

Université de soutenance : University of Johannesburg


Water scarcity has become a major problem in South Africa. Wastewater reuse is one of the most important strategies dealing with the water scarcity problem. The focus of this research is on the field of water and wastewater reuse. South Africa has a significant number of wastewater treatment plants. Most of these do not currently comply with the standards required for the discharge of water containing waste. Poor operation, maintenance and management of wastewater treatment plants are considered a risk to both the environment and human health. Wastewater should be treated to acceptable standards and returned to watercourses from where it was originally obtained. The research problem is that there is a lack of comprehension of all the risks involved in the reclamation of wastewater sites in South Africa. Therefore, the aim of this study was to highlight the risks associated with wastewater reuse and develop appropriate risk management strategies to mitigate these. A survey was used as a quantitative research strategy. A significant response rate of 67% of the sample of managers was obtained. It was found that wastewater is mainly discharged directly into water bodies such as rivers or streams. It was found that wastewater reuse sometimes posed a risk mostly to surface water pollution. It was also noted that mitigation strategies such as complying with the required water quality standards, implementing and complying with wastewater management plans, continuous operational and compliance monitoring with remedial plans, and appropriate wastewater technology were the most common mitigation strategies that are used every time. The research outcomes of the study are beneficial to organisations that have wastewater treatment plants as well as the government of South Africa. The recommendations made would benefit the user organisations to continually improve their processes so as to mitigate the risks associated with wastewater reuse. Furthermore, the results of the study add value to the body of knowledge. Risk management of wastewater reuse will ensure that all risks to human health and the integrity of industrial processes are reduced adequately.,


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