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TREATED AND UNTREATED WASTEWATER AS ALTERNATIVE WATER SOURCE IN AGRICULTURE: EFFECT ON SOIL QUALITY, LEACHING OF MINERAL NITROGEN FROM SOIL AND BIOMASS PRODUCTION

J. Elbl, L. Plosek, A. Kintl, J. Kynicky, M. Brtnicky
Thursday 11 October 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

Municipal wastewater represents interesting source of irrigation water, especially in the situation where shortage of water is a growing problem in arid areas around the world. The potential decrease in soil fertility and expansion of arid areas due to global climate change represents the actual problem in agriculture in both developed and developing countries. The main objectives of the present study were to describe the impact of irrigation by different types of wastewater on content of C and N in soil, leaching of mineral nitrogen (Nmin) from soil, and on maize yield. These objectives were investigated by a pot experiment. Five variants of the treatments with different types of wastewater irrigation were prepared: untreated greywater, treated greywater, yellow water (stabilized urine), rainwater, and a control variant (distilled water). The effect of wastewater application on soil quality was expressed by changes in total nitrogen (Ntot) and total carbon (Ctot) content in soil. Moreover, effect of waste water irrigation on Nmin leaching from soil and biomass production was monitored. The results showed significant (α = 0.05) effect of wastewater application on leaching of Nmin from soil and on biomass production depending on the type of wastewater. The application of yellow water positively affected maize yield in comparison with other types of wastewaters and control variants. On the other hand, the highest level of Nmin leaching was found in the same variant. Above all, differences between treated and untreated wastewater were found in biomass production and leaching of Nmin. Untreated greywater had better influence on biomass production (20 %), but the application of untreated greywater had a demonstrable negative effect on the loss of Nmin (28 %), in comparison with the treated one. Soil quality was also affected. The application of waste water had effect on increase in content of Ntot at least by about 10 % depending on the wastewater use. The different effect of individual wastewater on selected soil properties and the potential of wastewater use in agriculture were confirmed.

Keywords: wastewater, irrigation, nitrogen, maize, drought


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