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Treated Wastewater Reuse on Potato (Solanum Tuberosum)

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A field experiment was carried out in Northern Italy (Po Valley), within the frame of the EU project SAFIR, to asses the impact of treated wastewater reuse on potato yield, quality and hygiene. The potato crop was drip irrigated and fertigated. Wastewater produced by small communities (≤2000 EI) was treated by Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) technology and gravel filter (FTS) during three cropping seasons. Treated wastewater, soil and tubers were analysed for the faecal indicator bacterium E. coli and heavy metals contents. Potato total yield was similar for tap and reused water, while the marketable production has been found higher with the latter. The tuber dry matter content as well as reducing sugars were not affected by reused water. Total sugars content was higher with MBR and FTS water. Water use efficiency (WUE) was significantly higher with reused water. Compared to tap water, crop gross margin increased by 635 and 765 euro ha-1y-1 with FTS and MBR, respectively. Tubers were not contaminated by E. coli found in treated wastewater used for irrigation. The frequency of heavy metal and nitrate detection in tubers were comparable among water sources, as well as for the average contents. Only for boron and zinc were differences recorded. The reused water contribution in term of nutrients value for FTS was up to 108 euro ha-1 while MBR water reduced fertiliser costs by up to 114 euro ha-1.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Horticulturae
Pages (from-to)105-112
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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