Special Issue "Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Reuse for Irrigation"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 September 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. William F. Ritter
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Delaware, Newark, United States
Interests: waste management; groundwater pollution; water quality modeling; irrigation management; surface water contamination
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land application of wastewater has been practiced for several hundreds of years. By 1875, there were about 50 sewage farms providing land treatment in England, and many similar farms served major cities in Europe and towns and cities in the US. By the late 19th century, it was considered to be the safest and best method for wastewater disposal. Treated effluents are customarily discharged into a surface water body. With advances in wastewater treatment technology, wastewater effluents can achieve a consistently high quality and are increasingly reclaimed for reuse. The value of reclaimed water in crop irrigation has long been recognized, particularly where fresh water resources are limited. It is expected that 60% of the total world’s population may face water shortage problems by 2025, so wastewater for crop irrigation and food production will become more important in many parts of the world. Wastewater reuse will face some challenges in the future, such as more stringent water quality standards and concerns about trace amounts of home care products, pharmaceuticals, sex and steroidal hormones and disinfection byproducts in the wastewater.

For this Special Issue on “Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Reuse for Irrigation”, we are interested in case studies, regulations, new wastewater treatment technology processes, aerosol transport, challenges facing land application in developing countries, economics, crop production issues, and water quality issues related to land application. This Special Issue should add some of the latest information on wastewater irrigation from a worldwide prospective to the literature.

Dr. William F. Ritter
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • trace elements
  • advanced wastewater treatment
  • economics
  • regulations
  • water quality
  • irrigation efficiency

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Treated Wastewater Irrigation—A Review
Water 2021, 13(11), 1527; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111527 - 29 May 2021
Viewed by 630
As the most important resource for life, water has been a central issue on the international agenda for several decades. Yet, the world’s supply of clean freshwater is steadily decreasing due to extensive agricultural demand for irrigated lands. Therefore, water resources should be [...] Read more.
As the most important resource for life, water has been a central issue on the international agenda for several decades. Yet, the world’s supply of clean freshwater is steadily decreasing due to extensive agricultural demand for irrigated lands. Therefore, water resources should be used with greater efficiency, and the use of non-traditional water resources, such as Treated Wastewater (TW), should be increased. Reusing TW could be an alternative option to increase water resources. Thus, many countries have decided to turn wastewater into an irrigation resource to help meet urban demand and address water shortages. However, because of the nature of that water, there are potential problems associated with its use in irrigation. Some of the major concerns are health hazards, salinity build-up, and toxicity hazards. The objectives of this comprehensive literature review are to illuminate the importance of using TW in irrigation as an alternative freshwater source and to assess the effects of its use on soil fertility and other soil properties, plants, and public health. The literature review reveals that TW reuse has become part of the extension program for boosting water resource utilization. However, the uncontrolled application of such waters has many unfavorable effects on both soils and plants, especially in the long-term. To reduce these unfavorable effects when using TW in irrigation, proper guidelines for wastewater reuse and management should be followed to limit negative effects significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Reuse for Irrigation)

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.

1. Cliff Fedler, et.al. Professor, Graduate Advisor, Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering, Texas Tech University

2. Ron Crites and Robert Beggs, Natural Systems Service Leader, Brown and Caldwell | Davis, CA, USA

3. Title: State Regulations And Guidelines For Wastewater Reuse For Irrigation In The U.S.
Author: William F. Ritter, Professor Emeritus University of Delaware, Newark DE. 19716, [email protected]
Land application of wastewater in the U.S. began in the 19th century when it was considered the safest and best method for wastewater disposal. With the introduction of the trickling filter and activated sludge wastewater treatment processes, interest in land treatment declined. With the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972 there was a renewed interest in land treatment because it was considered innovative technology and qualified for 85% Federal funding to upgrade a wastewater treatment plant and install a land treatment.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 27 states have regulations for wastewater reuse and 11 states have guidelines for reuse. Some states have no regulations or guidelines for wastewater reuse. Most of these states are located in the northeast. For urban wastewater reuse for irrigation where public access is not restricted, the majority of states require additional levels of treatment beyond secondary treatment which may include oxidation, coagulation, and filtration. Some states do not allow wastewater reuse on food crops. In 1906 California was the first state to adopt water quality guidance for the use of raw or settled sewage for agricultural irrigation. California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida were the earliest states to establish water reuse programs. The majority of wastewater reuse for irrigation in the U.S. is in these four states.

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