Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Reclaimed Wastewater: An Idea that Could Soak in

11.08.2005


As water becomes ever more scarce, quenching thirsty crops with wastewater may be OK if done right, researchers here say.

"Managing reclaimed water by pretreating before using it to irrigate, monitoring for viruses, choosing correct crops and periodically leaching the soils should be successful and safe," said Dr. George Di Giovanni, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station environmental microbiologist.

Di Giovanni and his colleagues studied the movement of viruses carried in water through sandy and clay soils on which spinach was planted. They were interested in how long viruses in the water remain in the soil, how they move through the soil and whether they could harm humans or livestock. Their findings have been accepted for an article in Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment journal.



"No bacteriophage (virus) was found on the spinach leaves, regardless of the type of soil they grew in," Di Giovanni said.

The tests were done in a greenhouse in soil collected from the region. Two types of water were tested – a blend of reclaimed water and filtered wastewater laced with bacteriophage, which is a type of virus that infects only bacteria. A bacteriophage is often used in studies as a substitute for human viruses, Di Giovanni said. The water was dripped under the soil surface in plastic columns built for the test.

The research found that bacteriophage could be found on the crusty surfaces of both soil types and remained in the clay soil for about a month after irrigation ended.

"That suggests that human viruses could also linger in the soil," Di Giovanni said. "Reclaimed water must be effectively treated to remove or kill pathogens before use, regardless of irrigation method."

Finding such uses for reclaimed water is vital, said Experiment Station wastewater researcher Dr. Naomi Assadian.

"Wastewater reuse for agriculture and managed landscapes will be necessary to meet growing water demands and conserve current drinking supplies in arid regions such as the upper Rio Grande River area," Assadian said. "But alternative supplies, such as treated municipal wastewater, often contain microbial and chemical elements that may affect public health and/or the environment."

Assadian and Di Giovanni collaborated on the project with Dr. Jaime Iglesias, Texas Cooperative Extension agent in El Paso County; Dr. Juan Enciso, Experiment Station agriculture engineer in Weslaco; and Dr. William Lindemann, New Mexico State University agronomist.

The researchers said a "closed system," as in their method of using underground pipes to apply water to the crop, limited exposure to the soil surface and edible parts of the crop, a positive finding as scientists continue to explore how to reuse water.

While their study showed a feasible use of wastewater, the researchers said similar trials would need to be conducted at each site where such a system is considered. That’s because variations in soil might yield different results, they said.

The study was funded by the Texas Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Experiment Station.

Kathleen Phillips | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut

nachricht Species Richness – a false friend? Scientists want to improve biodiversity assessments
01.08.2017 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>