USE OF TREATED SEWAGE AS WATER AND A NUTRITIONAL SOURCE FOR BEAN CROPS
ABSTRACT Considering the relevance of the reduction or replacement of fresh water supplies for irrigation, to mitigate the use of agricultural fertilizers and to improve sustainability, this study aimed to evaluate water and nutritional efficiency of treated sewage in cowpea plots. The experiment was conducted in the city of Tianguá-CE, on land belonging to the Water and Sewage Treatment Company of Ceará. It used a randomized block design for the arrangement of split plots. The plots contained two water sources (treated sewage and well water). The subplots contained four irrigation levels based on potential evapotranspiration (50%, 75%, 100%, and 125% of ETc) and the sub-subplots contained four nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK) levels (0%, 33%, 66%, and 99% of the nutritional recommendations for cowpea cultivation). The yield variables, number of pods per plant, bean numbers per pod, and bean production, were improved with increased irrigation, regardless of the water source. Examining NPK levels in particular, yields differed depending on the water source. The use of treated domestic wastewater for bean irrigation can replace up to 100% of commercial fertilizers.