A Critical Review

A Critical Review on
Reuse of Effluent Water
Article by Simon Toze

a critical review post

I had this homework that my professor in Environmental Engineering gave me. His instructions was to make a critical review on the attached article paper entitled "Reuse of Effluent Water --- Benefits and Risks" I thought i could share this piece to you and comment if there is something wring about it. I will be passing this paper tomorrow at 8:30 AM. So whatever your comments on it would be for constructive criticisms on my writing, which would help me in further reviews.

Here is the link to the article: http://econpapers.repec.org/scripts/redir.pl?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sciencedirect.com%2Fscience%2Farticle%2FB6T3X-4GXVG73-1%2F2%2Fba058cdb97ac1131c6ba674834a1f0dd;h=repec:eee:agiwat:v:80:y:2006:i:1-3:p:147-159

Here is my review:

A CRITICAL REVIEW ON Reuse of effluent water --- benefits and risks by Simon Toze

Dr. Simon Toze, an expert on behavior of microbiological pathogens on groundwater and biogeochemical changes on managed aquifer recharge , and is now a leading principal research scientist on CSIRO’s Water Use and Reuse research group within the Urban and Industrial Water research program discuses the benefits and risks of reuse of wastewater to agricultural irrigation in his article. Although the research delivers practical and useful information on the benefits and risks of the reuse of effluent water, there are also some incongruous claims on the risk of endocrine disruptors on agricultural yields of farms irrigated with reclaimed water.

The article on Reuse of Effluent water discusses about recent problems on scarcity of water resources. Some places in the world demands more water than any other place due to variability of climate and arid conditions that, in addition to population growth, could result to the depletion of these resources. It is important however to establish a system to maintain this depleting resources. One recommendation to this is the application of advance wastewater treatment to reclaim the effluent from different wastewaters. Simon Toze, in his article, particularly sited the benefits of reusing effluent wastewater for agricultural irrigation. He cited that reuse of effluent streams from wastewater treatment can drew a large volume of reliable and constant supply of water to agricultural crops. It also reduces use of water from the environment. (Toze, 2005)

He also mentions the potential risks of reclaimed wastewater, like toxicity of heavy metals deposited on soils, the presence of contaminants (human and animal pathogens, pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors). He also cited the low socio-economic value of the crops irrigated with water due to public opinion.

However, the point about mentioning the risk of endocrine disruptors as a potential health hazard to agricultural crops consumers cannot conclusively assure that such threat do considerable damage. It is noted that on unrestricted irrigation, where high-quality reclaimed water for irrigation of food crops for human consumption, certain requirements need to be considered in the treatment of wastewater. The chemical quality of irrigation to food crops should follow the agronomic standards which include salinity, sodium absorption, and specific ion toxicity of sodium, chloride, boron, and trace elements like cadmium that can affect sensitive crops. (Viessman et. Al., 2005) The presence of endocrine disruptors in effluent cannot be implied as a potential risk on agricultural crops for human consumption due to its variability of source. He cited from a source that it is commonly contributed by contraceptives pills, pesticides, and industrial chemicals. (Toze, 2005) But, these sources are debatable in terms of its severity to affect indirectly human health. For example, pesticides are used in farming to enhance agricultural yield. If pesticides itself, not including the reclaimed water used for the crops’ irrigation, could cause endocrine disruptors, then consumers of such crops could be terribly suffering from its adverse effects today. Consumers today enjoying pesticide-treated crops like rice and staple are generally not experiencing the adverse endocrine disruptors. It is therefore true that pesticides itself, not even including reclaimed waste water with endocrine disrupting chemicals, cannot cause such adverse effects to human health.

His claim on the risk of endocrine disruptors on agricultural yields of farms irrigated with reclaimed water is debatable and therefore cannot directly be concluded to potentially affect consumers of crops. His implication should be further supported by actual studies on the adverse effects of such endocrine disruptors on humans, not just on animals, to actually provide a conclusion on whether this particular risk is essentially hazardous to human health.


REGAN, L. 2005. Land and Water. [Online]. Available: http://www.clw.csiro.au/staff/TozeS/ [11 August 2008]

TOZE, S. 2006. Reuse of effluent water --- benefits and risks. Agricultural Water Management, 80:147-149.

VIESSMAN JR., W. & HAMMER, M. J. 2005. Water Supply and Pollution Control. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.


i will be soon posting some fun reviews on the recent movies i've watched for a couple days. So just keep reading.