COMPOSTED ANIMAL MANURES AND BIOSOLIDS FOR USE IN EROSION CONTROL AND FOR WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
Abstract:Disposal of manures, biosolids, and other organic wastes is problematic because of the potential impact on the quality of surface water and groundwater resulting from leaching of nutrients (N and P), heavy metals, and bacteria. Organic wastes that are managed responsibly and effectively may be reused beneficially to improve soils and to provide nutrients for plant growth. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) have promoted the use of compost manufactured topsoil (CMT) derived from dairy cattle manure, poultry litter, feedlot manure, and biosolids as a means to assist in the disposal and recycling organic wastes on highway rights-of way in the State of Texas.
The objectives of this study are (1) evaluation of the characteristics of compost produced in Texas from dairy cattle manure, poultry litter, feedlot manure, and biosolids; (2) evaluation the water holding capacity of CMT and comparison of the experimental results to the water holding capacity of control soils; (3) investigation of the “first-flush” water quality of the leachate produced by passing a quantity of deionized water through a sample of CMT, ECC and soil controls; (4) assessment of the “first-flush” water quality of the leachate produced by passing a quantity of highway runoff through CMT, ECC and soil controls; (5) estimation of the “first-flush” water quality of highway runoff after passage through CMTs and ECCs; (6) investigation of the change in the water quality of the leachate produced by passing a quantity of deionized water through CMT, ECC and soil controls to simulate 12 months of equivalent rainfall; and, (7) investigation of erosion control and runoff by applying tap water via a simulated rainfall system to channels filled with CMT, ECC and controls at various slopes.
Study results indicate: (1) the water holding capacity of compost-amended soils increased for compost amendment of sandy soils; (2) the available water capacity appeared to increase with compost amendment of sandy soils but decreased with amendment of clay soils; (3) the amount of nutrients (N&P) measured in the leachate is correlated to the amount of nutrients (N and P) in the compost; (4) nitrate concentrations in the leachate decreased over time; (5) more total phosphorus leached from the sand and mulch mixtures than from the sandy clay loam (clay) mixtures when deionized water was added; (6) leachate from the sand CMT blends appeared to contain more total phosphorus than the clay CMT blends or the erosion control compost (ECC) mixtures; (7) Total P concentrations in the leachate decreased over time; (8) the quantity of metals in the “first-flush” leachate is correlated to the quantity of metals present in the compost with the exception of the biosolids compost; (9) the concentrations of metals in the leachate from all CMT and ECC blends decreased over time; (10) at the conclusion of the extended leachate study, metals concentrations in the leachate from the CMT blends were approximately equivalent to the metals concentrations in the leachate from the controls; (11) TDS concentrations in the leachate decreased over time for all samples; (12) TSS concentrations decreased over time for all samples; (13) the compost used in this research did not contain fecal coliform; (14) the observed erosion and runoff from the CMT and ECC were less than that observed for the soil controls; and (15) generally, CMT and ECC shifted the runoff hydrograph to the right (retarding the runoff) and reduced the peak runoff.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2004
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