Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Wastewater irrigation effect on soil, crop and environment: a pilot scale study at Irbid, Jordan.

Abstract

An investigation was carried out at pilot scale to test the feasibility of using the effluent of a rotating biological contactors (RBC) unit treating waste water generated from a university campus. The objective of the study was to carefully monitor the impact of waste water irrigation on the soil, percolating water, crop growth and the pathogenic condition within the immediate vicinity of waste water application. Experimental plots with three crops: lucerne, radish and tomato were irrigated with fresh and waste waters. The irrigation water was applied by sprinklers. Each crop was given two sub-treatments: with fertilizer and without fertilizer. The physical and chemical properties of the soil, the crop yields, and subsurface drainage were measured. In most of the cases, the yields resulted from the uses of waste water with fertilizer were compatible with those of the uses of freshwater with fertilizer. The washings of tomato fruits grown with waste water were analysed for faecal coliforms. It appeared that the fruit skins were free of viable faecal coliforms 24 hours after the waste water application. Subsurface drainage analyses did not show any alarming levels of constituents irrespective of the source of the water: waste water or freshwater. The waste water irrigation applied for a season had no significant effect on a silty loam soil. With waste water irrigation, slight changes in the soil porosity and salinity were observed.