Keywords: wastewater irrigation, heavy metals, faecal coliform, helminth eggs, public health, health hazards, wastewater reuse, crop production, vegetable cultivation, India, soil contamination, environmental pollution
Determination of public health hazard potential of wastewater reuse in crop production
The potential health hazard due to the utilisation of wastewater for vegetable cultivation in the agricultural fields of Titagarh was assessed. The mean concentrations of Pb, Ni and Cu in the irrigation water and the mean Cd content in soil were above the recommended levels. The mean Pb, Zn, Cd, Cr and Ni contents of the vegetables were found to be above the Indian safety limits. The faecal coliform count and helminth egg concentration of irrigation water in the study area exceeded the WHO guidelines for unrestricted irrigation. Ascaris lumbricoides was recorded as the most predominant species in all samples.