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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Soil Cadmium Mobility as a Consequence of Sewage Sludge Disposal


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 22 No. 4, p. 731-737
    Received: Aug 6, 1992

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. I. Lamy *,
  2. S. Bourgeois and
  3. A. Bermond
  1. INRA, Station de Science du Sol, route de Saint-Cyr 78026 Versailles cedex, France;



Anaerobically digested liquid sewage sludge was applied as a single treatment to a loamy hydromorphic drained soil, characteristic of agricultural soils in the North of France, at a rate of 11 Mg of dry solids ha−1. Total Cd concentrations of drainage waters for both amended and unamended plots were monitored at selected times to follow the mobility of Cd after sludge disposal. The drained groundwater of the plot that exhibited the highest discharge of sludge soluble organic matter (SSOM) exhibited about twice the Cd levels of the control plot during the first few weeks following sludge disposal (average of 3 and 1.5 µg L−1, respectively). Laboratory experiments were conducted to provide estimates of the relative binding strength of Cd-soil interactions as well as Cd-SSOM interactions. The behavior of Cd in a mixed sludge-soil system showed that the addition of sludge soluble organic matter to the soil led to a decrease in the sorption of this cation across the pH range between 5 and 7. The laboratory studies highlighted the role of soluble organic matter in soil Cd speciation, and can be used to speculate on the perturbations induced by high levels of sludge soluble organic matter introduced into a soil.

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