Recent Papers on Water Reuse in Irrigation and Agriculture

Content Table

Environmental effects analysis of a wastewater reuse system for agriculture in Korea

Water Science & Technology: Water Supply–WSTWS Vol 8 No 1 pp 37–42 © IWA Publishing 2008 doi:10.2166/ws.2008.026

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Tae Il Jang, Seung Woo Park and Hak Kwan Kim

Department of Rural Systems Engineering/RIALS, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea Fax: +82-2-873-2087 E-mail:;;


The long-term goal of this research is to develop the infra-technologies to reclaim effluents from wastewater treatment plants and reuse them for agricultural water demands. The objectives of this were: 1) to study the effects of various wastewater treatment levels on crop growth and yields; 2) to determine the pollution loads from wastewater applications to paddy fields, and explore potential health hazards; 3) to investigate the treatment efficiencies of three different levels of treatment systems; and 4) to assess the agro-environmental effects of reusable wastewater resources. Wastewater reuse systems can be greatly beneficial for irrigating crops and improving river water quality. Field experiments for cultivating rice with reclaimed wastewater were carried out on the test plots. The effects of various wastewater treatment levels on water quality, paddy soil, crop growth, yields, and the health hazards were investigated.

Reuse of industrial wastewater for the irrigation of ornamental plants

Water Science & Technology—WST Vol 57 No 6 pp 883–889 © IWA Publishing 2008 doi:10.2166/wst.2008.185

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R. Gori, C. Lubello, F. Ferrini, F. P. Nicese and E. Coppini

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Ambientale, Università di Firenze, Via S. Marta 3, Firenze, Italy E-mail:;
 Dipartimento di Ortoflorofrutticoltura, Università di Firenze, V.le delle Idee 30, 50019, Sesto, Italy E-mail:;
 GIDA SpA, Via Baciacavallo 36, 59100, Prato, Italy E-mail:


This paper describes the results of experimental activities carried out for verifying the possibility of reusing reclaimed wastewater originated from textile (70%) and domestic (30%) activities for the irrigation of container-grown ornamental shrubs. Aspects that concern the refinery treatment of reclaimed wastewater and the effect of irrigation on some ornamental plant species were investigated. An experimental site consisting of a refinery treatment pilot plant (filtration and disinfection) and an agronomic experimental area was set-up. The combined treatment of PAA and UV, used for the disinfection, showed to be very effective for inactivation of E. coli with most of PAA and UV dose combinations able to assure total inactivation. The plants (Buxus, Photinia, Pistacia and Viburnum), sprinkle and drip irrigated with well water (WW), reclaimed wastewater (RW) and a water mixed (MW) between reclaimed wastewater and well water (1:1 by vol), showed interesting results. A similar growth among different treatments was achieved for Buxus and Pistacia, while Viburnum and Photinia plants showed a higher sensibility to MW and RW. Photinia, in particular, turned out to be very sensitive to sprinkle irrigation with the reclaimed water, while the drip irrigation had no such bad effects, as reported in previous works.

Experimental study on municipal and industrial reclaimed wastewater refinement for agricultural reuse

Water Science & Technology—WST Vol 58 No 1 pp 217–223 © IWA Publishing 2008 doi:10.2166/wst.2008.651

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R. Gori and C. Caretti

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Ambientale, Università di Firenze, Via S. Marta 3, Firenze, Italy E-mail:;


The present study is aimed at verifying the possibility of reusing municipal and industrial reclaimed wastewaters for the irrigation of container-grown ornamental shrubs, paying attention to the refinery treatment. The research has been carried out in the district of Pistoia (Central Italy), which represents one of the main nursery areas in Europe. Two experimental sites, each consisting of a refinery treatment pilot plant (filtration and disinfection) and an agronomic area, were set-up. In this paper the attention is focused on the selection of the refinery treatment. The combined process of peracetic acid (PAA) and ultraviolet irradiation (UV) chosen for the disinfection treatment proved to be very effective for the inactivation of microorganisms for both municipal and industrial wastewaters. The high efficiency is recognised as being brought about by the formation of free radicals due to the photolysis of the PAA when in the presence of the UV rays. A preliminary cost analysis has been carried out in order to highlight the most economically advantageous solution which guarantees the compliance to the Italian limits for wastewater reuse in agriculture (Escherichia Coli 10 CFU/100 mL).

Viability of increasing the tariff of freshwater for irrigation as a tool to stimulate wastewater reuse in the MENA region

Water Science & Technology—WST Vol 57 No 9 pp 1475–1481 © IWA Publishing 2008 doi:10.2166/wst.2008.238

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M. Abu-Madi, R. Al-Sa'ed, O. Braadbaart and G. Alaerts

Water Studies Institute, Birzeit University, P.O. Box 14, Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine
 Water Studies Institute, Birzeit University, P.O. Box 14, Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine
 Wageningen University and Research Center, Wageningen, The Netherlands
 UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands


Despite water scarcity and high agricultural water demand in the Middle East and North Africa region, substantial proportions of treated wastewater are discharged into the environment and seas without proper utilization. All countries of the region, low pricing of reclaimed wastewater is a common tool to make reuse attractive. However, low pricing of reclaimed wastewater is ineffectual due to farmers' access to freshwater for irrigation at low tariff. Therefore, increasing the prices of freshwater in such a way that does not jeopardize feasibility of agriculture would promote irrigation with reclaimed wastewater even at increased prices. On one hand, it increases the gap between the price of freshwater and that of reclaimed wastewater, making the later more attractive. On the other hand, it would be used as a financial resource for funding the investment costs of the infrastructure needed for conveyance and distribution of reclaimed wastewater. This paper studies the viability of increasing the prices of freshwater and reclaimed wastewater. The results show that irrigation with reclaimed wastewater even for restricted irrigation can be as profitable as, and sometimes better than, freshwater irrigation. Some of the permitted crops such as fruit trees can be more profitable than vegetables. Thus, it appears that the level of knowledge farmers and others on the benefits of reclaimed wastewater is still limited.

The use of ozone during advanced primary treatment of wastewater for its reuse in agriculture: an approach to enhance coagulation, disinfection and crop productivities

Water Science & Technology—WST Vol 57 No 6 pp 955–962 © IWA Publishing 2008 doi:10.2166/wst.2008.204

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A. E. Campos-Reales-Pineda, M. T. Orta de Velásquez and M. N. Rojas-Valencia

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Institute de Ingeniera, Edificio 5, 1er Nivel, Cub 214, Circuito Escolar, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510, Mexico DF, Mexico E-mail:;;


The purpose of this work was to evaluate the effect that ozone (O3) has on the advanced primary treatment (APT) and disinfection of wastewaters for their reuse in agriculture. The enhancement and optimization of APT was done by applying low O3 doses during coagulation. By applying an ozone dose of 2 mg/L during APT, the required coagulant dose may be reduced by up to 25% to achieve a similar turbidity removal (and up to 50% for total suspended solids removal), when compared to a conventional APT treatment. When the same coagulant dose was applied (60 mg/L), the volume of settleable solids was reduced from 31.0 to 25.5 mL/L, and the settling velocity increased from 0.111 to 0.139 m/min. Disinfection was also improved by the use of ozone, which leads to better plant germination rates than when using chlorination, because of reduced toxicity of the ozonated effluents. Additionally, helminth eggs content was reduced by applying ozone.

Water reuse for urban landscape irrigation: aspersion and health related regulations

Water Science & Technology—WST Vol 57 No 5 pp 781–787 © IWA Publishing 2008 doi:10.2166/wst.2008.162

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F. Brissaud, S. Hemous, E. Blin and L. Garrelly

Hydrosciences, MSE, Université Montpellier II, 34095, Montpellier, cedex 05, France E-mail:
 SDEI, route de Bessan, BP 86, 34340, Marseillan, France E-mail:
 GL-Biocontrol, Mas Bas Cidex 1040, Aspères, France E-mail: garrelly@wanadoo.


The Mediterranean seaside resort of Le Grau du Roi includes 40 hectares of landscaped areas spray irrigated with river water supplied through a separate network. Wastewater collected from several municipalities is treated in an activated sludge wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and polished in waste stabilization ponds (WSPs). Planned substitution of treated wastewater for river water is hindered by spray irrigation prohibition within a 100 m distance from houses and recreational areas. WWTP and WSP effluents were monitored for pathogens with a particular attention to Legionella in Spring and Summer 2006. Helminth eggs, salmonellae and enteroviruses were never detected neither in WWTP effluent nor in the ponds. Legionella spp content was slightly higher or of the order of magnitude of river water contents. Regarding Legionella pneumophila contents, WSP effluent did not significantly differ from the river water. E.coli and enterococci contents in WSP effluents complied with the “excellent quality” criteria of the European Directive for coastal bathing waters. Therefore, substituting WSP effluents to river water is unlikely to alter health risks related to spray irrigation and, in this case, the buffer zone required by the French water reuse guidelines appears being short of support.

The effect of reclaimed wastewater on the quality and growth of grapevines

Water Science & Technology—WST Vol 57 No 9 pp 1445–1450 © IWA Publishing 2008 doi:10.2166/wst.2008.242

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L. G. Mendoza-Espinosa, A. Cabello-Pasini, W. Daessle-Heuser, V. Macias-Carranza, A. L. Quintanilla-Montoya and M. V. Orozco-Borbón

Water, Energy and Environment Group, Oceanographic Research Institute, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Km 107 Ensenada-Tijuana Road, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico E-mail:
 Oceanographic Research Institute, Autonomous University of Baja California, Km 107 Ensenada-Tijuana Road, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico


The effect of the use of treated wastewater on the growth of cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes from the Guadalupe Valley, Mexico was evaluated. Secondary advanced effluent was used to irrigate the grapevines at a rate of 66 L/vine/week. Wastewater quality results confirmed that all parameters complied with Mexican legislation for crop irrigation as well as reuse in activities in which the public would be in direct or indirect contact with the reclaimed water. Results showed that the number of leaves per shoot and the overall biomass increased in plants irrigated with wastewater and grape production per plant was 20% higher. The concentration of carbohydrates, organic acids and pH were similar in grapes from vines irrigated with wastewater to those irrigated with groundwater. Throughout the experiment, no fecal coliform bacteria were detected in the cultivated grapes. The wastewater caused an increase in the biomass of the grapevines and there was no presence of microbial indicators in the final product so a higher wine production could be achieved without an increase in health risk related problems. If 200 L/s of reclaimed wastewater would be returned to be used for grapevine irrigation in Valle de Guadalupe (the same amount that is currently being sent as drinking water to Ensenada), assuming an irrigation application of 6,000–7.500 m3/ha/year, approximately 837–1046 hectares (ha) of grapevines could be irrigated. Part of ongoing research includes an economical analysis of the best options for Ensenada and the Valle de Guadalupe in order to establish the optimum volume of water to be returned, the cost of its transportation, as well as the cost of irrigation.

Evaluation of agricultural reuse practices and relevant guidelines for the Alba Rancho WWTP (primary and secondary facultative ponds) in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Water Science & Technology Vol 55 No 1-2 pp 469–475 © IWA Publishing 2007 doi:10.2166/wst.2007.045

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J. Zabalaga, G. Amy and E. von Münch

Municipal Infrastructure Department, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Westvest, 7, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands (E-mail:


Many cities in developing countries are experiencing high population growth, which is generating chaotic and unplanned development, reducing land areas available for agriculture, and polluting surface and groundwater. Consequently, the reuse of untreated or partially treated wastewater for agricultural irrigation is increasing in arid and semi-arid regions in developing countries. Cochabamba city in Bolivia also has a high population growth. The climatic characteristics and the lack of clean water sources in this city are forcing the agriculture sector to use treated and untreated wastewater for irrigation. We investigated the effluent quality of the Alba Rancho Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and the existing effluent reuse practices for irrigation of fodder crops in the surrounding agricultural land (La Mayca area). The plant uses primary and secondary facultative ponds, and does not achieve the required effluent quality (according to Bolivian environmental law) for effluent BOD, COD, TDS and faecal coliforms. This paper also includes a brief comparison of guidelines for wastewater reuse in agriculture from several developing and developed countries, comparing the parameters measured as pollution indicators. It appears that for developed countries, the main concern is the health risk that reuse can cause to the farmers and consumers. For developing countries on the other hand, pollution reduction is currently the major aim in their guidelines and standards.

Feasibility of a constructed wetland and wastewater stabilisation pond system as a sewage reclamation system for agricultural reuse in a decentralised rural area

Water Science & Technology Vol 55 No 1-2 pp 503–511 © IWA Publishing 2007 doi:10.2166/wst.2007.014

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J.H. Ham*, C.G. Yoon*, J.H. Jeon** and H.C. Kim*

*Department of Environment Science, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayang-dong, Kwangjin-gu, Seoul, , Korea (E-mail:
 **Research Division, Korea Environment Institute, 613-2 Bulgwang-dong, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul, , Korea


The performance of a constructed wetland (CW) and wastewater stabilisation pond (WSP) system for sewage reclamation and paddy rice irrigation in a decentralised rural area was examined using a feasibility study. The CW was satisfactory for sewage treatment, with good removal efficiency even in the winter period, but the effluent concentration was relatively high in the winter period owing to the high influent concentration. The CW effluent was further treated in a WSP and the WSP effluent was considered safe for crop irrigation with respect to sewage-borne pathogens. Reclaimed water irrigation did not adversely affect the yield of rice; on the contrary, it resulted in an approximately 50% greater yield than in controls. The chemical characteristics of the soil did not change significantly during the experimental period of irrigation with reclaimed water. In the winter, CW effluent could be stored and treated in a WSP until the spring; the water could then be discharged or reused for supplemental irrigation during the typical Korean spring drought. Overall, sewage treatment and agronomic reuse using a CW-WSP system could be a practical integrated sewage management measure for protecting receiving water bodies and overcoming water shortages in decentralised rural areas.

Helminth ova removal from wastewater for agriculture and aquaculture reuse

Water Science & Technology Vol 55 No 1-2 pp 485–493 © IWA Publishing 2007 doi:10.2166/wst.2007.046

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B. Jimenez

Treatment and Reuse Group; Institute of Engineering, UNAM, Apdo Postal 70472, 04510 Coyoacan DF Mexico (E-mail:


In the new version of the World Health Organization (WHO), water reuse guidelines helminth ova are considered one of the main target pollutants to be removed from wastewater reuse for agriculture and aquaculture purposes. In spite of this, along with the fact that helminth ova have been considered the main health risk to wastewater reuse for agriculture for at least 20 years, relatively little research has been done to control helminth ova in the wastewater treatment field. This paper addresses (1) characteristics of helminth ova and differences with microorganisms; (2) the most frequent helminth ova genus found in wastewater; (3) helminth ova content in developed and developing countries wastewater; (4) reasons why conventional disinfection methods cannot be applied; (5) main removal mechanisms; and (6) processes that in practice have effectively removed or inactivated helminth ova.

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