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The technical ramifications of spreading waste water on land have been receiving a great deal of attention since the beginning of the anti-pollution crUSAde. Although this practice has been used for centuries, the effects on soils, crops, and groundwater have only begun to be fully understood. Considerable work has been done to determine the effectiveness of soils in removing some of the constituents from sewage effluent. A fine sandy loam in California (5) completely removed ammonia and phosphates from an effluent containing 434 mg/liter of total dissolved solids, but the nitrate concentration increased as the effluent percolated through the soil. In a later paper on the same plots (6), it was reported that the amount of potassium decreased by 50% during percolation through 3.9m of soil and that the number of sulfate and bicarbonate ions increased with depth. Henry et al (7), working with a silt loam and an effluent having sodium percentage of79.5 and a total cation content of 37.2 meq/liter, found that nitro gen, potassium and phosphorus were largely removed by a growing crop and the soil they also found increases in calcium and magnesium in the percolate. Yields of Reed canary grass were about 50% higher when effluent was applied than when city water only was used.
a laboratory study of some effects of irrigation with municipal sewage effluent
Graveland, D.N. and R.A. Milne 1972. A LABORATORY STUDY OF SOME EFFECTS OF IRRIGATION WITHMUNICIPAL SEWAGE EFFLUENT. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 14(1):23-28.
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