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Health hazards in the distribution of treated municipal wastewater for irrigation




Psaris, Patti J., author
Environmental Engineering Program, Department of Civil Engineering, Colorado State University, publisher

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The direct and indirect utilization of municipal wastewater effluents for irrigation has been a de facto practice throughout the western United States for over 100 years. Throughout this period there has not been any significant attention given to the problem of a possible public health hazard associated with the practice. Recent federal and state laws, however, have given impetus to a planned practice for reuse of municipal wastewaters by irrigation. Because these laws and regulations constitute public policy, the question of health hazards ought to be ascertained. This study evaluates, through the use of existing data and field sampling, the potential health risks which may exist in the South Platte River Basin associated with the conveyance of treated municipal wastewater effluents. Fecal coliforms and fecal streptococci were used as indices of pollution relative to health hazards. It was found that fecal pollution was present in the urban and irrigated areas of the basin. Consistently high densities of indicator organisms were observed in the areas east of the foothills. Over 30 percent of the data from the sampling stations in the South Platte River Basin exceeded the microbiological standards for waters of the State of Colorado.


Includes bibliographical references.
Project 15-1372-3141 - Water Quality problems of Colorado, Colorado state University Experiment Station.

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Sewage irrigation -- Health risk assessment -- South Platte River Valley (Colo. and Neb.)
Sewage disposal -- South Platte River Valley (Colo. and Neb.)
Waterborne infection -- South Platte River Valley (Colo. and Neb.)
Soil pollution -- South Platte River Valley (Colo. and Neb.)
Water -- Standards -- Colorado


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