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International Journal of Environment Science and Technology
Center for Environment and Energy Research and Studies (CEERS)
ISSN: 1735-1472
EISSN: 1735-2630
Vol. 12, No. 2, 2015, pp. 423-436
Bioline Code: st15037
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

International Journal of Environment Science and Technology, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2015, pp. 423-436

 en Grey water characterisation and pollutant loads in an urban slum
Katukiza, A.Y.; Ronteltap, M.; Niwagaba, C.B.; Kansiime, F. & Lens, P.N.L.


On-site sanitation provisions in urban slums rarely prioritise grey water management, yet it forms the largest fraction of wastewater. This study was carried out to characterise grey water and quantify its pollutant loads in Bwaise III (Uganda) and to provide data for grey water management in urban slums of developing countries. Samples were collected for analysis from ten representative households as well as from four tertiary drains and the main drainage channel for 7 months in two dry seasons. Grey water production was found to comprise 85 % of the domestic water consumption. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration in the grey water generated by laundry, in the kitchen and in the bathroom was 9,225 ± 1,200 mg L-1, 71,250 ± 1,011 mg L-1 and 4,675 ± 750 mg L-1, while the BOD5 (biochemical oxygen demand) to COD ratio was 0.24 ± 0.05, 0.33 ± 0.08 and 0.31 ± 0.07, respectively. The maximum concentration of Escherichia coli check for this species in other resources and total coliforms was 2.05 × 107 cfu (100 mL)-1 and 1.75 × 108 cfu (100 mL)-1, respectively, in grey water from the bathroom, while that of Salmonella check for this species in other resources spp. was 7.32 × 106 cfu (100 mL)-1 from laundry. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a significant difference in the concentration of COD, total suspended solids (TSS), total organic carbon (TOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total phosphorus (TP), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), oil and grease, and Salmonella spp. in grey water from laundry, bathroom and kitchen (p < 0.05). The high loads of COD (>500 kg day-1), TSS (>200 kg day-1), nutrients (8.3 kg TKN day-1 and 1.4 kg TP day-1) and microorganisms (106 to 109 cfu c-1 day-1) originating from grey water in Bwaise III show that grey water poses a threat to the environment and a risk to human health in urban slums. Therefore, there is a need to prioritise grey water treatment in urban slums of developing countries to achieve adequate sanitation.

Grey water; Environmental pollution; Sanitation; Slums

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