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Original Article

Parasitic contamination of soil and vegetable crops irrigated with raw wastewater: A case study from Al-Far’a, Palestine

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Abstract

Purpose Because of the steep shortage in freshwater supply in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, raw wastewater (RWW) has been widely used to irrigate vegetable crops. This study aims to detect the effects of irrigation with raw wastewater on crops cultivated in Wadi Al-Far’a, Palestine.
Method A total of 300 soil, crop, and RWW samples were randomly collected from Wadi al-Far’a, an area with a long history of irrigating crops with raw wastewater. A survey questionnaire was also used to collect data on the parasites-infected farmer.
Results Results showed that percentages of contaminated vegetables, soil, and RWW samples were 10.2%, 27.0%, and 47.5%, respectively. Crops leave indicate contamination with parasite eggs depending on their contact with surface soil, e.g., contamination of zucchini (leaves rest on surface soil) and mallow (upright plant stand) was 19.0% and 2.0%, respectively. The highest and lowest soil contamination with parasites eggs pertained to A. lumbricoides (30.0%) and T. trichiurid (19.2%).
Conclusion Certain mitigation measures should be used to limit the danger of farmers becoming infected with common parasites, particularly Ascaris lumbricoides. Farmers’ awareness of the manner of parasite transmission and adherence to safety regulations should be among them.

Highlights

  • Reason forcing Palestinian farmers using raw wastewater in irrigation.
  • The most common parasites eggs survival in raw wastewater irrigated soils.
  • The major factor of crop contamination with parasites.
  • The most infected age group of farmers applying raw wastewater in irrigation.
  • Effect of climate and length of raw wastewater running course on crop and soil contamination with parasites.

Graphical Abstract

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