You are on page 1of 13

Sarawak Campus

Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Science


Higher Education Division

Tutorial 12: Sustainable Water Use


CVE10006
Sustainable Design
(Semester 2, 2015)
Version date (20 November, 2015)

Student Name:

Student Identification Number:


SCORE

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 1


1. Desalination has the potential to supply nearly unlimited freshwater. However, it does so at the
cost of considerable environmental pollution and demands a very high amount of energy. Based
on the data provided in Figure 1 which presents information on the distribution of desalination
plants worldwide:

a) Determine which part of the world has the largest desalination capacity? Why do you think
this part of the world has embraced desalination as a technology? [2 marks]
The middle-east
Because it is very dry but oil (and thus energy) is cheap thus reducing the cost of the
technology to operate

b) Is Australia a major player in the desalination industry? Why do you think this is the case? [2
marks]
No,
because energy costs here are more expensive than elsewhere and we have historically
had a very low population

2. Figure 2 presents data on the total water use for our two largest cities, Melbourne and Sydney,
and the amount of stormwater they receive and wastewater they produce on an annual basis.
Traditionally, the water provided to our cities has come from dams. The catchments for these are
far from the city itself. The wastewater that the cities produce is treated then discharged into the
ocean while the stormwater we receive is drained as quickly as possible and also discharged to
the ocean. The concept of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) challenges this notion by
highlighting that all water, regardless of its origin, should be viewed as a resource. Based on the
evidence provided in Figure 2, evaluate how employing the concept of WSUD to our major cities
might revolutionise our water industry. [3 marks]
It is clear from Figure 2 that vast quantities of water could be sourced locally by
harvesting stormwater and/or reusing wastewater.
Indeed, either one of these streams alone is nearly able to completely replace freshwater
demand in either Melbourne or Sydney or both combined could do this with much extra
left over.
This excess water could be used for irrigation in and around the city drastically reducing
our need for dam water and insulating us against drought and climate change.

3. One way to capture and reuse wastewater is to do this at the household scale. This is called
domestic greywater recycling and involves installing a device which harvest, treats and then
returns the treated greywater to the household for reuse. Figure 3 illustrates one type of domestic
greywater treatment system. Use this figure to answer the following questions.

a) What happens to the greywater and the blackwater as it first leaves the household? [2 marks]
The blackwater goes to the sewer system while the greywater goes to a collection point.
Any excess greywater overflows to the sewer.

b) What are the 5 stages of the greywater treatment process within the Aquacell Unit? [5 marks]
1st Aerobic screening;
2nd Biological treatment;
3rd Ultrafiltration;
4th Ultraviolet disinfection;
5th Chlorine residual protection

c) Once treated, what uses can the greywater be put to in the household? [3 marks]
Garden irrigation;

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 2


clothes washing;
toilet flushing

d) Are there any fixtures in the household that can produce greywater but cannot use treated
greywater? What are they? [2 marks]
Yes.
Hand basins and showers/baths.

4. The most common way to treat greywater (or wastewater) is to send it via the sewer system to a
wastewater treatment plant. Here the water is treated to a predetermined standard according to
the technological level of the treatment plant (i.e., primary, secondary or tertiary). Once treated
the water is either discharged to the sea or can be reused in much the same way the water from a
domestic treatment system can or can be used for larger scale agricultural or industrial purposes.
Figure 4 illustrates the treatment steps of a typical wastewater treatment plant and Table 1 details
more specific information on wastewater classes and the potential uses. Use these to answer the
following questions.

a) Compare the stages and output quality of the wastewater treatment plant to that of the
domestic greywater treatment system. What is the technological treatment equivalent
(primary, secondary or tertiary) of the domestic treatment system? What class is the output
water for treatment to this level? [2 marks]
Tertiary.
Class A.

b) What can water of each class be used for? [4 marks]


Class A Urban non-potable (unrestricted access); Agricultural (human food crops
consumed raw); Industrial (open system with worker exposure potential)
Class B Agricultural (dairy cattle; grazing); Industrial (wash-down water)
Class C Urban non-potable (with controlled access); Agricultural (human food crops
cooked and/or processed; grazing and fodder for livestock); Industrial (systems with no
potential worker exposure)
Class D agricultural (non-food crops like turf and flowers)

c) What seems to be the most important water quality objective that determines what the class
of wastewater is? Why do you think this is the case? [3 marks]
Amount of E.coli.
This is a pathogen that can cause human health issues.
Its level is indicative of other similar pathogen loads.

5. After agriculture, the next largest consumers of water in Australia are households. In cities,
households use by far the largest amount of water compared to other users and the pressure to
provide adequate water supplies to growing populations in urban regions is great. Figure 5
summarises the places that water tends to be used in the home and estimates how resources
spent on water efficiency improvements can reduce water consumption and provide an economic
return. Figure 6 considers the water savings for several types of water efficient appliances or
fixtures. Use these figures to answer the following questions.

a) What household use consumes the most water? [1 mark]


Showers

b) How much of the water used in the home could be replaced by recycled water (add up the
entire water use % values where potable water is not necessary)? [1 mark]

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 3


Outdoor (20%) + toilet (14%) + clothes washing (16%) = 50%

c) If rainwater tanks are employed for toilet flushing and outdoor use, how much of a households
mains water demand could be averted (assuming the tank could provide 100% of the water
demand for these two uses)? [1 mark]
34%

d) How much water can be saved by expending $120 on water efficiency improvements and
how long does it take to pay this back? What kinds of improvements do you think might be
accomplished using these funds? [2 marks]
About 30% of water use and these savings can be achieved with a 9 month payback
period
This probably includes replacing showerheads and fixing leaks

e) How much water can be saved by expending $4000 on water efficiency/supply improvements
and how long does it take to pay this back? What kinds of improvements do you think might
be accomplished using these funds? [2 marks]
About 80% of water use and these savings can be achieved with a 9 year payback period
This probably includes replacing all appliances with water efficient equivalents, installing
dual flush toilets, installing a native or rain garden and installing a rainwater tank and/or
on-site water recycling and using this water for non-potable household uses.

f) Which two water efficient devices or appliances can make the biggest difference to reducing a
households water use? If you installed both of these, what percentage of your water bill could
be saved? Do you have these devices in your own home? Did you know that your local water
authority will typically give you these for free? [3 marks]
Low flow shower heads and dual flush toilets.
24-30%.
Open ended.

g) If you were to install all of the water savings measures listed in Figure 6 what percentage of
your water bill could you save? There are 3.78541 L per gallon. How many litres of water
could be saved per year by employing all of these measures? [2 marks]
27-37%.(Fig. 6 total the range of 1+2+9+15 = 27% and 2+5+12+18 = 37%)
Over 83,000 Litres (or 83 kL) Matthew got average of 73891L ??? ignore this question
because I cant figure out where this value came from.

6. Table 2 presents data on the cost of water to the consumer, the cost of the water supply (i.e., the
cost it takes to get water to us) and the estimated water price needed to make consumers price
sensitive in terms of water demand. Use this table to answer the following questions.

a) How does the price we pay for water compare to the cost to provide that water? [2 marks]
We generally pay less for water than it costs to provide it to us.
This is true everywhere but Brisbane.

b) What does this tell you about how our water supply system works? Is this system an efficient
means of getting residents to install water savings devices on their own initiative? Why or why
not? [3 marks]
That our water supply is highly subsidised by the government.
No.
Because the consumer is not sensitive to price and the water efficiency measures will
have a long payback period on account of the low price for water.

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 4


c) What would be some of the arguments for or against raising the price of water? [2 marks]
FOR Raising the price of water would make consumers price sensitive and would make
water efficiency measures cost effective. We would make better choices about when we
use water and how much we use if it cost us more.
AGAINST It would inequitable to raise prices as the poorest would suffer most. It would
create a system of water haves and have nots. We all need water to live and as a basic
human right it should be provided at a low cost.

7. Figure 7 shows daily water consumption data for major Australian cities. Use these data to
answer the following questions.

a) Compare Figure 7 to Table 2 (Sub-table 4; estimated water price estimated to reduce


demand). Based on the price data in Table 2, is there any evidence that given current pricing
levels, any of these cities average daily use figures can be explained by water price? [2
marks]
No.
Adelaide, for example, has the second most expensive water price but uses more water
than most of the other cities in Table 2.

b) Which 4 cities use the most water per person per day? Why do you think this is so? [5 marks]
Alice Springs,
Darwin,
Townsville,
Kalgoorlie.
These four cities are all in either arid or hot climates with high evaporation rates.

c) As the minimum amount of water needed per person per day is roughly 70 L how much
potential is there to further reduce our water use in Melbourne? Given this, what are our
options for responding to our future water needs? [2 marks]
Very little.
Consequently we must find alternative sources of water as we have basically attained
most of the benefits that efficiency will provide.

8. Table 3 compares the cost of different mechanisms for increasing water supply. Use these data to
answer the following questions.

a) What is the cheapest way to increase water supply? Can we use this method to increase our
water supply in Melbourne? Why or why not? [3 marks]
Building dams.
No.
We have no useful dam locations left and declining rainfall will make the dams we have
increasingly less useful.

b) What are the two most expensive options for increasing water supplies? Are these methods
that we are using in Melbourne? [3 marks]
Rainwater tanks and desalination.
Yes.
We have mandated rainwater tanks in new developments and have built a desalination
plant.

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 5


c) Giving consideration to both cost and practicality and knowing what you do about our future
water situation, what would you recommend as the most viable means of increasing
Melbournes water supply and why? [2 marks]
Stormwater harvesting huge quantities of stormwater are available and the cost is lower
than many other means.
Recycled water again is a vast potential and the costs are lower than either rainwater
tanks or desalination.

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 6


Figure 1. Installed desalination capacity worldwide.

Figure 2. A comparison of water use and alternative potential water supplies for Sydney and Melbourne.

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 7


Figure 3. A typical domestic greywater treatment system.

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 8


Figure 4. Components of a wastewater treatment plant.

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 9


Table 1. Recycled water classes and the potential uses of that water.

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 10


Figure 5. Water consumption and payback periods for water saving strategies in Australia.

Figure 6. Potential water savings of typical household water efficiency measures.

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 11


Table 2. The cost to purchase and supply water in various Australian cities.

Figure 7. Average daily water use in various Australian cities.

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 12


Table 3. The cost of different water supply options.

# End of Document #

Copyright 2015 @ FECS Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Page 13