The present study is aimed at verifying the possibility of reusing municipal and industrial reclaimed wastewaters for the irrigation of container-grown ornamental shrubs, paying attention to the refinery treatment. The research has been carried out in the district of Pistoia (Central Italy), which represents one of the main nursery areas in Europe. Two experimental sites, each consisting of a refinery treatment pilot plant (filtration and disinfection) and an agronomic area, were set-up. In this paper the attention is focused on the selection of the refinery treatment. The combined process of peracetic acid (PAA) and ultraviolet irradiation (UV) chosen for the disinfection treatment proved to be very effective for the inactivation of microorganisms for both municipal and industrial wastewaters. The high efficiency is recognised as being brought about by the formation of free radicals due to the photolysis of the PAA when in the presence of the UV rays. A preliminary cost analysis has been carried out in order to highlight the most economically advantageous solution which guarantees the compliance to the Italian limits for wastewater reuse in agriculture (Escherichia Coli 10 CFU/100 mL).

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