New Publication: Health risks from wastewater irrigation in Bolivia

In our latest study published in Journal of Water and Health, we assessed the pathogen flows in a water&nutrients reuse system for production of lettuce in a peri-urban zone in the highlands of Bolivia. Viral and bacterial indicators, and helminth eggs were quantified in soil, water and lettuce samples taken during one crop season, and then statistically processed to analyse the flows of microbial contamination throughout the system.

Some key-findings were: i) the already-known effect of riverbank filtration on microbial quality of water can be significantly improved by protecting the water-extraction wells, and ii) the flow of pathogens to lettuce was found to be significant from water and negligible from soil when irrigation is by furrow.Perez-Mercado, L. F., Lalander, C., Joel, A., Ottoson, J., Iriarte, M., Oporto, C., & Vinnerås, B. (2018). Pathogens in crop production systems irrigated with low-quality water in Bolivia. Journal of Water and Health. In Press.

Contact: Luis Fernando Perez-Mercado

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