Long-term effects of land application of class B biosolids on soil chemical properties

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9 Scopus citations


Currently about 60% of all biosolids are land applied in the United States. The long-term influence of land application has been questioned due to public concern over potential hazards. The objective of this study is to evaluate the influence of land application of Class B biosolids on the soil chemical properties by analysis of depth (0-150 cm) soil samples collected 9 months after the 20th annual land application. The study showed that land application of Class B biosolids had no significant long-term effect on soil pH and CaCO 3. However, land application significantly increased soil macro-nutrients (C, N and P). Soil nitrate values in plots that received biosolids or inorganic fertilizer amendments were high indicating the potential for groundwater contamination. In addition, total and available soil P concentrations increased to values above that necessary for plant growth but P values attenuated to background levels at a soil depth of 150 cm. Total metal concentrations attenuated rapidly with increasing soil depth, and were generally similar to values found in control soils at a depth of 150 cm. Application of biosolids for nonfood agricultural crop production at this arid southwest site seems to be sustainable with respect to soil chemical entities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-61
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Residuals Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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