This report analyzes the potential for accumulation of boron in direct potable reuse. Direct potable reuse treats water through desalination processes such as reverse osmosis or nanofiltration which can achieve rejection rates of salts sometimes above 90%. However, boron achieves much lower rejection rates near 40%. Because of this low rejection rate, there is potential for boron to accumulate in the system to levels that are not recommended for potable human consumption of water. To analyze this issue a code was created that runs a steady state system that tracks the internal concentration, permeate concentration, wastewater concentration and reject concentration at various rejection rates, as well as all the flows. A series of flow and mass balances were performed through five different control volumes that denoted different stages in the water use. First was mixing of clean water with permeate; second, consumptive uses; third, addition of contaminant; fourth, wastewater treatment; fifth, advanced water treatments. The system cycled through each of these a number of times until steady state was reached. Utilities or cities considering employing direct potable reuse could utilize this model by estimating their consumption levels and input of contamination, and then seeing what percent rejection or inflow of makeup water they would need to obtain to keep boron levels at a low enough concentration to be fit for consumption. This code also provides options for analyzing spikes and recovery in the system due to spills, and evaporative uses such as cooling towers and their impact on the system.
- Potential for Accumulation of Boron in Direct Potable Reuse