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Haïfa University (2015)

Public acceptance of greywater reuse systems in the city "Maalot-Tarshiha"

Zilberfarb, Zoya

Titre : Public acceptance of greywater reuse systems in the city "Maalot-Tarshiha"

Auteur : Zilberfarb, Zoya

Etablissement de soutenance : Haïfa University

Grade : Master 2015

Greywater reuse systems are becoming more and more common worldwide, in order to reduce the water footprint of the urban water cycle. Greywater is defined as wastewater generated from the non-toilet portion of domestic effluent, such as bathing, laundry and kitchen use. In Israel, greywater reuse for domestic and public urban use faces severe regulatory obstacles, which are mainly due to concerns about potential public health issues and difficulty to monitor small and decentralized treatment systems. The effectiveness of greywater reuse systems strongly depends on the acceptance and the willingness to use them by the local community. Presently, acceptance of greywater reuse is a major question that largely remains to be answered. The present study aims to evaluate the acceptability on the part of the population in the city Maalot-Tarshiha, located in the Western Galilee of Israel to install greywater systems in their immediate environment, as well as their willingness to pay for the system. The study was conducted through door to door surveys of 165 participants, including the Jewish and not Jewish population of the city. The most important results of the study were that 65% of the sample had never heard the term "greywater" prior to the interview. However, 84% and 60% of the respondents were willing to use and pay for greywater systems respectively. This finding reflects the wide interest in this subject in the population. Most of the respondents (66%) would like to use the system for irrigation and to flush down the toilet. The most common reasons for refusing to pay for the system are the inability to afford the financial investment in this system (26%) and the mindset that the government should pay for the installation (35%). None of the respondents were afraid to use the system due to health concerns. Among the population that is willing to pay some amount for the system, 71% are willing to pay up to 3000 NIS for the system and the installation and 26% are willing to pay between 3001 to 6000 NIS for the system and the installation. Such amounts would not be sufficient to cover the expenses of the system installation including pipes, renovation and the system itself. Even though the potential economic savings of 60 NIS a month, per family of four, were presented to the respondents, the majority replied that they would not be interested in investing more than 3000 NIS in the greywater reuse systems. The results showed that most of participants who were willing to pay for greywater system were Jewish (67%) compared to non-Jewish (33%). Furthermore, environmental awareness appears to be the main variable influencing willingness to pay and use greywater reuse systems. The more the municipality, the government and the educational systems would invest in increasing the environmental awareness, the higher the percent of population that would accept the greywater systems. Research shows that the characteristics of the system also affect the willingness of the population to use it. Regarding greywater treatment technologies, most of the Jewish participants indicated to prefer a constructed wetland system (61%), while most of the non Jewish participants preferred a bio-mechanical purification system (75%). As far as Israel is concerned, this work represents the first attempt to estimate the acceptability of greywater reuse systems and how the population might react if the use of these systems is approved in the near future.


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