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Wastewater Use in Agriculture and Relevance of Micropollutants in North African Countries

  • Olfa Mahjoub
Chapter
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 44)

Abstract

Irrigation is the largest practice of water reuse worldwide. In North African countries, both formal and informal uses of wastewater were practiced for a long time thus exposing users and consumers to microbiological and chemical health risks. Negative environmental impacts are also of concern because secondary biological treatment is not effective in removing ubiquitous and persistent contaminants like some emerging micropollutants. Based on research findings during the last decades, the presence of micropollutants in reclaimed water has gained interest in developed countries, and the release of some of them into water bodies has been regulated. In North African countries, in view of the prevailing quality of reclaimed water and its current usage for growing crops, the occurrence of such contaminants has recently raised concern with an increasing number of research works and publications. However, it remains challenging to identify, quantify, and prioritize the most relevant to be regulated. This paper aims at shedding light on the usage of reclaimed water for irrigation in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia while pinpointing the potential sources of micropollutants in wastewater. It discusses the extent to which some micropollutants could be relevant and challenging to public health and environmental quality.

Keywords

Agriculture Micropollutants North Africa Reuse Wastewater 

Abbreviations

BOD

Biochemical oxygen demand

COD

Chemical oxygen demand

DDD

Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane

DDE

Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene

DDT

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane

E1

Estrone

E2

17β-estradiol

E3

Estriol

EC

Electrical conductivity

EE2

17α-ethinylestradiol

FAO

Food and Agriculture Organization

HCB

Hexachlorobenzene

HCH

Hexachlorocyclohexane

PAHs

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

PCBs

Polychlorinated biphenyls

PPCP

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products

TDS

Total dissolved solids

US EPA

United States Environmental Protection Agency

WFD

Water Framework Directive

WHO

World Health Organization

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research Institute for Rural Engineering, Water, and Forestry (INRGREF)ArianaTunisia

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