Student Research

Decentralized Renewable Off-Grid Water Treatment (DROWT)

In California, the drought has become an important issue due to declines in surface water sources. Dependence on groundwater and importing water from the Colorado River continues to increase in order to keep up with high water demands. Therefore, use of recycled water is necessary and the implementation of water reuse is becoming more widely accepted in the community. Grey water is used water from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines, not including wastewater from toilets or kitchen sinks. The research team at Cal Poly Pomona, with the support of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Citrus College, are developing an off-grid solar-powered grey water treatment system for non-potable use in single households. Treating grey water on-site can provide huge water savings and reduce people's carbon footprint. The system is comprised of a three-stage treatment which includes a micro-filtration, solar-driven reverse osmosis, and a UV disinfection unit. The product of this project is capable of reclaiming 90 gallons of water per day while recovering 63% of residential grey water. The design of the system will remove traces of organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, and particulates of dirt, food, etc. In addition, the team has completed and built a preliminary design of the grey water treatment system to address the mechanical, controls, and electrical aspects of the overall system for future use. Data is being collected and analyzed to assist in the design process of Version 2 of the system.