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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Phosphorus Leaching Potential from Compost Amendments in a Carbonatic Soil

Authors
item REED, STEWART
item Shinde, Dilip - EVERGLADES NAT. PARK
item Konomi, Kenichiro - FORMERLY FIU
item Jayachandran, Krishnaswamy - FL INTERNATIONAL UNIV
item Nkedi-Kizza, Peter - UNIV OF FLORIDA
item Savabi, M

Submitted to: Soil Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2006
Publication Date: November 1, 2006
Citation: Reed, S.T., Shinde, D., Konomi, K., Jayachandran, K., Nkedi-Kizza, P., Savabi, M.R. 2006. Phosphorus leaching potential from compost amendments in a carbonatic soil. Soil Science. 171(11):1-9.

Interpretive Summary: Composts are applied to carbonaceous soils in south Florida to improve their physical characteristics and increase water retention. Blends of biosolids and municipal waste are often combined to increase the nutrient content of the compost. However, the high P content of some compost has led to concerns about the potential for P movement into shallow ground water. Column studies were conducted to determine the potential for P leaching in compost-amended soil. Bedminster (Bed) was the most suitable compost in terms of a lower potential for P leaching. A sorption study indicated that Bed enhanced P sorption in the amended soil. Bromide BTCs showed the presence of physical non-equilibrium processes in the porous media. Each compost-amended soil demonstrated a slight decrease in P leaching at 1 PV rainfall. The high P content of the composts made it unlikely that additions of these materials to soil would improve P sorption capacity. However, Bedminster and clean organic waste did not significantly increase P leaching above that of the soil. Caution should be exercised when applying these composts since materials themselves contain an enormous amount of phosphorus that could be eventually transported into the groundwater.

Technical Abstract: Composts are applied to carbonaceous soils in south Florida to improve their physical characteristics and increase water retention. Blends of biosolids and municipal waste are often combined to increase the nutrient content of the compost. However, the high P content of some compost has led to concerns about the potential for P movement into shallow ground water. Studies were conducted to determine the potential for P leaching in soil amended with municipal solid waste and biosolids (Bio), clean organic waste (COW) and Bedminster (Bed) composts. Bed was the most suitable of the composts used in terms of a lower potential for P leaching as a result of enhanced P sorption in the amended soil. Each compost-amended soil demonstrated a slight decrease in P leaching after 1 PV rainfall (21 cm). The high P content of the composts made it unlikely that additions of these materials to soil would improve P sorption capacity. However, Bed and COW did not significantly increase P leaching above that of the soil. Caution should be exercised when applying these composts since materials themselves contain an enormous amount of phosphorus that could be eventually transported into the ground water.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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