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Critical review of the proposed irrigation and effluent standards for Bonaire

  • van Kekem, A.J.
  • Roest, C.W.J.
  • van der Salm, C.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2006
Wageningen University and Researchcenter Publications
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The quality of Bonaire’s coral reef is declining which is caused by the high loads of nutrients that reach the sea. A waste water treatment plant is planned to treat the waste water of all hotels and other premises of Kralendijk’s coastal zone. The effluent is to be used for irrigation. The soils in this zone have been studied and erosion and run-off modelled. Nutrient budgets for N and P were calculated and the irrigation requirements of different types of hotel gardens estimated. The proposed effluent norms comply with international standards and reduce the N load to the sea. P is not a problem as this is fixed by the calcareous rock. Despite the high nutrient losses from hotel gardens when using the treated water in hotel gardens, the nutrient loads from the sensitive zone to the sea will be reduced to the 1970 levels when the coral reef was still in good quality. To avoid unnecessary losses, however, it is recommended either to add a denitrification step to the wastewater treatment plant, or use the treated water in horticulture

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