This document contains guidelines for the development and the execution of projects intending to use treated wastewater (TWW) for irrigation and considers the parameters of climate and soil.
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on all elements of a project using TWW for unrestricted and restricted irrigation, including design, materials, construction, and performance, when used for the following:
- irrigation of agricultural crops;
- irrigation of public and private gardens and landscape areas, including parks, sport fields, golf courses, cemeteries, etc.
These guidelines are intended to provide assistance for the benefit of users of TWW for irrigation. The guidelines relate to the widespread and common ranges of water quality rather than exceptional or unique ones and are intended for the use of professionals, such as irrigation companies (designers and operators), agricultural extension officers or advisors, water companies (designers and operators), local authorities and water utilities. The use of these guidelines by users might require additional specifications.
None of the parts of this document are intended to be used for certification purposes.
These guidelines suggest the parameters of TWW quality. These parameters include the following:
- agronomic parameters: nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), salinity factors (total salt content, chloride, boron, and sodium concentration) and heavy metals' concentration;
- pathogen presence.
Each of these parameters can have possible impacts on the crops, soil, and public health. The guidelines discuss the possibility of preventing the contaminants' addition during wastewater production and the ability to remove them during the course of treatment.
Contaminants of emerging concern (such as pharmaceuticals and personal care product residuals) are outside the scope of this document since up to day, there is no evidence of adverse effects on human health or environment via irrigation with TWW or via the consumption of crops irrigated with TWW.
The project should be designed in accordance with the sanitary quality of the TWW in order to avoid disease transmission by the pathogens in the water.
The use of these guidelines is encouraged to ensure consistency within any organization engaged in the use of treated wastewater.
These guidelines provide the basis for a healthy, hydrological, environmental and agronomic conscious design, operation, monitoring, and maintenance of an irrigation system using treated wastewater.