Experimental assessment of recycled diesel spill-contaminated domestic wastewater treated by reed beds for irrigation of sweet peppers

Suhad A.A.A.N. Almuktar, Miklas Scholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this experimental study is to assess if urban wastewater treated by ten different greenhouse-based sustainable wetland systems can be recycled to irrigate Capsicum annuum L. (Sweet Pepper; California Wonder) commercially grown either in compost or sand within a laboratory environment. The design variables were aggregate diameter, contact time, resting time and chemical oxygen demand. The key objectives were to assess: (i) the suitability of different treated (recycled) wastewaters for irrigation; (ii) response of peppers in terms of growth when using recycled wastewater subject to different growth media and hydrocarbon contamination; and (iii) the economic viability of different experimental set-ups in terms of marketable yield. Ortho-phosphate-phosphorus, ammonia-nitrogen, potassium and manganese concentrations in the irrigation water considerably exceeded the corresponding water quality thresholds. A high yield in terms of economic return (marketable yield expressed in monetary value) was linked to raw wastewater and an organic growth medium, while the plants grown in organic medium and wetlands of large aggregate size, high contact and resting times, diesel-spill contamination and low inflow loading rate produced the best fruits in terms of their dimensions and fresh weights, indicating the role of diesel in reducing too high nitrogen concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number208
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Capsicum annuum
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Marketable yield
  • Nutrient
  • Sustainable agricultural water resource
  • Vegetable
  • Water reclamation
  • Wetland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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