Key documents for the sub-category on greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse and irrigation


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Key documents for the sub-category on greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse and irrigation

For more information about why I am creating this new thread, please see here:


This thread is a "sticky thread" which means it will always remain at the top of this sub-category.
It contains a recommendation and orientation for newcomers regarding the most important five documents in the thematic area of "Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation".

The selection of documents is based on my searches in the SuSanA library and looking through previous forum threads.
I am open to feedback if others think that another document should be selected here.

Recommended top five documents in the thematic area of "Greywater, blackwater or wastewater reuse, irrigation", in reverse chronological order:

WHO (2016). Sanitation safety planning. Manual for safe use and disposal of wastewater, greywater and excreta. World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland, ISBN 978 92 4 154924 0

Sanitation Safety Planning is a tool to help sanitation system operators maximise health benefits and minimise health risk of their system. It guides operators to prioritize and target risk management efforts to where it will have the most impact and to improve over time. The outputs can be used to provide assurance to the public and authorities of the system performance based on sound risk based management.

This document is based on the WHO Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater from 2006, which consists of four volumes; the two most relevant volumes for this sticky post are:
Volume II: Wastewater Use in Agriculture,
Volume IV: Excreta and greywater use in agriculture,

HLPE, 2015. Water for food security and nutrition. A report by the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome, Italy

This report explores the relations between water and food security and nutrition, from household level to global level. It investigates these multiple linkages, in a context of competing demands, rising scarcities, and climate change. I t explores ways for improved water management in agriculture and food systems, as well as ways for improved governance of water, for better food security and nutrition for all, now and in the future.

Huhn, L. (2015). Greywater Treatment in Sand and Gravel Filters - Low Tech Solution for Sustainable Wastewater Management - Manual for Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance. Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF)

This manual provides the background of greywater characteristics and gives guidance how to construct and operate a low-tech sand filter for onsite greywater treatment. It describes all aspects to be considered in the process of planning, construction and maintenance of greywater filters on the household level in rural areas. This manual is made for practitioners, technicians and interested households who want to design, construct and operate a low-tech greywater filter.

Drechsel, P., Scott, C. A., Raschid-Sally, L., Redwood, M., Bahri, A. (eds.) (2010). Wastewater Irrigation and Health - Assessing and Mitigating Risk in Low-Income Countries. International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Earthscan, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), ISBN 978-1-84407-795-3

This book is written for practitioners, researchers and graduate students in environmental and public health, sanitary and agricultural engineering, and wastewater irrigation management in developing countries. It helps to assess and mitigate health risks from the use of wastewater and faecal sludge in agriculture, under conditions where wastewater treatment is absent or inadequate to safeguard public health.

Morel, A. and Diener, S. (2006). Greywater management in low and middle-income countries, review of different treatment systems for households or neighbourhoods. Sandec Report No. 14/06. Sandec (Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries) at Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), Dübendorf, Switzerland

This report compiles international experience in greywater management on household and neighbourhood level in low and middle-income countries. In urban areas of LMIC, greywater is commonly discharged untreated into drainage channels, use untreated greywater for agricultural purposes, thereby leading to environmental degradation and exposing the population to health risks. Though greywater is generally less polluted than domestic or industrial wastewater, it may still contain high levels of pathogenic microorganisms, suspended solids and substances such as oil, fat, soaps, detergents, and other household chemicals.

Actually I am a bit undecided. Perhaps this one should replace the one that I have currently selected as Number 3?

Alternative for (3)
EPHC, NRMMC, AHMC (2006). Australian guidelines for water recycling: managing health and environmental risks (Phase 1). Environment Protection and Heritage Council, Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, Australian Health Ministers Conference

Pressure on freshwater supplies is increasing in many cities and regional areas of Australia, due to widespread drought and movement of population to large centres near capital cities. Several reports have suggested to use water more efficiently; for example, by reusing water that has traditionally been seen as wastewater. In response to this situation, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council and the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council developed these national guidelines on water recycling. An important feature of these guidelines is that they use a risk management framework, rather than simply relying on post-treatment testing as the basis for managing recycled water schemes.

You can find further important documents and website links dealing with this topic here: Please provide your feedback. What do you think of this selection? We can update it from time to time, too. It's a broad topic and therefore not easy to pick out the most important documents and links for newcomers.

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
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