The increasing use of mineral fertilisers over the last decades has contributed to the appearance of numerous cases of water eutrophication, a new form of water pollution. The starting point of eutrophication is the increase of nutrient concentration (nitrogen and phosphorus) in a water mass, which is subsequently followed by an uncontrolled growth of primary producers and episodes of oxygen depletion due to microbial decomposition of algal organic matter. The excess nutrient loads reaching surface waters are usually associated to discharges from anthropogenic activities, which normally involve direct water usage instead of reuse of reclaimed effluents. Agriculture activities and livestock breeding are two of the main nutrient sources responsible for water eutrophication, as well as human - urban and industrial - wastewater discharges. Wastewater reclamation and reuse can be a suitable strategy for preserving the quality of natural waters, by suppressing effluent discharges and the associated nutrient contributions to receiving waters. Reuse of reclaimed water for agricultural and landscape irrigation as well as for environmental enhancement offers an adequate strategy for preserving natural water systems from eutrophication.
Research Article|May 01 2001
Cultural eutrophication control through water reuse
Water Sci Technol (2001) 43 (10): 109-116.