Use of bleached pulp & paper mill effluent reuse for irrigation

The secondary treated process effluent from a pulp & paper facility can be used as reuse water for irrigation, and this is practiced in many parts of the globe - but to know if this is an appropriate application in your case you need to determine what dissolved contaminants are associated with the residual COD and color, and take into consideration the nature of the vegetation you are proposing to irrigate - particularly if they are food crops.  To give you an idea, the following is a link to a study that contemplates a similar reuse application.

You also have to consider the agronomic and hydrogeological aspects.  A mill operates year-round, but year-round irrigation is seldom required.  Typically irrigation with reuse water is practiced with the intent of meeting evapotranspiration needs, as excess could result in saturated soils, soil erosion, and groundwater contamination.  If there is groundwater extraction nearby, or potential for seepage into surface water courses, you will need to assess the impact of residual contaminants on those water sources. The agronomic assessment also needs to take into consideration the amount of salts being applied to the soil, as salts can severely damage the soil structure as well as plants.


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