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Journal of Applied Sciences
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 318 - 324

Use of Secondary Effluent in Food Production in Botswana

V.E. Emongor    

Abstract: The use of secondary effluent for irrigated agriculture offers an opportunity to conserve limited water resources and increase food production in Botswana. Effluent irrigation is a means of ecological waste water management and it`s a resource of economic development. The secondary effluent contains both macro-and micro-nutrients needed for crop growth and development. The secondary effluent contains phosphorus and nitrogen which are responsible for eutrophication of rivers and other water bodies where the effluent is discharged. The sludge that results from municipal waste water treatment processes contains organic matter and nutrients that, when properly treated, composted and applied to farmland, can improve the physical properties and agricultural productivity of soils and its agricultural use provides an alternative to disposal options, such as incineration, or landfilling. For the safety of food products and the sustainability of agricultural land, the use of waste water treatment technology that destroys all pathogens and toxic chemicals in raw municipal waste water and stringent waste water discharge requirements are important. The sewage sludge must be treated to levels that allow it to be reused. In order to minimize the potential health and environmental consequences in the use of secondary sewage effluent and sludge, the quality of the effluent for irrigation and treated composted sludge has to be monitored continuously to meet the specific set standards for the particular purpose. This study discusses the uses of secondary effluent, health-risks, reuse standards, irrigation suitability and management guidelines in the use of secondary effluent for irrigation.

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