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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: WIND ERODIBILITY OF BIOSOLID AMENDED SOILS Title: Wind Erodibility of Biosolids - Amended Soils: A Status Report

Authors
item Tatarko, John
item Stefonick, Nikki - MWRD, DENVER, COLORADO

Submitted to: Scientific and Technical Review
Publication Type: Research Technical Update
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 2007
Publication Date: January 9, 2007
Citation: Tatarko, J., Stefonick, N.A. 2007. Wind Erodibility of Biosolids - Amended Soils: A Status Report. Water Environment Federation. 12(5):12-15

Interpretive Summary: Metro Wastewater Reclamation District in Denver has been applying municipal biosolids to agricultural land known as the METROGRO Farm since 1993. The farm, located approximately 105 km (65 mi) east of Denver, is in an area historically susceptible to wind erosion. Since biosolids can potentially influence the wind erodibility of soil, a study was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Wind Erosion Research Unit (WERU) to 1) determine the wind erodibility of cultivated soils as influenced by applied biosolids and 2) determine the fraction of municipal biosolids contained in the material eroded by wind.

Technical Abstract: Metro Wastewater Reclamation District in Denver has been applying municipal biosolids to agricultural land known as the METROGRO Farm since 1993. The farm, located approximately 105 km (65 mi) east of Denver, is in an area historically susceptible to wind erosion. Since biosolids can potentially influence the wind erodibility of soil, a study was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Wind Erosion Research Unit (WERU) to 1) determine the wind erodibility of cultivated soils as influenced by applied biosolids and 2) determine the fraction of municipal biosolids contained in the material eroded by wind. Although statistical analysis is not complete, general trends can be observed from the data collected thus far. Even though ther seems no apparent correlation between organic matter and biosolids applications, the results indicate that biosolids applications, the results indicate that biosolids may have an effect on soil wind erodibility. Soil erodible fraction and oriented roughness (roughness due to ridges and furrows) tended to decreade over time, as expected. Sites with a greater number of biosolids applications tend to have a lower erodible fraction than the site with no biosolids applied. Sites with greater biosolids application events also tended toward greater initial oriented roughness and retain greater roughness longer. Random roughness (roughness resulting from soil aggregates or clods) tended to degrade faster for the site with no biosolids applied. Given continued biosolids applications to these sites in the future, these trends may become more distinct over time, and a clear reduction of wind erodibility may result.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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