Risk assessment and loading capacity of reclaimed wastewater to be reused for agricultural irrigation
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The reuse of treated municipal wastewater should be one of the new water resource target areas. The suitability of the reuse of wastewater for agricultural irrigation has to consider health risk, soil contamination and the influence of the reclaimed water on crop growth. In this work the aim is to use quantitative risk analysis to assess the health effects related to reclaimed water quality and to calculate the loading capacity of reclaimed wastewater in terms of the heavy metal accumulation. The results of chemical risk assessment show there would be slightly significant health risk and what risk there is can be limited within an acceptable level. The following exposure pathway: reclaimed water→surface water→fish (shellfish)→human, and arsenic risks are of more concern. In terms of reuse impact in soil contamination, the most possible heavy metal caused accumulation is arsenic. The irrigative quantity has to reach 13,300 m3/ha to cause arsenic accumulation. However, only 12,000 m3/ha is essential for rice paddy cropland. The high total nitrogen of reclaimed water from secondary treatment makes it unfavorable for crop growth. The recommended dilution ratio is 50% during the growth period and 25% during the maturity period.
KeywordsReuse Municipal wastewater Agricultural irrigation Risk assessment Reclaimed water Loading capacity
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