Reclamation and reuse of a variety of treated wastewaters on food crops has been practiced for more than 50 years around the world. Any reuse scheme developed today is by no means a world first. For example, recycled water has already been used for many years in the United States, Israel and Australia for irrigating a range of food and fodder crops.
Recycled water irrigation schemes offer substantial environmental benefits:
- Reduction of nutrient loading into sensitive aquatic environments
- Replacement of drinking water sources
- Guaranteed water supply and quality
- Recycling of valuable nutrients
- Security for investment where water is scarce
Recycled water quality Most Australian states have guidelines for irrigation with recycled water; there are also national guidelines. These guidelines have been developed from extensive research, and risk management principles from Australia and around the world.
Users and consumers can be confident that the quality of produce grown with recycled water is as high as produce grown from any other source. To ensure recycled water is fit for purpose, scheme operators, managers and practitioners should consult state and national guidelines for detailed information regarding the appropriate water qualities required for a particular reuse scheme.