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Waste Water Treatment and Use in Agriculture

Waste Water Treatment and Use in Agriculture

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http://www.fao.org/docrep/T0551E/t0551e00.htm#ContentsWastewater treatment and use in agriculture - FAO irrigationand drainage paper 47
M.B. Pescod
 Tyne and Wear Professor of Environmental Control Engineering and Head, Department of CivilEngineering University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply theexpression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of theUnited Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
M-56ISBN 92-5-103135-5All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise,without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Applications for such permission, with astatement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction, should be addressed to the Director,Publications Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Viale delle Termedi Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.
 © FAO 1992
This electronic document has been scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) softwareand careful manual recorrection. Even if the quality of digitalisation is high, the FAO declines all 
responsibility for any discrepancies that may exist between the present document and its original  printed version.
Wastewater Treatment and Use in Agriculture is presented as a guide to the use of treatedeffluent for irrigation and aquaculture. This document presents the latest views on health risks,environmental hazards and crop production potential associated with the use of treatedwastewater. It draws on the WHO Guidelines for health protection measures consideredappropriate under various conditions. It explains the basis for conventional wastewater treatmentprocesses and introduces natural biological treatment systems as viable alternatives indeveloping countries, particularly in hot climate regions. Recharge of aquifers as a means of treatment and indirect use of wastewater is covered in some detail.An important chapter of this Irrigation and Drainage Paper concentrates on wastewater irrigationand deals with water quality requirements for optimum crop production and potential impacts onsoils and crops. Principles of irrigation drawn from Irrigation and Drainage Paper 29 (Rev. 1) areapplied to the specific use of wastewater for crop irrigation. Site and crop selection are discussedand irrigation system selection for treated wastewater delivery is reviewed.As a by-product of conventional wastewater treatment, sewage sludge is introduced as a potentialagricultural resource in combination with wastewater irrigation. Sludge characteristics andtreatment are summarized and the limitations of land application are discussed. Potential effectson soils and crops are considered and suggestions made for planting, grazing and harvestingconstraints as well as environmental protection.One chapter of the document is devoted to wastewater use in aquaculture. The concept of aquaticfood chains is introduced and appropriate fish species and aquatic plants for wastewater aquaculture are reviewed. This chapter deals in some depth with the environmental conditionsand fish management in aquaculture ponds and develops the health aspects of fish culture.A brief discussion concerning the economic, institutional and policy issues of wastewater use inagriculture is presented. The need for national planning is stressed so that advantage can betaken of the resource potential of wastewater and sewage sludge. Alternatives for managingeffluent use schemes are discussed in the context of strict control and long-term sustainability.The final substantive chapter of the document reviews wastewater use experience in sevencountries under different conditions. The success with advanced wastewater treatment inCalifornia is contrasted with the use of stabilization pond treatment in Jordan. Soil-aquifer treatment research in Arizona provides yet another alternative for wastewater treatment in effluentuse schemes. Success with the combination of conventional wastewater treatment and humanexposure control in Kuwait is presented as an example of the results of careful national planningfor wastewater use in agriculture. Long experience in Mexico with crop restriction as the solecontrol measure points out the benefits and risks of this approach to wastewater irrigation. Finally,the long-term record of wastewater-fed aquaculture in Calcutta is reviewed.A comprehensive list of references is provided at the end of the document.

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