You are on page 1of 41

Reuse of Treated Sewage Water in the UAE Capital :

Resource Management and Impact on Food Safety

Mrs. Manal Al-Hashemi Inorganic Chemistry Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) Abu Dhabi,UAE

Impact on Food Safety Mrs. Manal Al-Hashemi Inorganic Chemistry Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) Abu

THETHE UNITEDUNITED ARABARAB EMIRATESEMIRATES ,,

UUAAEE

THE THE UNITED UNITED ARAB ARAB EMIRATES EMIRATES , , U U A A E E

UAE Water Resources

MAINMAIN FEATURES:FEATURES:

AridArid ClimateClimate

HighHigh summersummer TemperaturesTemperatures

LimitedLimited ConventionalConventional WaterWater ResourcesResources

IncreasingIncreasing DemandDemand (agriculture,(agriculture, pop.pop. GGrrowth,owth, urbanizationurbanization ))

HeavyHeavy dependencedependence onon seawaterseawater desalinationdesalination

urbanization urbanization ) ) Heavy Heavy dependence dependence on on seawater seawater desalination desalination

UAE Water Consumption

ThirdThird HighestHighest ConsumptionConsumption WorldwideWorldwide

83%83% ConsumptionConsumption byby AgricultureAgriculture

IncreasingIncreasing demandsdemands ofof AgriculturalAgricultural expansionexpansion

341%341% increaseincrease inin desalinateddesalinated waterwater SupplySupply

(1993(1993--2003).2003).

341% 341% increase increase in in desalinated desalinated water water Supply Supply (1993 (1993 - -

Abu Dhabi Water Resources

Distribution:Distribution:

Water Resources (Year 2003 Estimates)

4%

17%

Water Resources (Year 2003 Estimates) 4% 17% 78.5% 0.5% Treated Wastewater Fresh Groundwater Desalinated Water

78.5%

0.5%

Treated WastewaterFresh Groundwater Desalinated Water Brackish Groundwater

Fresh GroundwaterTreated Wastewater Desalinated Water Brackish Groundwater

Desalinated WaterTreated Wastewater Fresh Groundwater Brackish Groundwater

Brackish GroundwaterTreated Wastewater Fresh Groundwater Desalinated Water

4% 17% 78.5% 0.5% Treated Wastewater Fresh Groundwater Desalinated Water Brackish Groundwater

Deteriorating Ground Water Resources

Deteriorating Ground Water Resources

Abu Dhabi Water Consumption

Abu Dhabi Water Consumption (2003)

7.0%

15.5%

1.5%

18.0%

Abu Dhabi Water Consumption (2003) 7.0% 15.5% 1.5% 18.0% 58.0% Domestic Ag r i cu l

58.0%

DomesticAbu Dhabi Water Consumption (2003) 7.0% 15.5% 1.5% 18.0% 58.0% Ag r i cu l t

Ag r i cu l t u r eAbu Dhabi Water Consumption (2003) 7.0% 15.5% 1.5% 18.0% 58.0% Domestic Ame n i t y

Ame n i t yAbu Dhabi Water Consumption (2003) 7.0% 15.5% 1.5% 18.0% 58.0% Domestic Ag r i cu l

Industry / CommerceAbu Dhabi Water Consumption (2003) 7.0% 15.5% 1.5% 18.0% 58.0% Domestic Ag r i cu l

ForestryAbu Dhabi Water Consumption (2003) 7.0% 15.5% 1.5% 18.0% 58.0% Domestic Ag r i cu l

7.0% 15.5% 1.5% 18.0% 58.0% Domestic Ag r i cu l t u r e Ame

Abu Dhabi Waste Treatment

AlAl MafraqMafraq WastewaterWastewater TreatmentTreatment WorksWorks (MWTW):(MWTW):

OverOver 40%40% ofof UAEUAE ProductionProduction

OverOver 75%75% ofof AbuAbu DhabiDhabi EmirateEmirate ProductionProduction

TertiaryTertiary TreatmentTreatment (Activated(Activated SlSluuddgege,, CChhlorinlorinaation,tion, SanSandd Filtration)Filtration)

(Activated (Activated Sl Sl u u d d ge ge , , C C h h

MWTW Influent Quality

Parameter MINIMUM MAXIMUM MEAN Temperature °C 27 35 31 BOD (mg/L) 120 330 207 COD
Parameter
MINIMUM
MAXIMUM
MEAN
Temperature °C
27
35
31
BOD (mg/L)
120
330
207
COD (mg/L)
122
471
245
TSS (mg/L)
18
63
38
Soluble Sulphide
(mg/L)
500
760
623
Conductivity
2500
5800
3500
(µS/cm)
122 471 245 TSS (mg/L) 18 63 38 Soluble Sulphide (mg/L) 500 760 623 Conductivity 2500

MWTW Treated Effluent Quality

MWTW Treated Effluent Quality
MWTW Treated Effluent Quality
MWTW Treated Effluent Quality

Abu Dhabi Treated Wastewater characteristics

LowLow levellevel ofof totaltotal suspendedsuspended solidssolids (High(High waterwater consumption)consumption)

HighHigh recoveryrecovery raterate ofof 94%94% atat MWTWMWTW ::

AverageAverage incomingincoming flowflow :: 407,315407,315 mm 33 /day/day AverageAverage outgoingoutgoing flowflow :: 383,076383,076 mm 33 /day/day

m m 3 3 /day /day Average Average outgoing outgoing flow flow : : 383,076 383,076

Reuse of Wastewater in Irrigation (Abu Dhabi Emirate)

OverOver 360,000360,000 haha ofof cultivatedcultivated landland (Agriculture,(Agriculture, Forestry,Forestry, Amenities).Amenities).

CultivatedCultivated LandLand consumesconsumes oovverer 27002700 (Mm(Mm³³/yr)/yr) ofof irrigationirrigation waterwater (mainly(mainly groundground water)water)

WastewaterWastewater onlyonly usedused forfor irrigationirrigation ofof aroundaround 40004000 haha ofof amenitiesamenities (parks,(parks, gardens,gardens, etc)etc) inin AbuAbu DhabiDhabi citycity andand environs.environs.

(parks, (parks, gardens, gardens, etc) etc) in in Abu Abu Dhabi Dhabi city city and and

Reuse of Wastewater in Irrigation (Abu Dhabi Emirate)

MWTWMWTW wastewaterwastewater production:production: 139.8139.8 MmMm 33 /yr/yr

NoNo measurementmeasurement ofof efficiencyefficiency ofof wastewaterwastewater reusereuse

- NoNo measurementmeasurement ofof exactexact QuantitiesQuantities UsedUsed oror EfficiencyEfficiency ofof irrigationirrigation methodsmethods usedused

Quantities Quantities Used Used or or Efficiency Efficiency of of irrigation irrigation methods methods used used

Food Crops Irrigated with

Treated Wastewater (Abu Dhabi)

ProhibitionProhibition ofof wastewaterwastewater irrigationirrigation forfor foodfood cropscrops isis thethe commoncommon practice,practice, despitedespite highhigh effluenteffluent quality.quality.

RoadsideRoadside datedate palmpalm treestrees distributeddistributed amongamong locallocal amenitiesamenities areare thethe onlyonly foodfood cropscrops irrigatedirrigated withwith treatedtreated wastewaterwastewater

are the the only only food food crops crops irrigated irrigated with with treated treated wastewater
are the the only only food food crops crops irrigated irrigated with with treated treated wastewater

Factors Discouraging Wastewater Reuse in Food Crop Production

SocialSocial FactorsFactors

FoodFood SafetySafety andand HealthHealth riskrisk assessmentassessment

LackLack ofof aa clearclear waterwater managementmanagement policypolicy

risk risk assessment assessment Lack Lack of of a a clear clear water water management management

Factors Discouraging Wastewater Reuse in Food Crop Production

SocialSocial FactorsFactors

PublicPublic awarenessawareness andand acceptabilityacceptability ofof productsproducts

MisconceptionsMisconceptions regardingregarding riskrisk involvedinvolved

IgnoranceIgnorance regardingregarding realreal butbut unknownunknown risksrisks

risk risk involved involved Ignorance Ignorance regarding regarding real real but but unknown unknown risks risks

Factors Discouraging Wastewater Reuse in Food Crop Production

FoodFood SafetySafety && HealthHealth RiskRisk AssessmentAssessment

RestrictedRestricted && UnrestrictedUnrestricted IrrigationIrrigation

RiskRisk ofof EatingEating RawRaw VegetablesVegetables

RiskRisk ofof ContactContact withwith TreatedTreated IrrigationIrrigation WaterWater

Vegetables Vegetables Risk Risk of of Contact Contact with with Treated Treated Irrigation Irrigation Water Water

FoodFood SafetySafety && HealthHealth RiskRisk AssessmentAssessment

UnrestrictedUnrestricted Irrigation:Irrigation: IrrigationIrrigation ofof allall foodfood crops,crops, includingincluding vegetablesvegetables andand saladsalad cropscrops eateneaten raw.raw.

HealthHealth Concerns:Concerns:

ConsumerConsumer SafetySafety FieldField StaffStaff SafetySafety

raw. raw. Health Health Concerns: Concerns: Consumer Consumer Safety Safety Field Field Staff Staff Safety Safety
raw. raw. Health Health Concerns: Concerns: Consumer Consumer Safety Safety Field Field Staff Staff Safety Safety

FoodFood SafetySafety && HealthHealth RiskRisk AssessmentAssessment

RestrictedRestricted Irrigation:Irrigation: IrrigationIrrigation ofof allall cropscrops exceptexcept vegetablesvegetables andand saladsalad cropscrops eateneaten raw.raw.

PrimePrime HealthHealth Concern:Concern:

FieldField StaffStaff SafetySafety

crops crops eaten eaten raw. raw. Prime Prime Health Health Concern: Concern: Field Field Staff Staff
crops crops eaten eaten raw. raw. Prime Prime Health Health Concern: Concern: Field Field Staff Staff

FoodFood SafetySafety && HealthHealth RiskRisk AssessmentAssessment

RiskRisk ofof EatingEating RawRaw VegetablesVegetables

TreatedTreated Wastewater:Wastewater: ForFor QualityQuality withinwithin 10001000 faecalfaecal coliforms/100coliforms/100 mlml (WHO),(WHO), EstimatedEstimated RiskRisk == 1010 --66 oror 0.0001%.0.0001%. **

UnTreatedUnTreated WastewaterWastewater::

EstimatedEstimated RiskRisk == 55 1515 %% ((FattalFattal etet al.,al., 2004)2004)

AbuAbu DhabiDhabi TreatedTreated Wastewater:Wastewater: AverageAverage << 5050 faecalfaecal coliforms/100coliforms/100 mlml (Well(Well belowbelow internationalinternational SafetySafety Margin).Margin).

* USEPA acceptable risk level = 0.01% (10- 4 )

below international international Safety Safety Margin). Margin). * USEPA acceptable risk level = 0.01% (10- 4

Consumption of Food in Contact with Treated Wastewater (Abu Dhabi)

Consumption of Food in Contact with Treated Wastewater (Abu Dhabi)

: ImportedImported VegetablesVegetables

irrigatedirrigated

withwith waterwater ofof unknownunknown QualityQuality

Imported Vegetables Vegetables irrigated irrigated with with water water of of unknown unknown Quality Quality
Imported Vegetables Vegetables irrigated irrigated with with water water of of unknown unknown Quality Quality
Imported Vegetables Vegetables irrigated irrigated with with water water of of unknown unknown Quality Quality

Risk of Contact with Treated Wastewater

No Risk for Abu Dhabi’s Wastewater !!

Risk of Contact with Treated Wastewater No Risk for Abu Dhabi’s Wastewater ! !

FoodFood SafetySafety && HealthHealth RiskRisk AssessmentAssessment RiskRisk ofof ContactContact withwith TreatedTreated IrrigationIrrigation WaterWater

IncreasedIncreased InfectionInfection Risk:Risk: ForFor contactcontact withwith sprinklersprinkler waterwater containing:containing:

1010 66 faecalfaecal coliforms/100coliforms/100 mlml

NoNo IncreasedIncreased InfectionInfection Risk:Risk: ForFor contactcontact withwith sprinklersprinkler waterwater containing:containing:

1010 33 -- 1010 44 faecalfaecal coliforms/100coliforms/100 mlml

(WHO(WHO limitlimit toto 1010 timestimes thethe limit)limit)

[Blumenthal[Blumenthal etet al.,al., 2002]2002]

AbuAbu DhabiDhabi TreatedTreated Wastewater:Wastewater: AverageAverage << 5050 faecalfaecal coliforms/100coliforms/100 mlml (Well(Well belowbelow internationalinternational SafetySafety Margin).Margin).

coliforms/100 ml ml (Well (Well below below international international Safety Safety Margin). Margin).

Factors Discouraging Wastewater Reuse in Food Crop Production

LackLack ofof aa ClearClear WaterWater ManagementManagement PolicyPolicy

LackLack ofof integratedintegrated conservationistconservationist resourceresource managementmanagement policy.policy.

AvailabilityAvailability ofof expensiveexpensive nonnon--conventionalconventional sources.sources.

WaterWater managementmanagement policypolicy orientedoriented towardstowards increasingincreasing supplysupply ratherrather thanthan controllingcontrolling demand.demand.

towards towards increasing increasing supply supply rather rather than than controlling controlling demand. demand.

AdvantagesAdvantages ofof WastewaterWastewater ReuseReuse inin FoodFood CropCrop IrrigationIrrigation

ContributionContribution toto thethe conservationconservation ofof overover-- abstractedabstracted undergroundunderground resources.resources.

EnvironmentEnvironment ProtectionProtection byby reducingreducing pollutionpollution fromfrom desalinationdesalination plants.plants.

EnvironmentEnvironment ProtectionProtection byby providingproviding substitutesubstitute toto chemicalchemical fertilizers.fertilizers.

Protection by by providing providing substitute substitute to to chemical chemical fertilizers. fertilizers.

AdvantagesAdvantages ofof WastewaterWastewater ReuseReuse inin FoodFood CropCrop IrrigationIrrigation

SoilSoil enrichmentenrichment withwith nutrientsnutrients (N,(N, P,P, K)K) ::

IncreasedIncreased ProductionProduction SavingSaving FertilizerFertilizer CostCost

EconomicEconomic benefitbenefit ofof providingproviding aa cheapercheaper alternativealternative toto irrigationirrigation withwith expensiveexpensive desalinateddesalinated water.water.

ProtectionProtection ofof agriculturalagricultural soilsoil byby providingproviding aa substitutesubstitute toto irrigationirrigation withwith highlyhighly brackishbrackish oror salinesaline wellwell water.water.

to to irrigation irrigation with with highly highly brackish brackish or or saline saline well well

Conclusions & Recommendations

Based on existing data gathered over more than 20 years regarding the quality of Abu Dhabi treated wastewater (under tertiary treatment), it is safe to say that the reuse of wastewater in food crop irrigation is highly recommended and poses no real risk to food safety .

say that the reuse of wastewater in food crop irrigation is highly recommended and poses no

Conclusions & Recommendations

Reuse of wastewater in food crop irrigation is highly recommended:

To protect conventional water resources;

To protect & improve the quality of agricultural soil through valuable nutrients that increase agricultural production;

To protect the environment by reducing pollution associated with other water sources.

increase agricultural production; To protect the environment by reducing pollution associated with other water sources.

Conclusions & Recommendations

To conduct research to assess the risk involved with the sizeable imports of raw-eaten fruits and vegetables of unknown history which may have been irrigated with poorly treated wastewater or even raw sewage.

and vegetables of unknown history which may have been irrigated with poorly treated wastewater or even

Conclusions & Recommendations

Frequent monitoring of chemical and microbiological safety of imported food crops eaten raw with special emphasis on helminthes eggs and other parasites.

microbiological safety of imported food crops eaten raw with special emphasis on helminthes eggs and other

Conclusions & Recommendations

FoodFood controlcontrol authoritiesauthorities needneed toto developdevelop highlyhighly efficientefficient parasitologicalparasitological labs.labs.

need need to to develop develop highly highly efficient efficient parasitological parasitological labs. labs.
need need to to develop develop highly highly efficient efficient parasitological parasitological labs. labs.
need need to to develop develop highly highly efficient efficient parasitological parasitological labs. labs.

Conclusions & Recommendations

Imposition of regulations compelling vegetable exporters to the UAE to provide certified documents indicating the type of irrigation water used and whether or not wastewater (treated or untreated) was used.

documents indicating the type of irrigation water used and whether or not wastewater (treated or untreated)

Conclusions & Recommendations

To Manage wastewater reuse within the framework of a comprehensive water resource management strategy.

Recommendations To Manage wastewater reuse within the framework of a comprehensive water resource management strategy.

Conclusions & Recommendations

Competent authorities need to monitor and measure the efficiency of irrigation with wastewater with a view to reduce water demand by improving the efficiency of irrigation networks ; adopting more efficient irrigation methods and maintaining seasonal water reservoirs at the sewage treatment plants.

; adopting more efficient irrigation methods and maintaining seasonal water reservoirs at the sewage treatment plants.

Conclusions & Recommendations

Competent authorities need focus on managing water demand by re- planning the development of farmed areas in terms of quantity and quality and adopting plans to introduce low- water consumption plants.

of farmed areas in terms of quantity and quality and adopting plans to introduce low- water

Conclusions & Recommendations

Competent authorities must adopt means , such as sign posts, to alert the public using recreational amenities that the treated wastewater used for irrigation is not of potable quality.

the public using recreational amenities that the treated wastewater used for irrigation is not of potable

Thanks

DateDate PalmPalm irrigatedirrigated withwith TreatedTreated SewageSewage WaterWater inin AbuAbu DhabiDhabi

Date Palm Palm irrigated irrigated with with Treated Treated Sewage Sewage Water Water in in Abu