Sewage disposal in the Musi-River, India: Water quality remediation through irrigation infrastructure

Jeroen H.J. Ensink, Christopher A. Scott, Simon Brooker, Sandy Cairncross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The disposal of untreated urban sewage in to open water bodies is common in most developing countries. This poses potential negative consequences to public health and agricultural sustainability. Hyderabad, one of India's largest cities, disposes large amounts of its wastewater untreated into the Musi River, from where it is used, with the aid of irrigation weirs, for agricultural production. This paper presents a 14 month (December 2003 - January 2005) water quality survey which aimed to quantify spatial and temporal changes in key water quality parameters along a 40 km stretch of the Musi River. The survey found that river water quality improved dramatically with distance from the city; from untreated sewage in the city to irrigation water safe for use in agriculture 40 km downstream of the city. This improvement was contributed to by different treatment processes caused or aided by the irrigation weirs placed on the river.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-77
Number of pages13
JournalIrrigation and Drainage Systems
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Agriculture
  • Helminths
  • India
  • Musi River
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Wastewater use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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