For Wastewater and Biosolids Reuse in Agriculture Applications
The aim of the Decision Support System (DSS) is to contribute to the reuse of the treated municipal wastewaters and sludge in agriculture, in order to:
- increase agricultural production
- reduce the cost of fertilizer use
- improve soil fertility and productivity
- protect the environment from the accumulation of heavy metals in soil and plants
- relieve the pressure exerted on the environment by the huge quantities of wastewater and sludge produced
- forecast and prevent the heavy metals soil pollution
- improve life quality
The present DSS is a multitude goal software. It is expected to contribute to the utilization of the wastewater and sludge produced by the Wastewater Treatment Plants (WTPs), both alone or in combination with each other, and to supply plant nutrients and organic matter to soils many of which are depleted of these important constituent.
The ultimate objective of the DSS is to exploit the treated wastewater and sludge in the context of a rational crop fertilization program. Also, at the same time to alleviate the pressure exerted on the environment and on the surface waters by the accumulation of huge amounts of sludge and billion cubic meters of wastewater that are flowing into lakes and seas, contributing to the eutrophication of surface waters, and to the degradation of the natural ecosystems, such as the wetlands, (estuaries, lakes and seas), despite to the annually observed decrease in the use of natural irrigation water, causing severe problems, and permanent headache to the government authorities.
The DSS is capable of making decisions in relation to safe wastewater and sludge reuse, evaluating:
- The heavy metals soil pollution level due to long term reuse of the above inputs, alerting the user to take promptly necessary measures to avoid the adverse consequences.
- The optimum fertilization of crops, minimizing the use of fertilizers and protecting the agroecological environment from unnecessary nutrient load, which otherwise could have unfavorable effects on the soil and life quality.
The current version processes analytical input data of soil, treated wastewater, and of sludge, providing information about:
- The elemental pollution index for the evaluation of soil heavy metal pollution level
- The rational fertilization of crops by determining the optimum nutrient dose to be applied
contributing to the protection of the environment, especially of the soil from the accumulation of heavy metals and possibly of pharmaceuticals in the long run.
The system supports three operation modes:
- Reuse of only Treated Wastewater
- Reuse of only Sludge (Biosolids)
- Reuse of both Treated Wastewater & Sludge
The system is using current web technologies that makes it user friendly even by inexperienced computer users in an interactive mode. It is characterized by flexibility and adaptability to accommodate future enchancements of the decision making approach by the user.