More than half of farmers around the world are apparently using untreated wastewater to irrigate crops. The number is alarming, considering that wastewater can lead to health problems and a preview had already been seen in certain parts of the U.S. after imports entered the country in 2013.
Sick Farmers and Contaminated Plants
Without using a wastewater clarifier and wastewater treatment, farmers are compromising their crops. Water used to irrigate crops may contain harmful ingredients and bacteria that will lead to sicknesses as the crops and produce are consumed. In 2013, fresh cilantro was reported to contain Cyclospora, and this is not the only case. Some reports of contaminated crops relayed deaths.
Apart from compromising the quality of their produce, farmers are putting their lives at risk. No one is first to taste their produce than their own family, and if the crops are unsafe, they are looking at an immediate trip to the emergency room.
Improvements in Water Treatment Plants Are Necessary
Because of the dangers associated with the use of untreated wastewater, the government is imposing regulations on upgrading wastewater treatment plants. Recently, the EPA launched an investigation to determine why black wastewater was being pumped into the Niagara Falls. This serves as a lesson to wastewater treatment plants which may not be paying attention to the water they are pumping out of the plant after a clean-up. Clean-ups and improvements are necessary, but they also need to follow proper procedures.
Though San Diego’s Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant has been approved to forgo the required improvements, they are expected to continue with a water recycling program costing $3 billion in return. Everyone is expected to take the safety of water as their priority, seeing as water is used everywhere and even the smallest drop can contain millions of bacteria if not treated properly.
Wastewater is unsafe unless treated properly. To avoid problems with the EPA and to safeguard your health, follow the regulations on using wastewater.