The current rush to highly treated recycled municipal wastewater in its present state is plagued by serious unknowns that are far more serious than the “yuck factor.”
Indeed, recycled wastewater has been deemed safe by advocates for its use despite the absence of scientific proof.
No peer-reviewed, published, independent, third-party investigations conducted to NIH standards have been done of the CECs (Chemicals of Emerging Concern) in recycled wastewater showing that it is safe.
By contrast, hundreds of studies done to those high standards have found harmful effects by many of the CECs present in recycled wastewater.
The CECs which remain in recycled wastewater used for landscape, vineyard and other irrigation:
- Contain biologically active concentrations of chemicals such as pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, hormone-disrupting compounds, metabolites of drugs and other substances processed by humans and/or created by bacteria in the treatment process.
- Have not been completely identified. No complete or recent census of the substances is available. Few studies have ever been done to measure how multiple compounds act in concert.
- Meet federal and state standards because the CECs are not regulated or required to be monitored by any regulatory agency.
- Have been shown to be absorbed by food plants.
Previous Wine Industry Insight Articles
- Toxic Irrigation: Major Study Indicts Chemicals Found in Recycled Wastewater Used For Vineyards And Other Crops
These may be helpful to understanding some of the issues:
- GLP, Part 2: Federal Regulation’s Buggy Whip Science
- 84,000 Legal Chemicals. Fewer Than 200 Tested. Only 5 Ever Banned. Here’s Where Those Numbers Come From