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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 11 No. 1, p. 124-128
    Received: May 9, 1981

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Distribution of Phosphorus in Soils Irrigated with Municipal Waste-Water Effluent: A 5-Year Study1

  1. J. J. Latterell,
  2. R. H. Dowdy,
  3. C. E. Clapp,
  4. W. E. Larson and
  5. D. R. Linden2



This 5-year field study of phosphate (PO4) management was conducted on Waukegan silt loam (Typic Hapludoll) soil, which has a water table at about the 140- to 150-cm depth. The results of municipal waste-water irrigation, with annual application means of 0, 126, and 237 cm, indicates that in terms of PO4 management, soils receiving comparable quantities of PO4 from either waste water or mineral fertilizer (rates for good crop management) behaved in similar manner. Sharp increases in organic-P were found in the surface horizon of soil receiving effluent, while increased levels of available-P were observed to a depth of 60 cm in the high-treatment area (mean annual P addition of 160 kg/ha). Phosphate-adsorption studies, with the aid of the Langmuir equation, showed that the adsorption power of soil from the higher effluent application rates (237 cm/year) had been reduced. This was substantiated by higher P concentrations (0.01 vs. 0.07 mg/liter) observed in soil water at the 60-cm depth of the high-treatment areas. These observations were fitted into a simplified model that described the fate of effluent PO4 applied to soil.

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