Leaching of Nitrate from Freely Drained–Irrigated Fields Treated with Municipal Sludges

by A. C. Chang, Univ of California, United States,
A. L. Page, Univ of California, United States,
P. F. Pratt, Univ of California, United States,
J. E. Warneke, Univ of California, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Planning Now for Irrigation and Drainage in the 21st Century


A municipal sludge land application experiment was initiated in 1975 near Riverside, California. From 1975 to 1983 sludges from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area were applied on experimental plots where crops were grown annually. Results indicated that (1) crop yields were not affected by the sludge application and the total biomass harvested was a function of total N input, (2) the extent and the rate of N mineralization of liquid sludges were consistently higher than composted sludges and the sludge application rate and the soil type did not affect mineralization of N, and (3) nitrogen application exceeding N requirements for crop growth always results in leaching and accumulation of nitrate in the soil profile.

Subject Headings: Sludge | Nitrates | Soil treatment | Leaching | Drainage | Local government | Crops | Irrigation | California | United States | Los Angeles

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