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Wageningen University (2010)

Development of contextually adapted strategies to manage health risks related to agricultural irrigation with treated wastewater : a case study in Magabheni, South Africa

Raber, W.

Titre : Development of contextually adapted strategies to manage health risks related to agricultural irrigation with treated wastewater : a case study in Magabheni, South Africa

Auteur : Raber, W.

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2010

Descriptif
In the case of limited access to fresh water resources, particularly in peri-urban areas where urban and agricultural pressure on water resources is high, municipal wastewater becomes a viable asset as a source for irrigation water. Furthermore, urban wastewater management has the objective to dispose urban drainage while avoiding negative impacts on environment and public health. Irrigation with treated wastewater is an accepted option in wastewater management in increasing more countries. However, strict official regulations on effluent quality in combination with poor institutional, financial and infrastructural settings of low income countries often restrict construction and maintenance of required infrastructure to provide effluent quality as stipulated by legislation. An effect of this paralysed situation is indirect, uncontrolled, and partly illegal use of raw sewage or poorly treated wastewater for agricultural use, which poses a risk to the environment and health of producers and consumers of crops. The presented work gives impulses for contextual wastewater management design based on case specific requirements of agriculture and environment on water quality. The focus of the research lies on determination and evaluation of health risks for consumers of wastewater irrigated crops by Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) on basis of WHO Guidelines for wastewater use in agriculture from 2006. Possible health risk reduction measures along the production chain by on-farm practice or wastewater treatment are identified. Also risk for the agronomic system and environmental pollution risk by chemical water quality in wastewater irrigation is considered on basis of FAO guidelines, drinking water quality guidelines and additional literature. Contextual specific risks are identified and evaluated for the case of a wastewater irrigation project in Magabheni, South Africa. Revealed risk factors and particular on-farm health risk reduction measures were evaluated and negotiated with farmers during the planning and implementation of the agricultural system. Based on findings from the Magabheni case maximal concentrations for selected water quality parameters of irrigation water could be concluded and hypothetical wastewater management systems are presented. Contextual developed water quality and possible treatment systems are compared with those stipulated by national legislation revealing more flexible system design in contextual wastewater management.

Mots clés : irrigation / irrigation water / waste water / waste water treatment / community health / health hazards / public health / water quality / south africa

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Page publiée le 15 février 2015, mise à jour le 18 octobre 2018