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Soil substitutes are in great demand for land reclamation due to large areas of disturbed land in Oklahoma. Dewatered drinking water treatment residuals (WTR) may serve as a soil substitute, but past studies have shown that vegetation grown on WTR amended soil exhibit P deficiencies. The objectives of this experiment were to determine if i) WTR can support vegetative growth, ii) P fertilizer additions can over come vegetative P deficiencies, and iii) soil tests used to make P fertilizer recommendations can be used to predict WTR utilization as a soil substitute and predict vegetative response to P fertilizer additions. Properties, nutrient content, and bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) growth of three alum-WTR were compared with a control soil. The WTR or soil was treated with P fertilizer at 0, 50, 100, and 200 mg P kg−1. Without P additions the bermudagrass grown in the separate WTR yielded 0.9 to 27.0 g pot−1, while the bermudagrass grown in soil yielded 15.1 g pot−1. Bermudagrass grown in soil responded to P additions on the first three P rates and the tissue-P responded across all treatments. However, bermudagrass grown in the WTR did not respond to P additions and the tissue-P was below adequate levels except for the Mohawk material. Poor relationships between P adsorption capacity, WTR M3-P, H2O-P, UNIBEST-P, and bermudagrass yield, tissue-P concentrations, and P-uptake were found. Based on forage yield and tissue-P concentration data, some WTR materials can be used as soil substitutes while others will not support vegetative growth. Soil tests were unable to accurately predict which WTR could support vegetation and were unable to accurately predict the amount of P required to correct P deficiencies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2000

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