Irrigating food crops with stormwater


Moreland City Council commissioned Jacobs to assess the potential public health risks associated with the use of harvested stormwater to irrigate food crops.

The report presents the typical characteristics of untreated stormwater and the water quality requirements for the irrigation of food crops. Additionally, it assesses the potential health risks (and pollutants) associated with two stormwater harvesting schemes located within the boundaries of Moreland City Council where there is a proposal to irrigate food crops with treated stormwater.

The report concludes that there are suitable treatment types and on-site control measures that can sufficiently mitigate public health risks. These includes conventional water treatment processes, public access controls and irrigation methods that physically separate produce and people from irrigation water. Combinations of two or more of these options are recommended to make food growing with stormwater a viable option.