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Recycled water may flood urban parks with dangerous germs

With irrigation, drug resistance genes swamp the soil

11:19am, July 30, 2014

DIRTY WATER  Soil in urban parks that use reclaimed water for irrigation may have high numbers of drug-resistant microbes.

Sprinkling city parks with recycled water may create a breeding ground for hard-to-treat microbes. In a survey of parks in seven Chinese cities, researchers found that parks irrigated with treated wastewater were awash in signs of drug-resistant germs.

Even after the recycled water is treated in a sewage plant, it may carry microbes, drug-resistance genes and antibiotics that had washed down the drain. Sprayed into the environment, that water can spread microbes that could cause difficult-to-treat infections, the researchers say.

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