Reducing phosphorus runoff from biosolids with water treatment residuals

Philip A. Moore, Jason De Koff, Rod Williams, Randy Young, Peter Kleinman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

A large fraction of the biosolids produced in the U.S. are placed in landfills or incinerated to avoid potential water quality problems associated with non-point source phosphorus (P) runoff. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of various chemical amendments on soluble P in biosolids and P runoff from biosolids. Laboratory studies showed that alum-based water treatment residuals (WTRs) could reduce P solubility in biosolids as well as alum or ferric chloride. Likewise, rainfall simulation studies showed P runoff from biosolids was reduced with WTRs. During year 1, soluble P loads were reduced by 48% when WTRs were mixed with biosolids at a rate of 20% (wt/wt) and were not significantly different from P runoff using chemical amendments. In year 2, when WTR/biosolid mixtures of 15% and 30% (wt/wt) were allowed to incubate for three weeks prior to land application, soluble P loads in runoff were 78% and 85% lower than untreated biosolids, respectively. The improved reductions in P runoff observed in year 2 indicate that longer incubation times may allow for greater P adsorption which is limited by the rate of P diffusion onto WTRs. Treating biosolids with WTRs results in an environmentally friendly fertilizer and allows for the agronomic use of these important resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASABE - 21st Century Watershed Technology
Subtitle of host publicationImproving Water Quality and Environment 2010
Pages312-318
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Event21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment 2010 - Guacimo, Costa Rica
Duration: Feb 21 2010Feb 24 2010

Publication series

NameASABE - 21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment 2010

Other

Other21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment 2010
CountryCosta Rica
CityGuacimo
Period2/21/102/24/10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology

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  • Cite this

    Moore, P. A., De Koff, J., Williams, R., Young, R., & Kleinman, P. (2010). Reducing phosphorus runoff from biosolids with water treatment residuals. In ASABE - 21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment 2010 (pp. 312-318). (ASABE - 21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment 2010).