A survey of attitudes and acceptance of wastewater reuse in Iran: Shiraz City as a case study
People's attitudes are a key issue in the use of reclaimed wastewater. Unfortunately, there is not enough research on the use of reclaimed wastewater in developing countries such as Iran. The present study aimed to investigate public acceptance and citizens' attitudes toward reclaimed wastewater in Shiraz, Iran. A two-part questionnaire, designed to collect demographic data and information about people's willingness to reuse wastewater, was distributed among 562 citizens of Shiraz. The results showed that most respondents knew nothing about the chemical quality (67.4%) or microbiological quality (81.5%) of the wastewater treatment plant effluent. The maximum acceptance of treated wastewater use was related to public consumption (87%), car washing (85%) and flush tank (80%), respectively. The minimum acceptance was related to cooking and drinking (8%). Also, a significant correlation was observed between citizens' willingness to use reclaimed wastewater and variables such as level of education, gender, awareness of wastewater treatment process and awareness of quality of reclaimed wastewater. Shiraz citizens, like other people in the world, were less willing to use reclaimed wastewater for cooking, drinking, laundry and bathing, but their willingness was obviously greater in applications with less skin contact.