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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Surface Water Quality

Phosphorus Runoff from Sewage Sludge Applied to Different Slopes of Lateritic Soil


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 6, p. 1903-1910
    Received: Apr 14, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): gwang572003@yahoo.com.cn
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  1. Yan Hui Chena,
  2. Ming Kuang Wangb,
  3. Guo Wang *a,
  4. Ming Hua Chenc,
  5. Dan Luoa,
  6. Feng Hua Dingd and
  7. Rong Lia
  1. a Dep. of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry Univ., Fuzhou 350002, Fujian, China
    b Dep. of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan Univ., Taipei 10617, Taiwan
    c Water and Soil Conservation Experimental Station in Fujian Province, Fuzhou 350003, Fujian, China
    d Dep. of Chemistry and Life, Zhejiang Lishui Univ., Lishui 323000, Zhejiang, China. Assigned to Associate Editor Paul DeLaune


Sewage sludge (SS) applied to sloping fields at rates that exceed annual forest nutrient requirements can be a source of phosphorus (P) in runoff. This study investigates the effects of different slopes (18, 27, 36, and 45%) on P in runoff from plots amended with SS (120 Mg ha−1). Lateritic soil (pH 5.2) was exposed to five simulated rainfalls (90 mm h−1) on outdoor plots. When sludge was broadcast and mixed with surface soils, the concentrations and loss in runoff of total P in the mixed sample (MTP), total P in the settled sample (STP), total particulate P (TPP), total suspended P (TSP), and total dissolved P (TDP) were highest at 1 or 18 d after application. Initially, pollution risks to surface waters generally increased to different degrees with steeper slopes, and then diminished gradually with dwindling differences between the slopes. The runoff losses coefficient of MTP increased in the order 36 > 45 > 27 > 18%. The initial event (1 and 18 d) accounted for 67.0 to 83.6% of total runoff P losses. Particulate fraction were dominant carriers for P losses, while with the lower slopes there was higher content of P per unit particulate fraction in runoff. Phosphorus losses were greatly affected by the interaction of sludge–soil–runoff and the modification of soil properties induced by sludge amendment. It is recommended to choose lower slopes (<27%) to reduce risk of P losses. Thus, the risk of application sludge to sloping fields in acid soils should be studied further in the field under a wider diversity of conditions.

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Copyright © 2011. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.