Fate of Nutrients, Trace Metals, Bacteria, and Pesticides in Nursery Recycled Water


Faced with rapid population growth and fresh water scarcity, reuse of reclaimed water is growing worldwide and becoming an integral part of water resource management. Our objective was to determine the fate of nutrients, trace metals, bacteria, and legacy organic compounds (organochlorine pesticides) in the recycled water from five commercial nursery ponds in Florida. The pH of recycled water at all sites was 8.1 - 9.3, except one site (6.5), while the electrical conductivity (EC) was 0.31 - 0.36 dS/m. Concentrations of trace metals in recycled water were low: Fe (0.125 - 0.367 mg/L), Al (0.126 - 0.169 mg/L), B (0.104 - 0.153 mg/L), Zn (0.123 - 0.211 mg/L), and Mn (<0.111 mg/L). Total phosphorus (P) and total nitrogen (N) in the recycled water were 0.35 - 1.00 mg/L and 1.56 - 2.30 mg/L, respectively. Among organochlorine pesticides, endrin aldehyde was the only pesticide detected in all nursery recycled water ponds, with concentrations from 0.04 to 0.10 μg/L at four sites and 1.62 μg/L at one site. Other detected pesticides in recycled water were methoxychlor, endosulfan sulfate, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and α-chlorodane, with concentrations < 0.20 μg/L. Total coliforms and Escherichia coli (E. coli) in recycled water were 20 - 50 colony forming units (CFU)/100 mL. We conclude that the concentrations of various inorganic and organic compounds in recycled water are very low and do not appear to be problematic for irrigation purposes in Florida’s nursery recycled water ponds.

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Yang, Y. and Toor, G. (2015) Fate of Nutrients, Trace Metals, Bacteria, and Pesticides in Nursery Recycled Water. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 7, 293-299. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2015.74023.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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