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Pathogens assessment in reclaimed effluent used for industrial crops irrigation.

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Water Studies Institute, Birzeit University, P.O. Box 14, Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine.


Reuse of treated effluent is a highly valued water source in Palestine, however with limited success due to public health concerns. This paper assesses the potential pathogens in raw, treated and reclaimed wastewater at Albireh urban wastewater treatment facility, and provides scientific knowledge to update the Palestinian reuse guidelines. Laboratory analyses of collected samples over a period of 4 months have indicated that the raw wastewater from Albireh city contained high numbers of fecal coliforms and worm eggs while 31% of the samples were Salmonella positive. Treated effluent suitable for restricted irrigation demonstrated that the plant was efficient in removing indicator bacteria, where fecal coliforms and fecal streptococci removal averaged 99.64% and 93.44%, respectively. Although not disinfected, treated effluent was free of Salmonella and parasites, hence safe for restricted agricultural purposes. All samples of the reclaimed effluent and three samples of irrigated grass were devoid of microbial pathogens indicating a safe use in unrestricted agricultural utilization. Adequate operation of wastewater treatment facilities, scientific updating of reuse guidelines and launching public awareness campaigns are core factors for successful and sustainable large-scale wastewater reuse schemes in Palestine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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