In Agadir, a water-scarce Moroccan region, municipal and industrial wastewater is tertiary-treated to be reused in golf courses. Wastewater reuse has been constrained by severe emitter clogging that caused technical and financial problems. This study aimed to perform an in-depth characterization of the treated wastewater in relation to its susceptibility to cause clogging, and to assess the capacity of an aeration post-treatment to reduce the clogging potential. The post-treatment consisted in injecting different airflows (0–33 L/h/Lreactor) into the treated wastewater. The structural, morphological and elemental composition of the clogging matter collected in the irrigation pipeline was characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy, Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy, X-ray Diffraction and X-ray Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy. The 15-day aeration post-treatment at 16.5 L/h/Lreactor presented the best cost-benefit ratio. Organic matter was totally degraded. Calcium was reduced by 9%, bicarbonates by 54%. The analysis of the deposits induced by the aeration post-treatment revealed a relevant decrease of the major constituents of the clogging deposits found in the irrigation pipeline. The results show the effectiveness of post-aeration in biodegrading residual organic matter and precipitating several salts, thus reducing the clogging potential.
Agadir (Morocco) treated wastewater, reused for the irrigation of golf courses, presents high clogging potential due to high salinity.
15-day post-aeration of the treated wastewater removed organic matter and bicarbonates, determining significant reduction of clogging potential.
As aeration intensity increased the average crystal size decreased, further reducing the clogging potential.