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19 results found for biosolids

Potential Use of Biosolids to Reforest Degraded Areas with New Zealand Native Vegetation

Biosolids could potentially be used for reforestation of degraded soils in New Zealand with native vegetation. Many native plant species of New Zealand thrive in low-fertility soils, and there is scant knowledge about their nutrient requirements. Therefore, it is unclear whether they will respond positively to the addition of biosolids. We used a pot trial to determine the responses of 11 native plant species to biosolids addition (10% w/w, similar to 90 Mg hm(-2)) on two distinct degraded soils, Lismore stony silt loam and a Kaikoura sand. We also intended to prove that the soil microbial activity improves with the addition of biosolids, depending on the plant species. All species grew better in Lismore stony silt loam than the Kaikoura sand. All species in the Lismore stony silt loam responded positively to biosolids. The response to biosolids addition in the Kaikoura sand was variable, with four species showing no improvement in growth when biosolids were added. The nutrient status (N, P, S, Cu, and Zn) of all species improved when the two soils were amended with biosolids. However, some plant species, especially Pittosporum tenuifolium Sol. ex Gaertn. and Coprosma robusta Raoul, showed concerning concentrations of Cd (up to 2.4 mg kg(-1)). Dehydrogenase activity of soils (indicator of soil microbial activity) increased in biosolids-amended soils, with a strong species effect. Future work should involve field trials to determine the effect of biosolids addition on the establishment of native plant communities.


Mobility and survival of Salmonella Typhimurium and human adenovirus from spiked sewage sludge applied to soil columns

AIMS: This study investigated the survival and transport of sewage sludge-borne pathogenic organisms in soils. METHODS AND RESULTS: Undisturbed soil cores were treated with Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica serovar Typhimurium-lux (STM-lux) and human adenovirus (HAdV)-spiked sewage sludge. Following an artificial rainfall event, these pathogens were analysed in the leachate and soil sampled from different depths (0-5 cm, 5-10 cm and 10-20 cm) after 24 h, 1 and 2 months. Significantly more STM-lux and HAdV leached through the soil cores when sewage sludge was present. Significantly more STM-lux were found at all soil depths, at all time periods in the sewage sludge treatments, compared to the controls. The rate of decline of STM-lux in the controls was more rapid than in the sewage sludge treatments. Survival and transport of HAdV were minimal. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of sewage sludge can significantly influence the transport and survival of bacterial pathogens in soils, probably because of the presence of organic matter. Environmental contamination by virus is unlikely because of strong soil adsorption. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: This study suggests that groundwater contamination from vertical movement of pathogens is a potential risk and that it highlights the importance of the treatment requirements for biosolids prior to their application to land. /our-research/published-research/show/593