Biosolids Applications Affect Runoff Water Quality following Forest Fire

Dep. of Rangeland Ecosystem Science, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins 80523, USA.
Journal of Environmental Quality (Impact Factor: 2.65). 01/2001; 30(5):1528-32. DOI: 10.2134/jeq2001.3051528x
Source: PubMed


Soil erosion and nutrient losses are great concerns following forest wildfires. Biosolids application might enhance revegetation efforts while reducing soil erodibility. Consequently, we applied Denver Metro Wastewater District composted biosolids at rates of 0, 40, and 80 Mg ha(-1) to a severely burned, previously forested site near Buffalo Creek, CO to increase plant cover and growth. Soils were classified as Ustorthents, Ustochrepts, and Haploborols. Simulated rainfall was applied for 30 min at a rate of 100 mm h(-1) to 3- x 10-m paired plots. Biosolids application rates did not significantly affect mean total runoff (p < 0.05). Sediment concentrations were significantly greater (p < 0.05) from the control plots compared with the plots that had received the 80 Mg biosolids ha(-1) rate. Biosolids application rate had mixed effects on water-quality constituents; however, concentrations of all runoff constituents for all treatment rates were below levels recommended for drinking water standards, except Pb. Biosolids application to this site increased plant cover, which should provide erosion control.

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    • "They can be used as an aid in the development of a soil's physical and chemical characteristics. They increase water absorbency and tilth and may reduce the possibility of soil erosion (Meyer et al. 2001). Land application of biosolids and MBM to agricultural land can be relatively inexpensive in countries such as the Republic of Ireland (hereafter referred to as Ireland) and the USA, as such byproducts are defined as wastes. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to develop (1) a method for the calculation of the maximum legal rate at which meat and bone meal (MBM) and biosolids should be applied to land, which took into account the soil phosphorus (P) index, the dry solids and the nutrient and metal content of each material, and (2) a quick method to evaluate their impact, when applied at the estimated maximum and twice the maximum application rates, on the release of P and metals to surface runoff. Three types of biosolids—lime stabilised (LS), anaerobically digested (AD) and thermally dried (TD)—and two types of MBM (low and high ash) were examined. The nutrient and metal losses were examined using a 1-L capacity beaker, which contained an intact soil core. Treatments were applied at maximum and twice the maximum legal application rates and then overlain with 500 mL of water, which was stirred to simulate overland flow. At the maximum legal application rate, low ash MBM (1.14 mg L−1) and TD biosolids (2.43 mg L−1) had the highest losses of P. Thermally dried biosolids and LS biosolids exceeded maximum allowable concentrations (MAC) for manganese, but all treatments remained below the MAC for copper and iron, at the maximum legal application rate. Anaerobically digested biosolids and high and low ash MBM would appear to have potential for landspreading, but these results are indicative only and should be verified at field scale.
    Water Air and Soil Pollution 05/2013; 224(4). DOI:10.1007/s11270-013-1464-x · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    • "For this reason, it is important to understand the dynamics of nitrogen contribution from sludge in order to adjust dosages to the real crop's needs. Sludge can also be used to restore land degraded by mining activity (Sort and Alcañ iz, 1996; Tedesco et al., 1999) or forest fires (Meyer et al., 2001). Care should also be exercised in these cases where sludge doses are relatively high in order to prevent the eutrophication of water bodies in these areas. "
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    ABSTRACT: Anaerobically-digested sludge called fresh sludge (F), composted sludge (C) and thermally-drying sludge (T), all from the same batch, were applied to the surface of a calcareous Udic Calciustept with loamy texture. Dosage equivalent was 10 t ha(-1) of dry matter. The concentration of mineral nitrogen (ammonium and nitrate) in the soil was measured in order to estimate the effects of the post-treatments to which the different kinds of sewage sludge are subjected in relation to the availability of N in the surface layer of the soil. The most significant differences in NH(4)-N and NO(3)-N concentrations due to the transformation of the organic matter were observed during the first three weeks following soil amendment. Thermally-dried and composted sludge initially displayed higher concentrations of ammonium and nitrate in soil. Five months after the amendment, soil applied with fresh sludge showed the highest concentrations of NH(4)-N and NO(3)-N (6.1 and 36.6 mg kg(-1), respectively). It is clear that the processes of composting and thermal-drying influence the bioavailability of nitrogen from the different types of sewage sludge.
    Bioresource Technology 02/2008; 99(2):252-9. DOI:10.1016/j.biortech.2006.12.023 · 4.49 Impact Factor
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    • "Increased Cl concentrations have been shown to increase Cd concentrations and bioavailability to plants (Weggler et al., 2004). Most biosolid studies have observed soil chemistry changes over short periods of (1-7 years; Cogger et al., 2001; Meyer et al., 2001; Penn and Simms 2002; Grey and Henry 2002; Korboulewsky et al., 2002; Weggler et al., 2004). Longer studies of biosolid applications are rare, but are important to evaluate sustainable biosolid management practices. "
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    ABSTRACT: Biosolids have been land applied at the Neuse River Waste Water Treatment Plant (NRWWTP) since 1980. The long biosolid application history at this site has resulted in a build up of nitrate in the ground water beneath the Waste Application Fields (WAFs). The results of this study demonstrate that ground water nitrate concentrations are spatially heterogeneous under the biosolid WAFs. Large differences in nitrate concentrations can occur across a single field. Nitrate concentrations in groundwater are highest in shallow saprolite wells less than 75 feet deep. Nitrate levels decrease, but are still high and above 10 mg/l in bedrock wells at depths up to 180 feet. Biosolids that are land applied and leached enrich the underlying ground waters in 15N and chloride. The nitrogen and oxygen isotopic composition of nitrate in the biosolid WAF groundwater indicates that 18% of the monitoring wells are impacted by fertilizer N, 57% of the wells are impacted by biosolid N, 22% of the wells are affected by denitrification, and one well is impacted by Atmospherically Deposited N (A.D.N.). Wells that have extensive denitrification are located in hydric or partially hydric soils with high concentrations of TOC. The association of hydric soils with denitrification suggests that geochemical processes play an important role in the spatial heterogeneity of nitrate in groundwater underlying biosolid WAFs. The nitrate/chloride ratios range from 1 to 3.5 in ground waters under the WAFs where denitrification has not affected nitrate concentrations. High nitrate/chloride ratios and enriched 15N - nitrate are geochemical characteristics that can identify ground waters impacted by biosolid N. The flux of water and nitrate from the biosolid WAFs into the adjacent reach of the Neuse River was measured using two RiverNet monitoring stations. Stations were placed above and below the 6.7 km reach of the river adjacent to the treatment plant. Water and nitrate flux into and out of the reach was monitored for a 24-month period. The net daily contribution of surface / ground water and nitrate to the reach was calculated from the sum of the flux into the reach at the upper RiverNet station plus the plant discharge minus the flux out of the reach at the lower RiverNet station. The difference between the flux into the reach and what is added from the plant to the flux out of the reach is termed the non-point source gain or loss (NPS gain). The NPS gain could come from groundwater and/or surface drainage additions to the reach. On an annual basis, daily integrated NPS nitrate gains were ~70,000 kg in year 1 and ~27,900 kg in year 2. This represents an average over the two year period of ~12% of the total nitrate flux out of the reach and 43% of the nitrate discharged from the treatment plant into the reach. NPS water gains in the reach over the two year period were ~6% of the water flux out of the reach and ~110% of the water discharged from the treatment plant into the reach. The NPS nitrate gains in the reach were event driven, occurring over 1 to 3 day periods. For a given event, NPS nitrate gains in the reach could be up to 2.5 times the magnitude the flux of nitrate that enters the reach from the upper basin. Preliminary data from river nitrate mapping suggests that a major portion of the NPS nitrate flux enters the river along the northern edge of the plant, where nitrate concentrations in surface drainages are the highest. The relative importance of surface drainages and ground water flux to NPS discharge and nitrate gains in the study reach could not be determined from these data, and should be the focus of future research.
    Water Resources Research Institute News of the University of North Carolina 06/2005;
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