IWA Publishing

Potential impacts of on-site greywater reuse in landscape irrigation

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This study investigated the effects of irrigation with different types of waters on soil, plants, and public health. The test plant was ryegrass grown in 12 planters filled with sandy loam soil and irrigated with three types of waters (4 planters for each type): freshwater, raw domestic light greywater (GW), and treated domestic light GW. The sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), EC, pH and alkalinity of the three types of irrigation waters did not differ significantly, suggesting that raw or treated light GW should not exhibit negative effects. Concentrations of anionic and cationic surfactants in the freshwater and the treated GW were about the same, while their concentrations in the raw GW were higher. Surfactant levels in the three drainage water types were low. Some accumulation of surfactants occurred in planters irrigated with raw and treated GW. The COD of the drainage water of planters irrigated with raw GW was higher than the COD of other two drainage water types. Although raw and treated GW contained faecal coliforms, they were hardly detected in the drainage waters. All plants did not show any signs of stress. This may be due to the fact that the GW originated mainly from showers and washbasins.

Keywords: greywater, landscape irrigation, microbial quality, on-site, ryegrass, SAR, soil

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