Leaving no drop to waste

Standards to support treating wastewater for irrigation projects just updated.

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Por Clare Naden
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Nearly half of the world’s population is living in areas that lack sufficient water for at least one month a year and this could increase to up to 5.7 billion in 2050. Finding ways to reuse existing water, therefore, is essential.

Treating wastewater to make it available for other uses such as irrigation is a powerful solution to water scarcity, yet it can pose risks to health and the environment if water quality and methods of treatment are not appropriate. ISO has a series of standards to facilitate this safely and effectively, and some have just been updated to be even more useful in today’s environment.

ISO 16075-1, Guidelines for treated wastewater use for irrigation projects – Part 1: The basis of a reuse project for irrigation, and ISO 16075-2, Guidelines for treated wastewater use for irrigation projects – Part 2: Development of the project, can help maximize the benefits and reduce any related risks incurred in agricultural irrigation systems.

These guidelines outline the factors to be taken into account in such projects, namely water quality, soil and climate, the effects these can have on water quality and ways of improving it.

Updates to these standards include additional information such as that related to public and private garden irrigation and further examples of how to improve quality.

The standards are joined by others in the series, also being updated, which include:

  • ISO 16075-3, Guidelines for treated wastewater use for irrigation projects – Part 3: Components of a reuse project for irrigation
  • ISO 16075-4, Guidelines for treated wastewater use for irrigation projects – Part 4: Monitoring

The revised versions of these are due to be published in 2021.

The ISO 16075 series was developed and updated by committee ISO/TC 282/SC 1, Treated wastewater reuse for irrigation, whose secretariat is held by SII, ISO’s member for Israel.

ISO/TC 282/SC 1 is a subcommittee of ISO/TC 282, Water reuse, which has 22 published standards and a further 19 in development, covering all aspects of water reuse including urban and industrial use, biopharma and the risk and performance of water reuse systems.

The standards are available from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.

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