Date of Graduation

Spring 5-20-2016

Document Type

Restricted Project - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Allison Luengen


This paper assesses the feasibility using a decentralized wastewater treatment system to provide recycled water for non-potable uses, such as irrigation, flushing toilets, and cooling towers, at the College of Marin (COM) in Kentfield, CA. The 3-year average of water usage at COM is 32.4 acre-feet per year (AFY), 95% of which is for non-potable applications. Water meter data for COM was used to compare usage during winter and summer months to isolate water used for irrigation, which is 20.5 AFY. The gender balance among students, faculty, and staff, as well as average gallons per flush were used to calculate the total volume used for flushing toilets at the college, which is 5.9 AFY. Annual water usage for cooling towers was provided in a previous study, which is 4.4 AFY. Three decentralized treatment systems were considered: 1) constructed wetland; 2) living machine; and 3) membrane bioreactor. The constructed wetland system is the least expensive at $5,200 to $7,400 per AF. A living machine system cost $7,000 per AF. Membrane bioreactor systems were found to be the most expensive at $11,000 to $13,000 per AF. All systems were found to be cost prohibitive compared the current cost of water to COM, which is $3,200 per AF. Although these systems are not economically reasonable at COM, this paper evaluates where they might be feasible in other parts of California or the world