The effect of municipal wastewater irrigation on the yield and quality of vegetables and crops
J. Zavadilhttps://doi.org/10.17221/40/2008-SWRCitation:Zavadil J. (2009): The effect of municipal wastewater irrigation on the yield and quality of vegetables and crops. Soil & Water Res., 4: 91-103.
The effect of municipal wastewater irrigation on the yield and quality of vegetables and crops was studied by means of pot and lysimetric experiments. The pots were seeded with lettuce salad, radishes, and carrots in all experimental years; the lysimeters were planted with early potatoes in 2005 and 2007, and with sugar beet in 2006. Secondary-treated wastewater (in 2005) or only primary-treated wastewater (in 2006 and 2007) were used in the experiments. The control treatment involved the irrigation with water from a local well (in 2005) or public water supply (in 2006 and 2007). Contrarily to the secondary-treated wastewater, the primary-treated wastewater increased the yield of all vegetables and crops, the increase having been statistically significant in most cases. The irrigation with secondary-treated wastewater increased only the sodium content in radishes and carrots. However, the irrigation with primary-treated wastewater led to a statistically significant increase in the sodium content in the consumable parts of all vegetables, sugar beet bulbs, and potato tubers in both years, and in 2007, in the nitrate contents in lettuce salad and radishes as well. A high bacterial contamination of vegetables and crops irrigated with this wastewater was found out, but there was no evidence for the contamination with pathogens. Also, no risk was shown of contamination of the crops with intestinal nematodes.Keywords:
primary-treated municipal wastewater; secondary-treated municipal wastewater; pot experiments; lysimetric experiments; lettuce salad; radishes; carrots; potatoes; sugar beet; nutrients; hazardous elements; microbial contamination