Special Issue "Advanced Technologies and Perspectives in Wastewater Agricultural Reuse"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Wastewater Treatment and Reuse".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Simona Consoli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia 100, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: wastewater reuse; water treatment; irrigation; micrometeorology; evapotranspiration; eddy covariance; remote sensing
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Luigi Cirelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
Interests: wastewater reuse; water treatment; constructed wetland; lagoons; micro-irrigation; deficit irrigation

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The use of non-conventional waters like urban wastewater (WW) constitutes an important solution for promoting and enhancing sustainable water use and overcoming drought and water scarcity, particularly in the case of agricultural use (agriculture accounts for more than 80% of the total water consumption). Wastewater reuse perfectly matches “Sustainable Development Goal # 6: Ensure Availability and Sustainable Management of Water and Sanitation for All”, but until now the potential of WW has not been fully exploited. The reuse of WW for agriculture also provides considerable inputs of required nutrients for plants and reduces their discharge on sensitive surface waters. Among institutional and socioeconomic causes, a key drawback for diffusing the agricultural reuse practice of WW and its public acceptance is the absence of a common regulation at international level, leading, in many cases, to inhomogeneous quality standards and fairness issues.

The main included themes in this Special Issue include but are not limited to the following:

  • Wastewater treatment options for agricultural reuse;
  • The role of natural treatment system for WW reuse in agriculture;
  • Technological aspects of micro-irrigation systems for WW reuse;
  • Effects of wastewater reuse on soil-plant systems;
  • Case studies on reclaimed water use for agriculture;
  • Legislative barriers to the use of reclaimed water in agriculture;
  • Wastewater reuse policy;
  • Monitoring of wastewater reuse systems.
  • Public acceptance and public perception of wastewater reuse.

Prof. Simona Consoli
Prof. Giuseppe Luigi Cirelli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Woven-Fiber Microfiltration (WFMF) and Ultraviolet Light Emitting Diodes (UV LEDs) for Treating Wastewater and Septic Tank Effluent
Water 2021, 13(11), 1564; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111564 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 813
Abstract
Decentralized wastewater treatment systems enable wastewater to be treated at the source for cleaner discharge into the environment, protecting public health while allowing for reuse for agricultural and other purposes. This study, conducted in Thailand, investigated a decentralized wastewater treatment system incorporating a [...] Read more.
Decentralized wastewater treatment systems enable wastewater to be treated at the source for cleaner discharge into the environment, protecting public health while allowing for reuse for agricultural and other purposes. This study, conducted in Thailand, investigated a decentralized wastewater treatment system incorporating a physical and photochemical process. Domestic wastewater from a university campus and conventional septic tank effluent from a small community were filtered through a woven-fiber microfiltration (WFMF) membrane as pretreatment for ultraviolet (UV) disinfection. In domestic wastewater, WFMF reduced TSS (by 79.8%), turbidity (76.5%), COD (38.5%), and NO3 (41.4%), meeting Thailand irrigation standards for every parameter except BOD. In septic tank effluent, it did not meet Thailand irrigation standards, but reduced TSS (by 77.9%), COD (37.6%), and TKN (13.5%). Bacteria (total coliform and Escherichia coli) and viruses (MS2 bacteriophage) passing through the membrane were disinfected by flow-through UV reactors containing either a low-pressure mercury lamp or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) emitting an average peak wavelength of 276 nm. Despite challenging and variable water quality conditions (2% < UVT < 88%), disinfection was predictable across water types and flow rates for both UV sources using combined variable modeling, which enabled us to estimate log inactivation of other microorganisms. Following UV disinfection, wastewater quality met the WHO standards for unrestricted irrigation. Full article
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Article
Innovative Multistage Constructed Wetland for Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Reuse for Agriculture in Senegal
Water 2020, 12(11), 3139; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113139 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 993
Abstract
This paper reports on the performance of using a multistage constructed wetland (CW) to treat municipal raw wastewater and an analysis of its suitability for agricultural irrigation. The pilot plant consists of two stages of vertical flow CWs plus one stage of a [...] Read more.
This paper reports on the performance of using a multistage constructed wetland (CW) to treat municipal raw wastewater and an analysis of its suitability for agricultural irrigation. The pilot plant consists of two stages of vertical flow CWs plus one stage of a horizontal CW built in 2018 with different local materials at the Gaston Berger University Campus, Saint Louis (Senegal). Each CW stage is composed of several filters with different type of media (silex, granite, or river gravel), filtering media depths, and macrophytes (Phragmites and Typha). The physicochemical and microbiological indicators were monitored over six months at each bed inlet and outlet to evaluate the efficiency and achievements of the Senegalese, European, and WHO regulations/recommendations for disposal or reuse in irrigation. This study demonstrates the viability of this new multistage CW design to treat raw municipal wastewater and produce an effluent of good quality suitable for reuse in agriculture. The removal of organic matter, suspended solids, and nutrients was very high (>95% for SS, BOD5 and N-NH4+, >90% for COD and P-PO43−), as was the reduction of microbiological indicators (fecal coliform reduction >5 log units and helminth egg removal of 100%). First, trends related to the influence of design (the type of gravel, filter depth, and type of macrophyte), operational modes, and the CW treatment efficiency were determined. The use of non-crushed gravel and Typha spp. seemed to provide better removal rates. On the contrary, no differences were found between the use of silex or granite gravel. For the studied Senegalese conditions under dry and hot climates, the preliminary results indicate that no resting periods are necessary for vertical flow CWs (VFCWs), thus resulting in a reduction in construction and operation costs. The main outcome of our study is evidence that multistage CWs can provide robust, cost-effective treatments, as well as allow for safe water reuse, which is imperative in areas with severe water scarcity and endemic microbiological waterborne diseases. Full article
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Article
Constructed Wetlands as Sustainable Technology for the Treatment and Reuse of the First-Flush Stormwater in Agriculture—A Case Study in Sicily (Italy)
Water 2020, 12(9), 2542; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092542 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 715
Abstract
This paper describes a case study that was carried out on a Sicilian company (Italy) dealing with separate waste collection and recycling of glass. The aims of this study were to evaluate the overall efficiency of a vertical subsurface flow system (VSSFs) constructed [...] Read more.
This paper describes a case study that was carried out on a Sicilian company (Italy) dealing with separate waste collection and recycling of glass. The aims of this study were to evaluate the overall efficiency of a vertical subsurface flow system (VSSFs) constructed wetland (CW) operating for the treatment of first-flush stormwater and the effects of treated wastewater on the morphological and aesthetic characteristics of ornamental pepper and rosemary plants. The system had a total surface area of 46.80 m2 and was planted with common reed and giant reed. Wastewater samples were taken from October 2018 to July 2019 at the CW inlet and outlet for chemical-physical and microbiological characterization of the wastewater. Two separate experimental fields of rosemary and ornamental pepper were set up in another Sicilian location. Three sources of irrigation water, two accessions of rosemary and two varieties of ornamental pepper were tested in a split-plot design for a two-factor experiment. The results showed very high organic pollutant removal (BOD5 75–83%, COD 65–69%) and a good efficiency of nutrients (TN 60–66%) and trace metals (especially for Cu and Zn) removal. Escherichia coli concentration levels were always lower than 100 CFU 100 mL−1 during the test period. Irrigation water and plant habitus had significant effects on all the morphological and aesthetic characteristics of the plants. For both the crops, plants irrigated with freshwater and treated wastewater had greater growth and showed a better general appearance in comparison with plants irrigated with wastewater. The higher trace metal levels in the wastewater produced adverse effects on plant growth and reduced the visual quality of the plants. Our results suggest the suitability of a VSSFs constructed wetland for the treatment of first-flush stormwater and the reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation purposes, in accordance with legislation requirements concerning wastewater quality. Full article
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Article
Treatment of Winery Wastewater with a Multistage Constructed Wetland System for Irrigation Reuse
Water 2020, 12(5), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051260 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1827
Abstract
This paper reports a study on the performance of a multistage constructed wetland (CW) system adopted for winery wastewater and on the analysis of its suitability for irrigation reuse. The CW system treats about 3 m3·day−1 of wastewater produced by [...] Read more.
This paper reports a study on the performance of a multistage constructed wetland (CW) system adopted for winery wastewater and on the analysis of its suitability for irrigation reuse. The CW system treats about 3 m3·day−1 of wastewater produced by a small winery located in Sicily (insular Italy). Wastewater samples were collected at the CW inlet and outlet for physical–chemical and microbiological quality characterization. CW efficiency was evaluated on the basis of water quality improvement and of the achievement of Italian and EU irrigation reuse regulation limits. The CW system showed Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) mean removal rates of about 81% and 69%, and a maximum removal of about 99% (for both COD and TSS) occurred during grape harvest phase. The CW removal efficiencies for nutrients were 56% for TN and 38% for PO4-P, considering their low average concentrations at CW inlet. The CW system evidenced an effluent average quality compatible with the limits imposed by the Italian regulation and EU proposal regulation on the minimum requirement for water reuse. The CW vegetated area showed regular growth and vegetative development; phytotoxicity phenomena were not detected. The results of the study suggest the important role of CW systems in the treatment of winery wastewater and for their subsequent reuse in agriculture. Full article
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Article
Effect of Primary Variables on A Confined Plunging Liquid Jet Reactor
Water 2020, 12(3), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030764 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
The effects of operating conditions including a novel downcomer geometry on the gas/air entrainment rate, Qa, were investigated for a local vertical confined plunging liquid jet reactor (CPLJR) as an alternative aeration process that is of interest to Kuwait and can [...] Read more.
The effects of operating conditions including a novel downcomer geometry on the gas/air entrainment rate, Qa, were investigated for a local vertical confined plunging liquid jet reactor (CPLJR) as an alternative aeration process that is of interest to Kuwait and can be used in various applications, such as in wastewater treatment as an aerobic activated sludge process, fermentation, brine dispenser, and gas–liquid reactions. Operating conditions, such as various downcomer diameters (Dc = 45−145 mm), jet lengths (Lj = 200–500 mm), nozzle diameters (dn = 3.5–15 mm), and contraction angles (Ɵ =20–80°), were investigated. A newly designed downcomer with various mesh openings/pores (Dm = 0.25ʺ (6.35 mm)–1ʺ (25.4 mm)) was also investigated in the current study. The air entrainment results showed that these were the primary parameters for the measured air entrainment rate in confined systems. The highest gas entrainment rates were achieved when the ratio of the downcomer diameter (Dc) to the nozzle diameter (dn) was greater than approximately 5, as long as the liquid superficial velocity was sufficient to carry bubbles downward. Furthermore, a downcomer with mesh openings (Dm) less or equal to 0.5ʺ (12.7 mm) provided a higher entrainment rate than that of conventional downcomer (without a mesh). Full article
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Article
Evapotranspiration from Horizontal Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands Planted with Different Perennial Plant Species
Water 2019, 11(10), 2159; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102159 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1012
Abstract
This paper presents the results of an experiment carried out in Southern Italy (Sicily) on the estimation evapotranspiration (ET) in pilot constructed wetlands planted with different species (Chrysopogon zizanioides, Myscanthus x giganteus, Arundo donax, Phragmites australis, and Cyperus papyrus [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of an experiment carried out in Southern Italy (Sicily) on the estimation evapotranspiration (ET) in pilot constructed wetlands planted with different species (Chrysopogon zizanioides, Myscanthus x giganteus, Arundo donax, Phragmites australis, and Cyperus papyrus). In the two monitored growing seasons, reference ET0 was calculated with the Penman-Monteith formula, while actual ET and crop coefficients were measured through a water balance and the FAO 56 approach, respectively. The highest average seasonal ET value was observed in Phragmites australis (17.31 mm d−1) followed by Arundo donax (11.23 mm day−1) Chrysopogon zizanioides (8.56 mm day−1), Cyperus papyrus (7.86 mm day−1), and Myscanthus x giganteus (7.35 mm day−1). For all plants, crop coefficient values showed different patterns in relation to growth stages and were strongly correlated with phenological parameters. Myscanthus x giganteus and Arundo donax showed a water use efficiency values significantly higher than those observed for the other tested species. Results of this study may contribute to select appropriate plant species for constructed wetlands located in semi-arid regions, especially when the use of reclaimed water and/or the use of aboveground biomass are planned. Full article
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Article
Assessing Reclaimed Urban Wastewater for Reuse in Agriculture: Technical and Economic Concerns for Mediterranean Regions
Water 2019, 11(7), 1511; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071511 - 21 Jul 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1154
Abstract
Direct reuse of treated wastewater can offer a realistic supply alternative for irrigation in Mediterranean areas. In this study, we conducted a spatial cost-benefit analysis to quantify and locate the volume of technically and economically feasible and readily available reclaimed urban wastewater. We [...] Read more.
Direct reuse of treated wastewater can offer a realistic supply alternative for irrigation in Mediterranean areas. In this study, we conducted a spatial cost-benefit analysis to quantify and locate the volume of technically and economically feasible and readily available reclaimed urban wastewater. We considered the case of Puglia (Italy) and the results are discussed in terms of the implications for policy-making and pointing out future research needs. The results showed that the main technical barrier is the shortness of the irrigation season. On the other hand, the main economic concern is related to filtration followed by lack of conveyance systems. While our results are based on estimates, future research should try to include practical experiments based on actual data. Further research should also address the issue of transaction costs by establishing the obligations of wastewater treatment plants to deliver reclaimed water to farmers. Full article
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Article
Monitoring Opportunistic Pathogens in Domestic Wastewater from a Pilot-Scale Anaerobic Biofilm Reactor to Reuse in Agricultural Irrigation
Water 2019, 11(6), 1283; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061283 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1344
Abstract
Wastewater reuse for agricultural irrigation in many developing countries is an increasingly common practice. Regular monitoring of indicators can help to identify potential health risks; therefore, there is an urgent need to understand the presence and abundance of opportunistic pathogens in wastewater, as [...] Read more.
Wastewater reuse for agricultural irrigation in many developing countries is an increasingly common practice. Regular monitoring of indicators can help to identify potential health risks; therefore, there is an urgent need to understand the presence and abundance of opportunistic pathogens in wastewater, as well as plant phyllosphere and rhizosphere. In this study, an anaerobic biofilm reactor (ABR) was developed to treat rural domestic wastewater; the performance of pollutants removal and pathogenic bacteria elimination were investigated. Additionally, we also assessed the physicochemical and microbiological profiles of soil and lettuces after wastewater irrigation. Aeromonas hydrophila, Arcobacter sp., Bacillus cereus, Bacteroides sp., Escherichia coli, Legionella sp., and Mycobacterium sp. were monitored in the irrigation water, as well as in the phyllosphere and rhizosphere of lettuces. Pathogens like B. cereus, Legionella sp. and Mycobacterium sp. were present in treated effluent with relatively high concentrations, and the levels of A. hydrophila, Arcobacter sp., and E. coli were higher in the phyllosphere. The physicochemical properties of soil and lettuce did not vary significantly. These data indicated that treated wastewater irrigation across a short time period may not alter the soil and crop properties, while the pathogens present in the wastewater may transfer to soil and plant, posing risks to human health. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

 

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