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Recycled water better than mains water to irrigate grapevines; no difference in yield between the two, fewer pathogens in soil

Posted by gmarkets on 9 October, 2007

Recycled water was more beneficial than mains water to irrigate grapevines, local research has found, wrote regional reporter Cara Jenkin in The Advertiser (6/10/2007, p.58).

Three-year study: SA Research and Development Insti­tute scientist Dr Belinda Rawnsley led a three-year study of the use of reclaimed water in a McLaren Vale vineyard. More than 90 landholders in the Willunga Basin used water treated at the SA Water Christies Beach wastewater treatment plant, which was pumped to their properties. About 3,000 megalitres of water each year, or one-third of all water processed at the treatment plant, was used to irrigate more than 1,500 hectares of land in the basin.

Surprising results: The study found fewer pathogens in the soil when vines were irrigated with reclaimed water. There also were higher levels of microbial activity, which helped to improve the transfer of nutrients from the soil to the vine. Dr Rawnsley said previous studies had shown there was no difference in yield between vines irrigated with reclaimed or mains water and was surprised by the results.

The Advertiser, 6/10/2007, p. 58

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