Risk management in Water Reuse

Any form of planned water reuse requires a precautionary approach to the acute and chronic risks posed by pathogenic microorganisms and chemical compounds. This health risk depends on the extent to which people come into contact with water, which contains increased concentrations of pathogens and chemical substances. A large number of approaches were postulated for the estimation of this risk in the case of water reuse. The World Health Organization (WHO) has presented a concept that divides the risk assessment process into four steps. These steps include problem identification, an underlying dose-response relationship, an exposure assessment and a concrete risk characterisation. It can be performed for both microbiological and chemical contaminants.

The WHO risk assessment concept ("Water Safety Plans") has been adapted by many countries in legislative requirements and technical regulations and implemented for various water reuse applications. This concept therefore forms the basis of risk management for applications within the WavE funding measure.

In order to convey the most important aspects of risk management during water reuse in a compact manner, the working group on the cross-cutting topic 'risk management' agreed to draw up short fact sheets. The thematic focus is on a.) microbiological parameters, b.) chemicals (such as organic matter, nutrients, salts and heavy metals), c.) contaminants of emerging concern and d.) an illustration of the essential elements of an overall water recycling concept.

First results:
Fact sheet: Relevance of chemicals in water reuse
Fact sheet: Relevance of microbiological parameters for water reuse
Fact sheet: Relevance of contaminants of emerging concern for water reuse
Fact sheet: Requirements for water recycling projects

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