Onsite Food Waste Processing as an Opportunity to Conserve Water in a Medical Facility Case Study, Abu Dhabi
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This paper presents the case for soil and water conservation combined with waste recycling strategies in a desert type climate healthcare environment, which is based on the need for Abu Dhabi to decrease desalinated potable water consumption and increase its waste recycling rate to reduce environmental impact. The work documented in this paper forms part of the first author's Professional Doctorate change project in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at a medical facility in use since 2015. The project is investigating two aspects: the feasibility of reusing both the site produced organic biological waste as an organic fertilizer and the effluent produced for landscape irrigation. For this paper the sole aspect of the effluent will be discussed. The context is a newly built medical facility in Abu Dhabi with a 21,600m2 building footprint area surrounded by a 29,000m2 vegetated open spaces. The city, located on the south west coast of the UAE, is dominated by sandy and salty soil, high temperature and humidity . Five types of effluent generated by three types of dehydrators have been tested for general characteristics, inorganic and organic compounds, and metal parameters and analysed against local authorities’ parameters limits to verify compliance and establish suitability for landscape irrigation and water feature reuse. The effluent test results show absence of microbiological contaminants. The quality of the effluent shows that secondary and tertiary water treatment would be needed to regulate the BOD, turbidity and pH levels to align with the local regulation water recycling requirements. The next steps are for the facility dehydrator effluent to be tested onsite to provide an account of its quality for reuse and for selecting a tertiary treatment type if necessary suitable for landscape irrigation. This to understand how food waste processed onsite can impact the environment, operation and maintenance cost and practices, greenhouse gas emissions, and building systems energy consumption. This study may be relevant to local competent authorities responsible for making and adjusting standards on non-clinical wastewater reuse and recycling should dehydrators be reused at a larger city scale.
Seguela, G., Littlewood, J and Karani, G. (2017) 'Onsite food waste processing as an opportunity to conserve water in a medical facility case study, Abu Dhabi', Energy Procedia, 111(March), pp.548-557
This article was published open access in Energy Procedia on 28 March 2017, available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.217
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