Physical-chemical effects of irrigation with treated wastewater on Dusky Red Latosol soil

Vanessa Ribeiro Urbano, Thaís Grandizoli Mendonça, Reinaldo Gaspar Bastos, Claudinei Fonseca Souza


The current water crisis underlines the importance of improving water management. The use of effluent from secondary treatment in agriculture can reduce the discharge of effluent into natural bodies and provide nutrients to crops. This study evaluated the physical and chemical properties of a Dusky Red Latosol soil that had been irrigated with treated wastewater. Conducted at the Center of Agricultural Sciences (CCA) of Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), in Araras/São Paulo/Brazil, 18 undisturbed soil samples were collected and deposited on a constant-head permeameter in order to simulate the irrigation of five growth cycles of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), organized in five different treatments and one control group. For each treatment 0.58 L, 1.16 L, 1.74 L, 2.32 L, and 2.90 L of treated wastewater and distilled water were applied . The treated wastewater came from a domestic waste treatment plant. After the water filtered through the soil, samples of treated wastewater were collected for analyses of electrical conductivity (EC), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), turbidity, pH, Na, K, Mg, P and Ca and, in the soil the granulometry, complete fertility, exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat). The Ksat decreased, but did not alter the infiltration of water and nutrients in the soil. The concentration of nutrients in the soil increased, including Na, which raises the need for monitoring soil’s salinity. In conclusion, the application of wastewater did not cause damage to the physical properties of the soil, but resulted in a tendency towards salinization.


agriculture, effluent, salinity, water reuse.

Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X DOI:10.4136/1980-993X

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