Terrestrial environment

Treated wastewater irrigation effect on soil, crop and environment:Wastewater recycling in the loess area of China

WANG Jun-feng , WANG Gen-xu , WANYAN Hua


Received November 21, 2006,Revised April 16, 2007, Accepted , Available online

Volume 19,2007,Pages 1093-1099

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A study was carried out at the Loess Plateau in Dongzhi, China, to test the feasibility of using secondary treatment sewage e uent and to determine whether the water quality would then meet the recommended irrigation norm. Seven crops, including celery, wheat, maize, millet, apples, rapeseed and yellow beans, were tested in the study. Physical and chemical properties of the soil, crop yield and quality and leachate at di erent soil depths were measured. In most cases, the quality of the crops that made use of treated sewage was not distinctively di erent from those that did not use treated sewage. However, yields for the former were much higher than they were for the latter. Leachates at di erent soil depths were analyzed and the results did not show alarming levels of constituents. For a period of approximately 14 months, the treated sewage irrigation had no significant e ect on the loess soil and no cases of illness resulting from contact with the treated sewage were reported. With treated sewage irrigation, a slight increase in the organic content of the soil was observed.

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