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APHA. 1992. Standard Methods for Examination of Water and Wastewater. 18th Edition. American Public Health Association. Washington DC.

Arthur, J.P. 1983. Notes on the design and operation of waste stabilization ponds in warm climates of developing countries. World Bank Technical Paper No. 6. World Bank, Washington DC.

Bartone, C.R. 1991. International perspective on water resources management and wastewater reuse: appropriate technologies. Water Science and Technology 23(10/12): 2039-2047.

Blum, D. and Feachem R.G. 1985. Health Aspects of Nightsoil and Sludge Use in Agriculture and Aquaculture. Part III: An Epidemiological Perspective (Report No. 05/85). International Reference Center for Waste Disposal. Dubendorf.

Blumenthal, U.J., Strauss, M., Mara, D.D. and Cairncross S. 1989. Generalized model of the effect of different control measures in reducing health risks from waste reuse. Water Science and Technology 21(6/7): 567-577.

Bordner, R. and Winter, J. (eds.). 1978. Microbiological methods for monitoring the environment: water and wastes. US Environmental Protection Agency Report No. EPA-600/8-78-017. 338 p.

Cifuentes, E., Blumenthal, U., Ruiz-Palacios, G. and Bennett, S. 1991/92. Health impact evaluation of wastewater use in Mexico. Public Health Review 19:243-250

Duron, N.S. 1985. Mexican experience in using sewage effluent for large scale irrigation. In: Treatment and Use of Sewage Effluent for Irrigation (1988). M.B. Pescod and A. Arar (eds). Butterworth, London.

FAO. 1985. Water quality for agriculture. R.S. Ayers and D.W. Westcot. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 29, Rev. 1. FAO, Rome. 174 p.

FAO. 1992. Wastewater treatment and use in agriculture. M.B. Pescod. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 47, FAO, Rome. 125 p.

FAO. 1993. Control de Aguas de Riego Destinadas a la Producción Hortofrutícola: Chile. Technical Report of Project TCP/CHI/2251(A). FAO, Rome. 69 p.

Feachem, R.G., Bradley, D.J., Garelick, H. and Mara, D.D. 1983. Sanitation and Disease: Health Aspects of Excreta and Wastewater Management. John Wiley, Chicester.

Geldreich, E.E. 1976. Fecal coliform and fecal streptococcus density relationships in waste discharges and receiving waters. CRC Critical Reviews in Environmental Control. 349 p.

Gerba, C.P., Wallis, C. and Melnick, J.L. 1975. Fate of wastewater bacteria and viruses in the soil. Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, American Society of Civil Engineers 28:987-991.

Hespanhol, I. and Prost, A.M.E. 1994. WHO guidelines and national standards for reuse and water quality. Water Research 28(1): 119-124.

IRCWD. 1985. Health aspects of wastewater and excreta use in agriculture and aquaculture: The Engleberg Report. International Reference Center For Waste Disposal (IRCWD) News 23: 11-18.

Kittrell, F.W. and Kurfari, S.A. 1963. Observations of coliform bacteria in streams. Water Pollution Control Federation 35(11): 1379.

Mara, D. and Cairncross, S. 1989. Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater and Excreta in Agriculture and Aquaculture: Measures for Public Health Protection. World Health Organization, Geneva. 187 p.

Pescod, M.B. and Arar, A. (eds). 1988. Treatment and use of sewage effluent for irrigation. Proceedings of the FAO Regional Seminar on the Treatment and Use of Sewage Effluent for Irrigation. Nicosia, Cyprus 7-9 October 1985. Butterworths, London. 380 p.

Rose, J.B. 1986. Microbial aspects of wastewater reuse for irrigation. CRC Critical Reviews in Environmental Control 16(3): 231-256.

Shuval, H.I. 1991. Health guidelines and standards for wastewater reuse in agriculture: historical perspectives. Water Science and Technology 23(10/12): 2037-2080.

Shuval, H.I. 1993. Investigation of typhoid fever and cholera transmission by raw wastewater irrigation in Santiago, Chile. Water Science and Technology 27(3/4): 167-174.

Shuval, H.I., Adin, A., Fattal, B., Rawitz, E. and Yekutiel, P. 1986a. Wastewater irrigation in developing countries: health effects and technical solutions. Technical Paper Number 51. World Bank, Washington DC. 324 p.

Shuval, H.I., Yekutiel, P. and Fattal, B. 1986b. An epidemiological model of the potential health risk associated with various pathogens in wastewater irrigation. Water Science and Technology 18(10): 191-198.

Strauss, M. 1985. Health Aspects of Nightsoil and Sludge Use in Agriculture and Aquaculture. Part II: Pathogen Survival (Report No. 04/85). International Reference Center for Waste Disposal. Dubendorf.

Strauss, M. 1991. Human waste use: health protection practices and scheme monitoring. Water Science and Technology 24(9): 67-79.

US EPA. 1973. Water Quality Criteria. National Academy of Sciences Report to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Washington DC. pp. 350-366.

WHO. 1973. Reuse of effluents: methods of wastewater treatment and health safeguards: Report of a WHO Meeting of Experts. WHO Technical Report Series No. 517. World Health Organization, Geneva.

WHO. 1989. Health guidelines for the use of wastewater in agriculture and aquaculture: Report of a WHO Scientific Group. WHO Technical Report Series 778. World Health Organization, Geneva. 74 p.

Witt, V.M. and Reiff, F.M. 1991. Environmental health conditions and cholera vulnerability in Latin America and the Caribbean. Journal of Public Health Policy 12(4): 450-463.



1. Prevention of water pollution by agriculture and related activities, 1993 (E S)
2. Irrigation water delivery models, 1994 (E)
3. Water harvesting for improved agricultural production, 1994 (E)
4. Use of remote sensing techniques in irrigation and drainage, 1995 (E)
5. Irrigation management transfer, 1995 (E)
6. Methodology for water policy review and reform, 1995 (E)
7. Irrigation in Africa in figures/L'irrigation en Afrique en chiffres, 1995 (E/F)
8. Irrigation scheduling: from theory to practice, 1996 (E)
9. Irrigation in the Near East Region in figures, 1997 (E)
10. Quality control of wastewater for irrigated crop production, 1997 (E)

Availability: June 1997

Ar - Arabic
C - Chinese
E - English
F - French
P - Portuguese
S - Spanish

Multil - Multilingual
* Out of print
** In preparation

The FAO Technical Papers are available through the authorized FAO Sales Agents or directly from Sales and Marketing Group, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla. 00100 Rome, Italy.

This document discusses the use of wastewater for irrigated crop production. It reviews wastewater standards and proposes an interim approach to be applied in areas using wastewater, which promotes safe production areas for crops such as vegetables. The approach is to assess the quality of water actually being used for irrigation against a known standard. It is proposed that the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for wastewater treatment plant design be used as irrigation water standards in making this assessment. In view of the fact that the present lever of water contamination in many countries already seriously exceeds the limits set in the guidelines, achieving the prescribed standards for vegetable production would be a major accomplishment towards improving health conditions in these countries. The document makes reference to procedures developed and studied in 1992 in an FAO project in Chile. Comments and suggestions for improvement of this approach for practical application in the field are invited and encouraged.

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