Bart Van der Bruggen
Apr 5, 2015
Names are a powerful tool to bring a message. 'Water Resource Recovery Facilities' says it all: the message of this book couldn't possibly be more clear. For decades we have constructed 'wastewater treatment facilities' in view of environmental protection. However, environmental engineers with a vision understand today that we have to rethink this approach. The WEF has embarked on this by setting up a Task Force on resource recovery, in which no less than 68 experts in the field were involved. This book is a practical outcome of the work of the Task Force. It is a practical tool to help us with the new way of thinking. I can probably assume that there is no more need to convince you, unless some rare exceptions who can only maintain their position of non-believers by not reading this book. If you do read the book, you cannot go around the facts and current trends, nicely summarized in the N-E-W concept, which stands for 'nutrients, energy, water'. The global situation is briefly reviewed with an equal focus on the USA and the rest of the world. The next question is then how to implement this. It is explained in the fourth chapter of the book, which is dedicated to technologies in the three areas of resource recovery. This chapter may be the most impressive of the book. Water reuse may be a known area today, but energy and nutrients are still very much unexplored. Useful technologies are here, with many references and suggestions for further reading. Chapter 5 brings the technologies directly to us by showing some examples of nutrient recovery in the USA and Europe (and the classical example of water recycling in Windhoek).
Such transition is not easy and some explanation of how to handle this is appropriate. The WEF Task Force proposes a stepwise implementation, in which the first step is in conservation followed by optimization rather than doing it all over again. This involves operational considerations, utility management, financial aspects and stakeholder commu