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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Reuse of Municipal Waste Waters for Irrigation: Plant Response and Impact on Soil Properties
2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To determine the impact of treated municipal waste water and other waste waters on soil physical and chemical properties and plant response (biomass, marketable yield and growth/appearance (turfgrass) and compare this response to that of degraded low organic natural waters.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
To conduct laboratory and field research as needed to evaluate the use of treated municipal waste waters and other waste waters for irrigation of crops and turfgrass. This will include measurement of soil physical properties and plant growth and yield characteristics. Documents SCA with University of California - Riverside.


3.Progress Report

Initiated studies to examine the effect of tertiary treated waste water (Carlsbad CA) on soil infiltration into Arlington sandy loam soil. A large quantity of soil was collected, dried, sieved and packed into a total of 36 soil columns. Columns were initially irrigated with tap water for several irrigation cycles. Tertiary treated waste water was collected and analyzed for major ions, trace metals and dissolved organic carbon. Currently irrigation of 18 columns has been initiated with\treated waste water, with treatments spiked with additional salts to achieve sodium adsorption\ratios (SAR) of 3, 7 and 10. Additional irrigation waters were prepared by adding salts to\deionized water to achieve the same inorganic chemical composition, pH and SAR as the waste water treatments. The remaining 18 soil columns are now being irrigated with these water treatments. Experiment is ongoing. Research plans and progress were monitored through several on-site visits, telephone conversations and frequent email communications.


Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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