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Irrigating with wastewater? December 20, 2010

Posted by WaterWise Consulting in Uncategorized.
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Since wastewater has been treated by sewage treatment plants, people have wondered if it can be used to irrigate crops. Many have argued that wastewater, also known as recycled water, or non-potable water, should not be used for crops since it does not meet the standards required for drinking water. However, farmers, water purveyors, and water districts have recently been pushing to use recycled water to irrigate crops.
The main argument against this issue is that mentioned before—that it doesn’t meet drinking water standards. Critics claim that the water can contain harmful bacteria or other contaminants such as metals that are unhealthy for human consumption. However, this water is considered to be safe enough to swim in.
Environmentalists argue that the water is safe enough to be used for irrigation. If the water is not used by irrigation, it must be released into natural ecosystems such as lakes or streams. The surge of water often changes the temperature or chemical composition of the water, making it inhospitable for native species. For example, water that is either too warm or too cold will change the temperature of surrounding water enough that spawning salmon will not be able to breed.
To read more about the subject, visit: http://hanfordsentinel.com/articles/2010/01/19/news/doc4b54a8855769b557891315.txt
Brian O’Neill
boneill@waterwise-consulting.com

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