Greywater characterization and generation rates in a pen urban municipality of a developing country

M. Oteng-Peprah*, N. K. de Vries, M. A. Acheampong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The quantity and quality of combined greywater from houses with in-house water supply and houses that rely on external sources of a peri-urban area in a developing country were determined. Data for quantity of greywater was collected from 36 households while 180 samples of greywater were collected from 60 households between December 2016 and February 2017. The results indicate that, average water consumption from households with in-house access was 82.51 +/- 12.21 Lc(-1) d(-1) while households which rely on external sources was 36.64 +/- 4.31 Lc(-1) d(-1) with return factors of 74.16% and 88.57% respectively. Quality analysis also showed significant differences between greywater from the two sources with most of the quality parameters exceeding the regulatory limit. The ratio between biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) ranged between 0.22 and 0.59 for greywater from in-house sources and 0.23-0.62 for external sources indicating low biodegradability of the greywater. The nutrients recorded exceeded the trigger levels for eutrophication while significant levels of microorganisms such as E. Coli and Salmonella spp. were also detected in both streams. Direct reuse of greywater for irrigation was found to be unsuitable based on the salinity and sodium hazard analysis. Principal component analysis of the data indicated that the characteristics of the combined greywater in the study area is influenced by cooking and cleaning practices, personal hygiene, biodegradability, frequency of water use before disposal and sanitary practices in the bathroom. The greywater discharged is detrimental to the environment and poses a health risk to humans and livestock. There is therefore the need for authorities involved to prioritize greywater management and treatment in peri-urban areas of developing countries. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-506
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2018


  • Peri-urban
  • Greywater
  • In-house
  • Outside source
  • Ghana

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