Evaluation and Expansion of Solar Disinfection Method for Reclaimed Residential Greywater

EPA Grant Number: SU835726
Title: Evaluation and Expansion of Solar Disinfection Method for Reclaimed Residential Greywater
Investigators: Phelps, Patricia , Staff, George
Current Investigators: Phelps, Patricia , Gonzalez, Andrea , Jeffries, Ben , Lankford, Caitlyn , Edgar, Christina , Spangle, Chynna , Reynolds, Dylan , Savercool, Elizabeth , Drueke, Emma , Selvaggio, G.P. , Staff, George , jaimes, Isabelle , Staton, Jered , Walden, Josh , Leatham, Katy , Boydston, Kelli , Strickland, Kevin , Lilly, Kristine , Searle, Marcus , Farrar, Mariah , Schulze, Matthew , Hixson, Michael , McGill, Michelle , Peterson, Miranda , Newcomb, Paul , Hasan, Samer , Gage, Stephanie , Thompson, Thomas
Institution: Austin Community College
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2014 through August 14, 2015
Project Amount: $13,742
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Sustainable and Healthy Communities , P3 Challenge Area - Safe and Sustainable Water Resources , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


Students will study solar disinfection (SODIS) of greywater for reuse in irrigation with the goal of designing a robust, efficient, effective, low-cost, low energy-requiring, and nontoxic system for residential use.


The SODIS method of solar disinfection of water in recycled plastic containers has been proven for producing drinking water by a low-cost, effective, and nontoxic system. This project will use the SODIS method as a model for the design of residential systems for sanitation of greywater for irrigation of lawns and gardens. The scale-up and adaptation of the SODIS method into a design that meets safety standards for microbial decontamination will reduce water consumption by reuse with a minimal impact on consumption of chemicals, materials, and energy.


The research team will use a standard formula for artificial greywater that is similar to the chemical and biological components found in “light” greywater produced by residential washing activities. Various designs, starting with the PETE bottles used in SODIS method, will be tested for efficiency and effectiveness of solar irradiation on disinfection of the greywater. Testing will follow the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (EPA, 2009) and Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (2012) methods of membrane filtration and spread plate techniques.

Expected Results:

By using various solar reactor configurations and materials, we expect to invent a system that can maximize the effectiveness of the ultraviolet solar rays and heat for the disinfection of microbes. The designed system will be a semicontinuous system that is scalable, allowing a residence time that can be easily adjusted for changes in greywater quantity and quality that might be experienced in different households.

Supplemental Keywords:

water conservation, sustainable water management, urban water planning, water treatment, water purification technologies, water filtration, solar water treatment, solar water disinfection, water reuse

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report