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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Pore Gas Composition Under Sewage Spreading1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 32 No. 3, p. 419-423
    Received: Oct 11, 1967
    Accepted: Jan 22, 1968

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  1. R. E. Thomas,
  2. W. A. Schwartz and
  3. T. W. Bendixen2



Septic tank effluent was applied to sand in laboratory lysimeters. Dosing frequencies of 2/day and 6/day were used to observe relationships between changes in the composition of the pore gas and the clogging of the sand. The rate of clogging in the 2/day unit was less than that in the 6/day unit. This reduced rate of clogging was related to pore-gas and moisture content changes which occurred in the sewage dosing and drainage cycles. The longer cycle of the 2/day frequency provided more oxygen over a greater percentage of the total elapsed time. In the 6/day lysimeter the rapid soil clogging, which is characteristic for anaerobic conditions, started while the oxygen concentration in the pore gas was greater than 13 percent. Water-filled pores or water films, occurring as the result of an increase in the moisture content, may have provided anaerobic sites in the presence of the high pore-gas oxygen. Carbon dioxide inhibition of microbial growth did not cause the rapid phase of clogging. Moisture or oxygen determinations may be suitable guides for prevention of the rapid phase of soil clogging.

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