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Wageningen University (2015)

Reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation in Murcia, Spain : a comparison study of three different water sources

Sjoukes, Rob

Titre : Reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation in Murcia, Spain : a comparison study of three different water sources

Auteur : Sjoukes, Rob

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2015

Résumé
In the water scarce area of Murcia there are problems with the quality of surface water. To improve the quality of surface water, the Regional Government implemented a master plan, called The Master Plan for Urban Wastewater Sanitation and Treatment in the Murcia Region 2001-2010. The plan improved wastewater treatment, which resulted in improved surface water quality. Most of the treated water is reused in agriculture. The master plan focuses on the environment, however in this thesis the focus is on the farmers. The farmers are the end users of the treated wastewater and used as starting point of the reverse water chain approach. From the reverse water chain approach the following focus points emerged : nutrient concentrations of NO3, P2O5, and K2O in the water sources, the salinity level of the water sources, the safety of using the water sources, and the crop yield by using different water sources.
The focus points are part of the research project IRIS (Intelligent Reclaim Irrigation System). In this research three different water sources are used : (1) water from the Irrigation community (IC), this water is used by farmers in the area and is a mix of transfer water from the Tajo-Segura transfer, groundwater, surface water, reclaimed water from treated wastewater, and desalinated water ; (2) effluent water of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) of Roldán-Balsicas, that uses tertiary treatment (TT) ; and (3) the effluent water of the new IRIS treatment system, which is designed to keep the valuable nutrients and reduce the salinity level. For the IRIS research, green bell pepper (Capsicum Annuum) is grown in a greenhouse, this is a common crop in the area. The peppers grow on two hydroponic substrates, rock wool and coconut fiber and are irrigated with drip irrigation.
The nutrient savings, for which the IRIS treatment system is designed, are not represented in the measurements. The measured concentrations of nutrients were not higher than concentrations in TT water. There can be made a small fertilizer savings when TT water is used instead of the now used IC water. The salinity level of IC water is better than the salinity level of TT water. For safety indication the E. coli concentrations of the different waters are measured. The concentration in IC and TT water are far below the regulations. There are measured E. coli concentrations above the regulation in the IRIS water. There was not a significant difference observed in pepper yield between TT and IC water irrigation. There was not a significant difference observed in yield between peppers growing on rock wool and pepper growing on coconut fiber. The IRIS treatment system did not function well, and therefore no conclusion can be made about the performance of the treatment system. The advantages of using TT water instead of IC water are little, especially when taken into account that the effluents WWTPs in the area cannot meet the irrigation water demand.

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Page publiée le 13 septembre 2016, mise à jour le 19 octobre 2018