Irrigation of Turfgrass with Secondary Sewage Effluent: Soil Quality
- C. F. Mancino and
- I. L. Pepper
Effluent and other secondary waters have become important sources of irrigation water in the U.S. Southwest. Information is inadequate relative to potential long-term effluent irrigation effects on turfgrass and soil chemical quality. The objective of this field research was to determine the influence of secondarily treated municipal wastewater irrigation on the chemical quality of bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) turf soil (Sonoita gravelly sandy loam: coarse-loamy, mixed, thermic Typic Haplargid) when compared to similarly irrigated potable water plots. Research plots were irrigated using a 20% leaching fraction. After 3.2 yr of use, effluent water increased soil electrical conductivity by 0.2 ds m−1, Na by 155 mg kg−1, P by 26 mg kg−1, and K by 50 mg kg−1 in comparison to potable irrigated plots. Soil pH was not significantly affected by effluent irrigation. The concentrations of Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn were found to be within the range considered normal for agricultural soil. Effluent irrigation increased soil total organic carbon and nitrogen during the first 1.3 yr of irrigation only. Total aerobic bacteria populations were similar in all irrigated plots indicating these microbes were not promoted or inhibited by the use of this wastewater. In summary, the irrigation of this turf soil for 3.3 yr with the secondarily treated wastewater used in this study had no serious detrimental effects on soil quality
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