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Mathias Neumann Andersen

Domestic wastewater infiltration process in desert sandy soil and its irrigation prospect analysis

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  • Caixia Liu, Peking University
  • ,
  • Fulai Liu, Afgrødevidenskab, Denmark
  • Mathias Neumann Andersen
  • Gongming Wang, ITCS, Tsinghua University, China
  • Wu Kun, Peking University, China
  • Quanlin Zhao, Peking University, China
  • Zhengfang Ye, Peking University, China
Although domestic wastewater and its reclaimed water are alternative water resources in arid region, investigation of their negative effect must be done to prevent environmental pollution. In this paper, a short-term column experiment was conducted to simulate the infiltration process of wastewater in desert soil. Alfalfa was planted and irrigated with fresh water for control (CK), tertiary treated domestic wastewater (TTW), secondary treated domestic wastewater (STW) and raw domestic wastewater untreated (RW). The effect of wastewater application on desert soil, drainage and plant properties was evaluated. Experimental results demonstrated that the tested desert soil has no soil structure, organic matter, nor microbial community while possess high infiltration rate. The use of wastewater significantly improved plant growth, and the biomass of TTW, RW, STW were 5.5, 4.3, 2.9 times of CK. The infiltration rate of water in bare soil was high (high to low: TTW, CK, RW, STW), while plant growth reduced infiltration rate (ca. 40% with TTW and RW). Wastewater irrigation and plant growth decreased soil zeta potential, while increased formation of aggregates and bacterial abundance and diversity in soil. Top soil (0–30 cm) accumulation of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), organic matter and E. coli was evidenced and all could go down to deep soil and drainage with constant wastewater use. It was concluded that domestic wastewater had big potential in desert soil vegetation recovering and function restoration. Nevertheless, the N, salt, P and organic matter and E. coli in wastewater could give rise to desert soil and groundwater contamination if improper treatment was used.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111419
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

    Research areas

  • Alfalfa, Desert soil restoration, Infiltration, Vegetation recovery, Water reuse

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