Wastewater Irrigation in Developing Countries. Health Effects and Technical Solutions

This report summarizes information on practices of wastewater reuse for agriculture in developing and developed countries around the world and reviews the public health and technological aspects of irrigation with wastewater. It evaluates the potential health effects from such reuse and proposes effective and economic methods of control that are particularly suited to developing countries. A theoretical model is developed, based on a review of available credible epidemiological studies and reports, to assist in predicting the degree of risk of disease transmission associated with various wastewater reuse practices. It provides a basis for evaluating control options. Technological and policy options for reducing and controlling any health risks of wastewater reuse in agriculture are evaluated here. In particular, multicell stabilization ponds with 20 days' detention time effectively remove bacterial, viral, and helminth pathogens in a low-cost, robust, easy-to-operate system that is especially suitable for developing countries. Appropriate wastewater treatment in combination with controlled irrigation techniques and restrictive cropping practices represent effective remedial measures.

SHUVAL, H.I. ADIN, A. FATTAL, B. RAWITZ, E. YEKUTIEL, P. (1986): Wastewater Irrigation in Developing Countries. Health Effects and Technical Solutions. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank URL [Accessed: 27.03.2012]