New studies have revealed that the reuse of untreated wastewater collected from cities is a much more common practice than what was originally assumed. Where previous studies used the analysis of case studies to determine the frequency of incidence in untreated wastewater reuse in agriculture, newer methods of comprehension, such as geographic information systems, are being put to use in more recent studies. These more conclusive methods of study have measured more than just the direct reuse of wastewater – in fact, they’ve been able to successfully investigate the frequency of indirect reuse of wastewater – an assessment not possible before.
Since a method for assessing indirect wastewater reuse hasn’t existed until recently, the majority of untreated wastewater re-use had gone un-noticed for years, illustrating a picture that is far from the reality. The reuse of untreated wastewater for agricultural purposes has been much more widespread than society has been led to believe.
With the health of the public remaining one of the top priorities, researchers emphasize the importance of establishing sustainable methods for effectively treating wastewater for its reuse on farms and in the preparation of food items. With resources limited in third world countries, new methods of treating wastewater at a capacity that is feasible are a necessity for procuring health and growth.
Farmers reliant on the use of wastewater for irrigation are often prepared to use raw, untreated wastewater to meet the needs of their agricultural practices. With a large supply of nutrients present in untreated wastewater, its use generates a higher rate of crop growth and decreases the need for excessive amounts of fertilizers – serving as a cost-effective method for sustaining crops and producing a plentiful harvest.
Unfortunately, the massive health risk that accompanies the improper or absent treatment of wastewater reuse for farming and irrigation purposes is substantial. A large number of farmers, consumers, and vendors have exposed the potentially harmful bacteria that has the potential to make severely ill. On the flip side, organic matter and nutrients within the wastewater have the potential to sustain and grow agriculture, leading to a more secure future for many communities.
The end goal is to uncover a way in which we can harness the potential of wastewater and other available resources to achieve growth and prosperity while simultaneously protecting the best interest, and ultimately the health, of the people.
Interested in learning more about advanced wastewater treatment technologies for agriculture? Contact us today.