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Assessment of suspended growth biological process for treatment and reuse of mixed wastewater for irrigation of edible crops under hydroponic conditions

Egbuikwem, Precious, Mierzwa, Jose C. and Saroj, Devendra (2020) Assessment of suspended growth biological process for treatment and reuse of mixed wastewater for irrigation of edible crops under hydroponic conditions Agricultural Water Management, 231, 106304.

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Due to the increasing freshwater deterioration and demand for irrigation, there is pressing need to reclaim and reuse wastewater for agricultural operations. While this practice is gaining significant traction in developed world, it is quite rare in most developing countries with inadequate or no functional sewerage facilities and treatment systems at both municipal and industrial levels occasioned by high investment and operational costs. Consequently, wastewaters generated are in complex heterogenous mix of industrial, domestic, municipal and agricultural runoff wastewater. Biological technologies which utilize the expertise of microorganisms are considered robust, efficient and economically attractive for treatment of wide range of wastewaters and they have high suitability in developing countries. This work therefore assessed the potential of suspended growth biological process (SGBP) for reclamation and reuse of mixed wastewater composed a mixture of domestic effluent, pharmaceutical, textile, petroleum discharges and agricultural runoff for irrigation of edible crops (lettuce and beets) with plants phenological parameters as measuring indicators. The germination and phenological characteristics of crops were studied in a hydroponic unit under four irrigation regimes: tap water as control, mixed wastewater, SGBP treated wastewater, and tap water mixed with nutrient solution as upper control, for a duration of 45-d. The results proved that the SGBP treated wastewater had no negative impact on germination responses of the seed crops. However, residual recalcitrant compounds caused early stunted growth in plant root systems with resultant limited access to nutrients. Consequently, plant vegetative growth and phenological development as well as chlorophyll production were reduced. In comparison to nutrients supplemented solution, nutrients deficiency and imbalance in treated wastewater contributed to the poor development in irrigated plants. The outcomes of seed germination and plant growth experiments show a positive indication for reuse of mixed wastewater in agriculture. However, there is need for further research to explore the long-term benefits and limitations of reusing such treated wastewater.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Authors :
Mierzwa, Jose C.
Date : 21 January 2020
DOI : doi.10.1016/j.agwat.2020.106034
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Aerobic biological processes; Mixed wastewater treatment; Wastewater reuse; Hydroponic agriculture; Vegetable production; Water scarcity
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 30 Jan 2020 14:55
Last Modified : 30 Jan 2020 14:57

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