Wastewater treatment by a modular, domestic-scale reedbed system for safe horticultural irrigation.


The aim of the study was to assess the sequential treatment performance of a commercial, domestic-scale modular reedbed system intended to provide safe horticultural irrigation water. Previously only mechanical treatment systems involving forced aeration with subsequent disinfection, usually by tablet-chlorination, had been accredited in Australia. The modular design of the hybrid, subsurface-flow reedbed system offered 5 control points where monitoring and management of the treatment train could be carried out. Ten chemical parameters (chemical and biochemical oxygen demand, total organic carbon, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen, total nitrogen, dissolved oxygen percentage saturation and suspended solids) and 4 microbial parameters (total coliform, Escherichia coli, enterococci and Clostridium perfringens) reached satisfactory levels as a result of the treatment process. Health requirements for safe horticultural irrigation were met by the outlet of the second reedbed, providing a high level of treatment-backup capacity in terms of the remaining 2 reedbeds. This suggested that chlorination was a redundant backup precaution in treating irrigation water to the acceptable regional guideline level for all horticultural uses, including the spray irrigation of salad crops eaten raw.

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.010

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@article{Derry2015WastewaterTB, title={Wastewater treatment by a modular, domestic-scale reedbed system for safe horticultural irrigation.}, author={Chris W Derry and Basant Maheshwari}, journal={The Science of the total environment}, year={2015}, volume={537}, pages={243-9} }