Effect of Sewage Sludge on Some Macronutrients Concentration and Soil Chemical Properties

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Grad. Student of Soil Science, Isfahan University of Technology

2 Associate Professors of Soil Science, Isfahan University of Technology

3 Associate Professor of Horticulture, Isfahan University of Technology


Sewage sludge as an organic fertilizer has economic benefits. Land application of sewage sludge improves some soil chemical and physical properties. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of sewage sludge on soil chemical properties and macronutrient concentration in acid and calcareous soils. The study was carried out in a greenhouse using factorial experiment design as completely randomized with three replications. Treatments included : four levels of 0 or control, 50, and 100, 200 ton ha-1 sludge and one level of chemical fertilizer (F) consisting of 250 kg ha-1 diammonium phosphate and 250 kg ha-1 urea, and soil including soils of Langroud, Lahijan, Rasht, and Isfahan. As a major vegetable , crop spinach (Spinacea oleracea) was grown in the treated soils. Soils samples were analyzed for their chemical properties after crop narvesting. Application of sewage sludge significantly increased plant available k, P, total N, organic matter, electrical conductivity and cation exchange in the soils. Soils pH significantly decreased as a result sewage sludge application. The effect of sewage sludge on plant yield was significant. Overall, the results indicated that sewage sludge is potentially a valuable fertilizer. However, the sludge effect on soil EC and heavy metals should be taken into consideration before its widespread use on cropland.


1- Brollier, S., Smith, S. R., Henry, C.L. and Harrison, R.B. (1992). "I. Changes in Soil Chemistry." Seventeen Years of Municipal Sludge Application in Forests, Agronomy. Abstracts, 33.
2- Bauer, A. and Black, A. L. (1992). "Organic Carbon Effects on Available Water Capacity of three Soil Textural Groups." J. Soil. Sci. Am., (24), 527-534.
3- Bierman, P. M., Rosen, J. (1994). "Sewage Sludge Incinerator Ash Effects on Soil Chemical Properties and Grown of Lerruce and Corn." Soil Sci. Plant Anal., (25), 2409-2437.
4- Guag, W., Thomas, E. and Paual, R. (1995). "Evaluation of Nitrogen Availability in Irrigated Sewage Sludge, Sludge Compost and Manure Compost." J. Environ. Qual., (24), 527-534.
5- Pais, I. J. and Jones, B. Jr. (1977). "The Handbook of Trace Elements." St. Lucie Press, N. W. Boca Roton, Florida.
6- Epstien, E., Tylor, J.M. and Chaney, R.L. (1976). "Effect of Sewage Sludge Compost Applied to Soil on Some Soil Physical and Chemical Properties." J. Environ. Qual., (55), 422-426.
7- Kelling, K.A., Peterson, A. E. Walsh, L. M., Rayan, J.A. and Keeney, D. R. (1977). "A Field Study of the Agricultural use of Sewage Sludge: I, Effect on Crop Yield and Uptake of N and P. " J. Environ. Qual., (6), 339-343.
8-Giusquiani, P.L., Pagliai, M., Gigliotti, G., Businelli, D. and Benetti, A. (1955). "Urban Waste Compost: Effect on Physical, Chemical and Biochemical Soil Properties." J. Environ. Qual., (24), 175-182.
شماره 53- سال 1384                                                                                                                        آب و فاضلاب
9- Lunt, H. A. (1999). "Digested Sewage Sludge for Soil Improvement. " Connecticut Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull., (3), 622-628.
10- Olsen, S. R., Sommers, L. E. (1990). "Phosphorous." Methods of Soil Analysis Part II, Agronomy Monger, ASA, Madison, WI., USA, 403-431.
11- Nelson, D. W., Kladivko, E. J. (1979). "Changes in Soil Properties from Application of Anaerobic Sludge." J. Water Pollution Control, (51), 325-332.
12- Westerm R. L. (1990). "Soil Testing and Plant Analysis." SSSA. Madison Wisconisn, USA.
13- Tester, C. F., Sikora, L. J., Taylor, J. M. and J. F. (1973). "Decomposition of Sewage Sludge Compost in Soil: 3. Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorous Transformation in Different Size Fractions." J. Environ, Qual., (8), 79-82.
14- Korto, N.E., Skopp, J. Fuller, W. Niebla, E. E. and Alesh, B. A. (1974). "Trace Element Movement in Soil: Influence of Soil Physical and Chemical Properties." Soil Sci., (122), 350-359.
15- Krebs, R., Gupta, S. K. Furrer, G. and Sehulin, R. (1998). "Solubility and Plant Uptake of Metals with and Without Liming of Sludge- Amended Soil. " J. Environ. Qual., (27), 18-23.