Liquid sludge as fertilizer for wheat

A. D. Day, M. J. Ottman, B. B. Taylor, I. L. Pepper, R. S. Swingle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Application of liquid sewage sludge on agricultural lands has been practiced since 1984 in Pima County, Arizona. Experiments were conducted in Arizona to compare the plant growth, yield, and livestock feeding qualities of wheat hay, grain, and straw when fertilized with liquid sewage sludge and inorganic fertilizers. Anaerobically digested liquid sewage sludge was obtained from the Pima County Wastewater Treatment Plant at Ina Road near Tucson, Arizona. The sewage sludge rates used in this study resulted in plant growth, yield, and quality of wheat hay, grain, and straw that were similar to the plant growth, yield, and quality of wheat fertilized with inorganic N. Cadmium and nickel concentrations in all plant parts tested were below the detectable limit in all fertilizer treatments. Copper, lead, and zinc in wheat hay, grain, and straw showed similar patterns of accumulation for all fertilizer treatments. The foregoing observations, in addition to Pima county's industrial sludge, pre-treatment requirements and state guidelines limiting sludge applications to the N requirements of crops, make sewage sludge from Tucson, Arizona safe for continuous use in commercial agriculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-61
Number of pages2
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Soil Science


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