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International Guidelines relating to use of recycled water

World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater (3rd Edition)

The third edition of the World Health Organisation Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater has been extensively updated to take account of new scientific evidence and contemporary approaches to risk  management. The revised Guidelines reflect a strong focus on disease prevention and public health principles.

This new edition responds to a growing demand from WHO Member States for guidance on the safe use of  wastewater, excreta and greywater in agriculture and aquaculture. Its target audience includes environmental  and public health scientists, researchers, engineers, policy-makers and those responsible for developing  standards and regulations.

The Guidelines are presented in four separate volumes:

  • Volume 1: Policy and regulatory aspects;
  • Volume 2:Wastewater use in agriculture;
  • Volume 3: Wastewater and excreta use in aquaculture; and
  • Volume 4: Excreta and greywater use in agriculture.

International guidelines for water recycling: microbiological considerations - a research paper response to the WHO guidelines, published in Water Science and Technology: Water Supply IWA Publishing (pdf) 2003.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Irrigation water quality and wastewater re-use

FAO Guidelines on water quality for agriculture  has specific section on irrigation water quality and wastewater reuse

United States

US EPA Water Recycling and reuse for recycled water use, and direct link to US EPA Guidelines for Recycled Water use (pdf - large file 12.7M)

Published USA codes are available on the internet for statutes, regulations and programs respectively: 


Health Canada - Household reclaimed water - water quality

Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines   

European Union

European Commission references on Urban Wastewater and treated wastewater reuse    

Drinking water quality

United Nations Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality Volume 1, (3rd  Edition)





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