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What are the alternative usages of high TDS waste stream coming out of RO system ?


I am working as a ETP in charge in a private oil & gas company in India. We are having a small Effluent treatment plant to treat the effluent before safe disposal. We are getting all the parameters except Total dissolved solids well within the limits given by state governing body at the outlet of plant.
Now we are thinking of Reverse Osmosis plant to fix the high TDS problem. We are getting around 7000 ppm of TDS at the outlet of ETP.
In RO system there will be two outlet streams: one is clear pure water & another is concentrated stream having high TDS.
My question is that what are the possible methods for disposal of this concentrated stream.

Patel Jayesh Manaharbhai
- Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

First of two simultaneous responses -- ++++++

What is the TDS measurement before your treatment? If you are adding TDS by treatment then you should examine that process. Chances are, your reject water is worthless. The most effective way to dispose of high TDS water is a deep well. The next is probably evaporation. But the best is to prevent the TDS to begin with.

Paul Morkovsky
- Shiner, Texas, USA

Second of two simultaneous responses -- ++++++

The various methods of disposal of 7000ppm TDS RO reject is as follows.
1.watering plants.
2.send to sewage disposal.
3.can reuse by passing through softener bed. can also evaporate , condensate can be reused, but costly, will lead to scaling/fouling.
5.You can also use this High TDS water for toilet flushing.

Hope this may help you.

Panjala Mukesh
     fashion jewelry mfgr.
Hyderabad, India


My company uses a phased approach to this problem - We build the RO system with multiple passes, using interstage pumps and membranes designed for the high TDS water.

Then, to get rid of the Very high TDS waste stream this creates, use a precipitation stage and clarifier to settle the solids, and put the water back into the front of the process.

You should be able to achieve 95%+ usage of the water.

Jeff Watson
- Pearland, Texas



I am a student of M.Sc. Environmental Science. I am Doing a project on Water Quality of Gujarat and ways to provide safe water to the rural areas. Here this villages have this RO plants installed. Now there are mainly 2 Problems coming out of this

1. it gives of 60% of the waste water which contains high TDS and also the uptake of ground water is high which decrease the water table.

2. Now what to do with this reject water ........from this RO plants.......?

Will wait for your Reply

Urvish Ishwarbhai Vadgama
ISTAR college, V.V. Nagar, Gujarat, India - Vallabh Vidhya Nagar, Gujarat, India.


Hi Urvish. Quicker progress on your project will surely be made if you can express your additional questions in terms of what has already been said, and build on it, rather than starting over. Mssrs. Morkovsky, Mukesh, and Watson have already demonstrated their knowledge of this subject, but I doubt that you will win points with them by blowing off the effort they've already put into this page :-)

Good luck!

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Brick, New Jersey

December 29, 2010

Dear sir, we are facing high TDS in our area; we want to convert this water for drinking. The TDS limit is 5000 hardness 800 ppm --so could you please give me right RO membrane for high TDS?


July 24, 2012


In one of the projects I am working on for an automobile industry, we have 70 cubic meters of RO reject effluent to be reused/ disposed off. This contains around 4000 ppm of Total Dissolved Solids.

I would appreciate being enlightened about the options available and their viability -- apart from deep well injection, evaporation, disposal by dilution in a sewage stream. Can this be used for flushing of toilets either directly or after pH adjustment, coagulation, precipitation followed by settling and filtration?


Komal Dixit
engineering - Mumbai, India

November 29, 2012

Q. Dear Sir,
We want to know how we treat the ETP (effluent treatment plant) water and then it convert it into R.O. water. What can I do for this treatment and what chemical we use for treatment. This is chemical industries waste water. Please give me reply.

Vikram Singh
biotech - Bhiwadi, Rajasthan, India

November 29, 2012

A. Sorry for the difficulties, Vikram, but I have no idea what question you are asking...

Are you asking for an ETP regimen to handle an undescribed volume of unknown wastes under unknown conditions? That subject fills whole aisles in technical libraries :-)

Or are you saying that you've already treated the waste, and now you want to put this undescribed treated waste into an R.O. system to pull some pure water out of it, to be used for some undescribed purpose?

Sorry, but I don't understand how we can help you unless you can clarify and limit your question. Thanks.


pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Brick, New Jersey

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