Masto, R.E. (2009) Changes in soil quality indicators under long-term sewage irrigation in a sub-tropical environment. Environmental Geology, 56. pp. 1237-1243. ISSN 0943-0105

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Though irrigation with sewage water has potential benefits of meeting the water requirements, the sewage irrigation may mess up to harm the soil health. To assess the potential impacts of long-term sewage irrigation on soil health and to identify sensitive soil indicators, soil samples were collected from crop fields that have been irrigated with sewage water for more than 20 years. An adjacent rain-fed Leucaena leucocephala plantation system was used as a reference to compare the impact of sewage irrigation on soil qualities. Soils were analyzed for different physical, chemical, biological and biochemical parameters. Results have shown that use of sewage for irrigation improved the clay content to 18–22.7%, organic carbon to 0.51–0.86% and fertility status of soils. Build up in total N was up to 2,713 kg ha-1, available N (397 kg ha-1), available P (128 kg ha-1), available K (524 kg ha-1) and available S (65.5 kg ha-1) in the surface (0.15 m) soil. Long-term sewage irrigation has also resulted a significant build-up of DTPA extractable Zn (314%), Cu (102%), Fe (715%), Mn (197.2), Cd (203%), Ni (1358%) and Pb (15.2%) when compared with the adjacent rain-fed reference soil. Soils irrigated with sewage exhibited a significant decrease in microbial biomass carbon (-78.2%), soil respiration (-82.3%), phosphatase activity (-59.12%) and dehydrogenase activity (-59.4%). An attempt was also made to identify the sensitive soil indicators under sewage irrigation, where microbial biomass carbon was singled out as the most sensitive indicator.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sewage water, Irrigation, Heavy metals, Soil enzymes, Microbial biomass carbon, Soil quality indicators
Subjects: Enviornmental Management
Depositing User: Dr. Satyendra Kumar Singh
Date Deposited: 27 Dec 2013 11:37
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2013 11:37

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