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Drinking water treatment residuals (WTR) have been used to remove dissolved P from runoff water from agricultural land treated with poultry litter but large differences among WTR P sorption ability have been observed. The objective of this work was to determine WTR components responsible for differences in the P sorption capacity of various Al-based WTR. Chemical components, related to P sorption, were measured in 18 alum-based and 3 polymer based (poly-aluminumchloride) WTR. Phosphorus sorption maxima (Pmax) were derived from the linearized Langmuir equation (P < 0.01). A rainfall simulation study was performed using a subset of 11 WTR. Plots were treated with poultry litter (16.7 Mg ha−1) and a band application of WTR (50 Mg ha−1) and runoff was collected and analyzed for dissolved P. Langmuir Pmax varied widely from 0.44 to 3.6 g kg−1. The Langmuir Pmax was strongly correlated (P < 0.01) with amorphous Al (Alox) but not with Ca or Feox. Runoff P was correlated strongly with WTR Pmax (P < 0.01) and with Alox (P < 0.05). Before a WTR is used as a P sorbent, the sorption capacity should be measured to predict how it will perform. The empirical relationship between amorphous Al and P sorption capacity may be used to estimate WTR Pmax. Results from this study should not be extrapolated to Fe-based or other non-Al based WTR.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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