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Quantifying indirect ingestion of recycled water - Stage 2

Project Number # 3021

A novel approach to quantify indirect ingestion of recycled water: Improving the evidence base for water guidelines

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Background and Relevance

Non-potable use of recycled water is essential for future water management strategies in Australia. The Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling (AGWR) set regulatory targets for public health protection on the basis that even during non-potable uses, small quantities of water will be inadvertently ingested from exposure to sprays and aerosols. Requirements for water treatment are then calculated to reduce the risks of illness from exposure to enteric pathogens to tolerable levels.  However, assumptions on the volumes of water inadvertently ingested have little evidentiary basis and are essentially expert opinions of quantities thought to be plausible. This project will generate empirical quantitative data on indirect water ingestion for inclusion in future revisions of the AGWR to permit better risk assessment.

The specific objective of the project is to measure inadvertent water ingestion during washing of a hard surface using a high pressure spray device. This activity has been chosen because of relevance to water reuse and because it involves relatively high intensity exposure likely to result in ingestion of measurable volumes of water.

Project Documents