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 Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>