Development of a qualitative approach to assessing risks associated with the use of treated wastewater in agricultural irrigation

Revitt, D. Mike, Lundy, Lian ORCID logoORCID: and Fatta-Kassinos, Despo (2021) Development of a qualitative approach to assessing risks associated with the use of treated wastewater in agricultural irrigation. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 406 , 124286. pp. 1-9. ISSN 0304-3894 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124286)

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The European Commission’s draft regulation for minimum requirements for water reuse in agriculture addresses microbial and basic water quality parameters but does not consider the potential impacts of chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) on human and environmental health. Because insufficient data prevents the quantitative characterisation of risks posed by CECs in treated wastewater (TWW), this paper presents a framework, which combines data and expert judgement to assess likelihood of occurrence and magnitude of impact. An increasing relative scale is applied where numeric values are pre-defined to represent comparative levels of importance. Subsequently, an overall assessment of the level of risk is characterised by multiplying together allocated scores, to obtain a single discrete overall score per CEC. Guidelines to support implementation of the framework as far as soil (the initial receiving compartment and pathway to further protected targets) are developed and applied. The approach is demonstrated through its application to clarithromycin, where results indicate that – under the considered scenario - there is limited possibility of its occurrence in soil in a bioavailable form. The role of a qualitative risk assessment approach is considered and the opportunity for its outputs to inform future research agendas described.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 31272
Notes on copyright: © 2020. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2020 10:19
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 17:57

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