Project: Risk reduction of chemical residues in soils and crops – impact due to wastewater used for irrigation

Acronym RESIDUE (Reference Number: 2019-SECTION2-23)
Project Topic The goal of the project is to enhance food quality/security by an evaluation of the risks associated with agricultural techniques, using sewage sludge for soil fertilization and treated wastewater for irrigation. Associated contaminants may reach the soils and plants, representing a risk to the consumer. In the project, we develop an improved treatment of waste materials prior to spreading based on biochar techniques. We study the fate and distribution of selected relevant contaminants from treatment of the waste materials until crop harvest. 14C-radiolabelled contaminants allow an advanced evaluation to extend the risk assessment for transformation products and bound residues. As an integral part of the project, soil qualities and sustainable use of waste materials in agriculture will be an important result of the study. To ensure practical relevance of the project, advancement will be pursued by the involvement of stakeholders (farmers’ cooperatives, trade associations) to evaluate the applicability of the proposed technologies. A user manual will be prepared that can serve as guidance on how to implement the research results in agricultural practise. As countries like Israel have no choice to use waste materials in agriculture, the project will support the Israel export agricultural business. In Spain and Italy basically the same applies: the high rate of treated sewage sludge and wastewater used in agriculture raises the same concerns. For Germany, the results will be of high value for the safety and quality assessment of sewage sludge application in agriculture. It may find a broader application again if the risk for contamination decreases, because they bring valuable organic matter and plant nutrients to soil. This makes the project of extreme importance, because it will provide new insights into the risk associated to this agricultural practice, as related to chemical pollution and food-safety issues.
Network PRIMA
Call Section 2 Call 2019 - Multi-topic

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Coordinator Germany
2 Freie Universität Berlin, WG Geoecology Partner Germany
3 Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas Partner Spain
4 Phytor Lab Jerusalem Partner Israel
5 Consorzio Italbiotec Partner Italy