The project deals with the reuse of treated wastewater (TW) for irrigation purposes of selected crops, chosen according to the “project idea” of investigating plant species characterized by different vulnerability to chemical and microbiological contamination. Different TWs from urban, mixed urban-agro industrial and mixed urban-textile origins will be tested, according to the specificity of the Countries involved in this project.
Wastewater will be treated according to different treatment trains, using activated sludge (AS), clariflocculation, membrane biological reactors (MBR), constructed wetland (CW) and ozonation stages. The TWs will be used for the irrigation of model plants in field-scale and/or mesocosms and/or in pots, with cultivations irrigated with freshwater (FW) as controls. The plants (e.g. olive and strawberry) were chosen, considering their economic value in the Countries involved in the project and in order to share at least one
common species between two partners, thus allowing for the comparison of the reuse impact of different TWs on the same species. Plants will be evaluated for their growth, development and crop production.
Chemical and microbiological contamination indicators will be monitored along the whole agricultural production chain (i.e. TW, soil and food) in order to unequivocally assess the impact of the wastewater reuse practice under a wide spectrum of experimental conditions. Fruit quality parameters, including selected primary and secondary metabolites important for human nutrition and health protection will be also analysed.
Socioeconomic research activities including social perception and farmer experience on TW reuse for irrigation, economic value of TW and health-related effects of waterborne diseases, are also provided by this project. Specific dissemination/exploitation strategies will be developed aiming at increasing social acceptance of the reuse practice.
Starting date: May 1st, 2016
Ending date: April 30th, 2019
Financed under the ERANETMED 2014 call