The performance of a constructed wetland (CW) and wastewater stabilisation pond (WSP) system for sewage reclamation and paddy rice irrigation in a decentralised rural area was examined using a feasibility study. The CW was satisfactory for sewage treatment, with good removal efficiency even in the winter period, but the effluent concentration was relatively high in the winter period owing to the high influent concentration. The CW effluent was further treated in a WSP and the WSP effluent was considered safe for crop irrigation with respect to sewage-borne pathogens. Reclaimed water irrigation did not adversely affect the yield of rice; on the contrary, it resulted in an approximately 50% greater yield than in controls. The chemical characteristics of the soil did not change significantly during the experimental period of irrigation with reclaimed water. In the winter, CW effluent could be stored and treated in a WSP until the spring; the water could then be discharged or reused for supplemental irrigation during the typical Korean spring drought. Overall, sewage treatment and agronomic reuse using a CW-WSP system could be a practical integrated sewage management measure for protecting receiving water bodies and overcoming water shortages in decentralised rural areas.

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