IWA Publishing

Effects of wastewater irrigation on soil properties and turfgrass growth

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Reuse of treated wastewater for turf irrigation is often viewed as one way to maximize existing urban water resources. The aim of this study is to evaluate the applicability of treated wastewater for turfgrass and assess the effects of continuous use of treated water on the soil and crop. Two turfgrass plots irrigated with drinking water and treated wastewater were monitored over a two-year period. Physical and chemical parameters in the soil and foliar tissue were analyzed. Plants irrigated with treated wastewater had highest sodium content. There were no negative effects with respect to changes in soil pH but a significant increase in electrical conductivity and sodium content was observed in wastewater-irrigated soil. Treated wastewater could be used as a resource for agricultural irrigation since it contributes phosphorus and organic matter. However, it is necessary to consider that several crops could be negatively affected by wastewater irrigation because of the sodium content and this should be taken into account when water-sprinklers are in use, since this is the case in the present study. The benefits of irrigation with treated urban wastewater include contributing plant nutrients to turfgrass while conserving freshwater.

Keywords: heavy metals, sodium content, turfgrass, wastewater reuse

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