UBC Undergraduate Research

Grey matters : turning rainwater into greywater Kumar, Avinash; Lin, Dexter; Tang, Felix; Yulo, Kimberley


Preserving what resources we have is a goal that we should all achieve no matter how abundant the resources may seem. In this case, it is water. The new Student Union Building (SUB) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) strives to achieve such a goal by including a rainwater harvesting and filtration unit. This report’s purpose is to analyse different filtration and disinfection options for the rainwater systems so that water can be used for greywater purposes. A Triple Bottom Line assessment that takes into account environmental, economic and social impacts will be used to determine the best option. The water filtration methods considered include sand filtration, reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, and microfiltration. The water disinfection methods considered include distillation, chlorination, ozone, and ultraviolet (UV) light. Based on our results, we recommend an implementation of microfiltration and UV radiation as the ideal method to treat rainwater to form greywater. [Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”]

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