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Wastewater use in agriculture: Irrigation of sugar cane with effluents from the Cañaveralejo wastewater treatment plant in Cali, Colombia

Madera, C.A., Silva, J., Mara, D.D. and Torres, P. (2009) Wastewater use in agriculture: Irrigation of sugar cane with effluents from the Cañaveralejo wastewater treatment plant in Cali, Colombia. Environmental Technology, 30 (10). pp. 1011-1015. ISSN 1479-487X

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Abstract

In Valle del Cauca, south-west Colombia, surface and ground waters are used for sugar cane irrigation at a rate of 100 m3 of water per tonne of sugar produced. In addition large quantities of artificial fertilizers and pesticides are used to grow the crop. Preliminary experiments were undertaken to determine the feasibility of using effluents from the Cañaveralejo primary wastewater treatment plant in Cali. Sugar cane variety CC 8592 was planted in 18 box plots, each 0.5 m2. Six were irrigated with conventional primary effluent, six with chemically enhanced primary effluent and six with groundwater. For each set of six box plots, three contained local soil and three a 50:50 mixture of sand and rice husks. The three irrigation waters were monitored for 12 months, and immediately after harvest the sugar content of the sugar cane juice determined. All physico-chemical quality parameters for the three irrigation waters were lower than the FAO guideline values for irrigation water quality; on the basis of their sodium absorption ratios and electrical conductivity values, both wastewater effluents were in the USDA low-to-medium risk category C2S1. There was no difference in the sugar content of the cane juice irrigated with the three waters. However, the microbiological quality (E. coli and helminth numbers) of the two effluents did not meet the WHO guidelines and therefore additional human exposure control measures are required in order to minimize any resulting adverse health risks to those working in the wastewater-irrigated fields.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: irrigation, physico-chemical quality, microbiological quality;, reuse, sugar cane, wastewater
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Civil Engineering (Leeds) > Inst for Pathogen Control Engineering
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Civil Engineering (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Elizabeth Winning
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2009 09:10
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:06
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593330903020498
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Identification Number: 10.1080/09593330903020498
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9797

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