A reuse case study in Milan (Italy) was developed to demonstrate how the Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) can be used to support optimal management of wastewater disinfection through a risk-based approach. The WWTP deliver reclaimed wastewater to irrigation of rice and corn through two canals which cover about 40 km, but it is use also for vegetable gardens both for home consumption and farmer markets. Wastewater is disinfected with ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can be controlled by varying the number of operating UV lamps. The analysis integrates model of (i) pathogen removal along the WWTP treatment train, (ii) the natural pathogen die-off in canals and (iii) the farm-to-fork exposure path to evaluate the optimal UV dosage requirement. The QMRA model of the system will be used to estimate farm workers and crop consumers risk of illness from exposure to salmonella and norovirus, in scenarios with increasing UV disinfection efficiency. The work aims at impacting the traditional management of wastewater UV disinfection in wastewater reuse systems, by providing a quantitative approach to assess the trade-off between health risk and energy consumption coming from the increase in UV dose.
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