Effects of wastewater irrigation of pastures on the health of farm animals and humans
Rev Sci Tech Off Int Epizoot
Wastewater recycling and reuse through agricultural irrigation can provide an economical means of preventing pollution of surface water sources, while conserving water resources and valuable nutrients for increased crop production and grazing pastures. With proper methods of wastewater treatment, health risks to farmers and farm animals as well as to the public who consume agricultural produce can be prevented. The possibility of transmission of the beef tapeworm Taenia saginata, Salmonella sp.
... ata, Salmonella sp. and Mycobacteria sp. to farm animals grazing on wastewater-irrigated pasture is evaluated. While such transmission is possible when raw, untreated wastewater is used for irrigation, the risk is greatly reduced and essentially eliminated with effluent treated to meet the new World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended microbial guidelines for effluent. These guidelines call for one or less helminth eggs per litre and a mean of 1,000 faecal coliform bacteria per 100 ml. In warm climates and where land is available, one of the most economical methods of achieving this standard is the use of multi-cell stabilisation ponds designed for a 25-day detention period. In colder climates and where land is a limiting factor of wastewater treatment, conventional secondary biological treatment followed by disinfection can also be applied to meet this standard.