Assessment of Radioactivity in Chicago Biosolids and its Transfer to Soil and Crops from Long Term Application

Authors: Granato, Thomas C.; Khalique, Abdul; Cox, Albert; Pietz, Richard I.

Source: Water Practice, Volume 1, Number 1, April 2007 , pp. 1-11(11)

Publisher: Water Environment Federation

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Abstract:

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (District) produces 190,000 dry tons of biosolids annually and uses them to fertilize turf and crops. The District has maintained a continuous corn fertility study, with replicated plots receiving 0 (commercial fertilizer), 16.8, 33.6, and 67.2 Mg biosolids ha−1 annually, since 1973. Samples from 2000 were used to evaluate the effect of long-term biosolids applications on the radioactivity concentration in soil, and the uptake of radioactivity into corn grain and stover. There were no significant differences (p<0.05) in radionuclides concentrations in soil, corn grain and stover among the treatment plots. Of the 27 radionuclides studied, only potassium-40 (grain and stover) and radium-226 (grain) were detected in plant tissue. Long-term annual applications of biosolids did not increase radioactive materials concentration in soil or increase uptake of radioactivity by corn in biosolids-amended soil, compared to fertilized, plots in this study.

Keywords: ALPHA EMITTER; BETA EMITTER; BIOSOLIDS; CORN; LAND APPLICATION; PHOTON EMITTER; RADIOACTIVITY; SOIL RADIONUCLIDE; UPTAKE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193317707X193739

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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