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Water Sci Technol. 2008;58(2):413-8. doi: 10.2166/wst.2008.368.

Wastewater garden--a system to treat wastewater with environmental benefits to community.

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Environmental Technology Centre, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia 6150, Australia.


Many communities and villages around the world face serious problems with lack of sanitation especially in disposing of the wastewater-black water and grey water from the houses, or wash outs from animal rearing sheds. Across the world diverting wastewater to the surroundings or to the public spaces are not uncommon. This is responsible for contaminating drinking water sources causing health risks and environmental degradation as they become the breeding grounds of mosquitoes and pathogens. Lack of collection and treatment facilities or broken down sewage systems noticed throughout the developing world are associated with this situation. Diverting the wastewater to trees and vegetable gardens was historically a common practice. However the modern world has an array of problems associated with such disposal such as generation of large quantity of wastewater, unavailability of space for onsite disposal or treatment and increase in population. This paper considers the wastewater garden as a means for wastewater treatment and to improve the vegetation and biodiversity of rural areas. This can also be implemented in urban areas in association with parks and open spaces. This also highlights environmental safety in relation to the nutrient, pathogen and heavy metal content of the wastewater. The possibilities of different types of integration and technology that can be adopted for wastewater gardens are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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