Reclamation of Real Urban Wastewater Using Solar Advanced Oxidation Processes: An Assessment of Microbial Pathogens and 74 Organic Microcontaminants Uptake in Lettuce and Radish

Yelitza Aguas, Margarita Hincapié Pérez, Ana B. Martínez-Piernas, A. Agüera, Pilar Fernandez-Ibanez, Samira Nahim-Granados, Inmaculada Polo

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In this study, disinfection of urban wastewater (UWW) with two solar processes (H 2O 2 -20 mg/L and photo-Fenton 10 mg/L-Fe 2+/20 mg/L-H 2O 2 at natural water pH) at pilot scale using a 60 L compound parabolic collector reactor for irrigation of two raw-eaten vegetables (lettuce and radish) has been investigated. Several microbial targets (total coliforms, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., and Enterococcus spp.) naturally occurring in UWW and 74 organic microcontaminants (OMCs) were monitored. Disinfection results showed no significant differences between both processes, showing the following inactivation resistance order: Salmonella spp. < E. coli < total coliforms < Enterococcus spp. Reductions of target microorganisms to concentrations below the limit of detection (LOD) was achieved in all cases with cumulative solar UV energy per volume (Q UV) ranged from 12 to 40 kJ/L (90 min to 5 h). Solar photo-Fenton showed a reduction of 66% of OMCs and solar/H 2O 2 of 56% in 5 h treatment. Irrigation of radish and lettuce with solar treated effluents, secondary effluents, and mineral water was performed for 6 and 16 weeks, respectively. The presence of bacteria was monitored in surfaces and uptake of leaves, fruit, and also in soil. The bacterial concentrations detected were below the LOD in the 81.2% (lettuce) and the 87.5% (radish) of the total number of samples evaluated. Moreover, uptake of OMCs was reduced above 70% in crops irrigated with solar treated effluents in comparison with secondary effluents of UWW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9705-9714
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number16
Early online date8 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2019


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