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Novel Methodology for the Promotion of treated wastewater reuse for Mediterranean crops improvement

4 June, 2050

Novel Methodology for the Promotion of treated wastewater reuse for Mediterranean crops improvement


Waste water source

Treated wastewater was collected from a wastewater treatment plant situated in Lisbon. The wastewater treatment plant has primary, secondary and tertiary treatment. Sample collection was performed daily after a UV disinfection process and delivered for analyses at the same day. The experimental study site consists of two irrigation treatments (treated wastewater irrigation and water irrigation), each supplied to three contiguous vineyard rows.

Distribution System

The irrigation system utilizes drip irrigation, the distance between pipelines is 2.5 m and between the drippers 1 m. The flow rate is 2.5 l/h. Polyethylene pipelines with a diameter of 16 mm lay 50 cm below the surface. The system is powered by photovoltaic panels (6 panels with 250 W each and battery capacity of 7,000 W).

Farming system

The grapevines (Arinto variety) used for the study were planted in 2006 with north-south orientation. The irrigations system has a dripper localized in each meter of irrigation tube and the freshwater flow provided was 2.5 l/h.

Waste water treatment description

Nutrient removal : none
Pesticide removal : none
Disinfection : Sand filtration coupled with UV light disinfection
Suspended solids removal : none


The wastewater treatment plant serves 215,000 population equivalents (54,000 m³/day).

Extent of the agricultural beneficiaries


Type of agreement

Scientific results

Scientific Reports and peer-reviewed papers:

Li, R., Graça, J., Fragoso, R., Paço, T.A., Cameira, M.R., Rodrigues, G., Duarte, E. (2017). Monitorização de culturas mediterrânicas regadas em regiões com escassez de água - adequação de metodologias em viticultura. 14º Congresso da Água, Évora, Portugal

Graça, J., Fragoso, R., Paço, T.A., Li, R., Cameira, M.R., Rodrigues, G., Duarte, E. (2017). Novel Methodology for the Promotion of treated Wastewater Reuse for Mediterranean crops improvement– MeProWaRe. O caminho da Inovação AdP, Lisboa, Portugal.

Graça, J., Fragoso, R., Paço, T.A., Li, R., Cameira, M.R., Rodrigues, G., Duarte, E. (2017). Metodologia para reutilização de águas residuais tratadas em culturas mediterrâneas - MEPROWARE. Livro de Resumo do I congresso luso-brasileiro de horticultura, Lisboa, Portugal. 29

Costa, J.M., Oliveira, M., Graça, J., Lopes, C.M., Duarte, E., 2017. Desafios para a viticultura e enologia mediterrânicas: a importância do recurso água. Revista APH, 127: 32-37. Cid, J.F.X. Response of grapevine to irrigation with treated wastewater. 2019. Master thesis for Degree in Viticulture and Oenology Engineering

Costa JM, Oliveira M, Fragoso R, Egipto R, Lopes CM, Duarte E. 2019. Gestão da Água para uma vitivinicultura sustentável no sul de Portugal. 11th Alentejo Vine and Wine Symposium. 15 to 17th May 2019. Évora Portugal

Additional information

The treated wastewater presents reasonable good quality, with light constrains to its use in crop irrigation for the parameters related to salinity (electrical conductivity, Sodium, Chloride) and for Bicarbonate. The chloride content in the treated wastewater is the only parameter that is above the recommended value for reuse in agriculture presented in the National Decree Law DL 236/98. Overall, the quality of the water used for irrigation in the MeProWaRe field tests was good. In all cases the treated wastewater complied to thelocal limits for reuse in agriculture, with the exception of the parameter total suspended solids in the Spanish demo-site. Moreover, the treated wastewater had a higher content of nutrients and organic substances, so they can provide a significant fertilizing contribution for crops cultivation. Even though it was below the law limits, the salinity of treated wastewater was in all demo sites higher than in control waters. Hence, for this parameter the effects on plants and soils should be carefully monitored. We want to highlight that not the  water source is of importance , but its quality according to the use it is destined for.

PDF (Portuguese):
https://suwanu-europe.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/25_Meproware-1.pdf" title="25_Meproware


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Type of initiative
Research initiative, Demonstration initiative
Waste water source
Waste water treatment
Farming system
Permanent crops
Application use
Irrigation of processed food crops
Irrigation method
Drip irrigation
Implementation stage