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Impact of Long-Term Application of Domestic Sewage Water on Soil Properties Around Hubli City in Karnataka, India

Varkey, Bincy K., Dasog, G. S., Wani, Suhas, Sahrawat, K. L., Hebbara, Manjunatha, Patil, C. R.
Agricultural research 2015 v.4 no.3 pp. 272-276
Escherichia coli, aggregate stability, bulk density, carbon, coliform bacteria, copper, fungi, heavy metals, iron, irrigated soils, irrigation, long term effects, manganese, municipal wastewater, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sewage, soil sampling, streams, toxicity, villages, water holding capacity, zinc, India
The effects of application of domestic sewage water for over four decades on physical, chemical and biological properties of soils were studied at three sites in Gabbur, Mavanur and Katnur villages near Hubli city in North Karnataka, India. Long-term use of sewage irrigation improved soil physical properties in terms of decrease in bulk density and dispersion index and increase in aggregate stability and water holding capacity compared to the unirrigated check. Despite long-term irrigation with sewage water with an EC of >1 dS m⁻¹, the EC of soils was low (0.20–0.45 dS m⁻¹). An increase of one-and-half to two times in organic carbon content, available N, P, K and S, in the sewage irrigated soils was observed compared to soils not irrigated with sewage. However, the available Zn, Fe, Cu and B increased only slightly with the exception of Mn which increased substantially. In general there was a decreasing trend of organic carbon, available N, P, K and S with distance away from the stream course. Despite no heavy metals in sewage water, they were detected in soils but not in toxic levels. There were 94, 80 and 60 % more bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes, respectively, in sewage irrigated soils over the non-irrigated soils. Further, the coliform bacteria (E. coli) were observed in soil samples, suggesting fecal contamination.