Solutions to global water stress problems are urgently needed yet must be sustainable, economical and safe. The utilisation of alternative water sources like reclaimed municipal wastewater is one of the most obvious and promising options in integrated water resources management. Among the various beneficial uses of reclaimed wastewater Aquifer Recharge (AR) receives growing attention because it features advantages such as additional natural treatment, storage capacity to buffer seasonal variations of supply and demand as well as mixing with natural water bodies which promotes the acceptance of further uses, particularly indirect potable use. Major concerns about the safety of this exploitation route of an alternative water source are connected to microbial and chemical contaminants occurring in wastewater, among which are emerging trace organics like endocrine disrupters and pharmaceuticals. This paper reviews the current international debate about the relevance of emerging contaminants and technical mitigation options in water recycling for indirect potable use.
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