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Irradiated sewage sludge for application to cropland. Results of a co-ordinated research project

Abstract

Modern urban societies produce large volumes of sewage, which are transported through a network of underground sewers to wastewater treatment plants, where one or more stages of physical, biological and chemical treatment are imposed. Considerable tonnages of aerobically, and sometimes anaerobically, digested sludge are produced, and treated or untreated effluent is discharged to lagoons, waterways or the ocean. The disposal of sewage sludge is a major issue for municipal authorities. There are increasing legislative restrictions in many countries on disposal methods (e.g. incineration, landfill, composting) including surface application to agricultural land. Sludge can either be viewed as a dangerous waste requiring expensive disposal procedures, or it can be seen as a resource for possible use in agriculture as a soil conditioning agent and a source of plant nutrients. Untreated sewage sludge presents a public-health hazard as it contains human pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and other harmful organisms. Although it has been demonstrated that an appropriate dose of gamma-irradiation can eliminate human parasites and bacterial pathogens from sewage sludge, there is still public concern about the presence of viruses, as well as heavy metals and toxic organic compounds from industrial sources that could enter the food chain if sludge is applied  More>>
Publication Date:
Oct 01, 2002
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
IAEA-TECDOC-1317
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: Oct 2002
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; AGRICULTURE; COORDINATED RESEARCH PROGRAMS; CULTIVATION; CULTIVATION TECHNIQUES; FERTILIZERS; IRRADIATION; LEADING ABSTRACT; LIQUID WASTES; NUTRIENTS; PRODUCTIVITY; SEWAGE SLUDGE; WASTE PROCESSING
OSTI ID:
20311603
Research Organizations:
Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Vienna (Austria)
Country of Origin:
IAEA
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ISBN 92-0-177102-0; ISSN 1011-4289; TRN: XA0202946001858
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form; Also available on-line: http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/te_1317_web.pdf
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
244 pages
Announcement Date:

Citation Formats

Irradiated sewage sludge for application to cropland. Results of a co-ordinated research project. IAEA: N. p., 2002. Web.
Irradiated sewage sludge for application to cropland. Results of a co-ordinated research project. IAEA.
2002. "Irradiated sewage sludge for application to cropland. Results of a co-ordinated research project." IAEA.
@misc{etde_20311603,
title = {Irradiated sewage sludge for application to cropland. Results of a co-ordinated research project}
abstractNote = {Modern urban societies produce large volumes of sewage, which are transported through a network of underground sewers to wastewater treatment plants, where one or more stages of physical, biological and chemical treatment are imposed. Considerable tonnages of aerobically, and sometimes anaerobically, digested sludge are produced, and treated or untreated effluent is discharged to lagoons, waterways or the ocean. The disposal of sewage sludge is a major issue for municipal authorities. There are increasing legislative restrictions in many countries on disposal methods (e.g. incineration, landfill, composting) including surface application to agricultural land. Sludge can either be viewed as a dangerous waste requiring expensive disposal procedures, or it can be seen as a resource for possible use in agriculture as a soil conditioning agent and a source of plant nutrients. Untreated sewage sludge presents a public-health hazard as it contains human pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and other harmful organisms. Although it has been demonstrated that an appropriate dose of gamma-irradiation can eliminate human parasites and bacterial pathogens from sewage sludge, there is still public concern about the presence of viruses, as well as heavy metals and toxic organic compounds from industrial sources that could enter the food chain if sludge is applied to croplands. More information is also needed on the value of sludge as a source of plant nutrients, expressed in terms of fertilizer equivalence. In this regard, isotopic labelling techniques have a unique role to play in estimating the contribution of sewage sludge to crop nutrition. As a result of recommendations formulated at a Consultants Meeting organized by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture and the IAEA Division of Physical and Chemical Sciences, 5-9 December 1994 (IAEA-TECDOC-971, Sewage Sludge and Wastewater for Use in Agriculture) the Joint Division implemented a Co-ordinated Research Project on the Use of Irradiated Sewage Sludge to Increase Soil Fertility and Crop Yields and to Preserve the Environment between 1995 and 2000. The overall objective was to assist national institutes from Member States to develop management practices for the efficient use of sewage sludge as an organic fertilizer for increasing and sustaining crop production and soil fertility in an environmentally sound manner. Twelve contract holders from Argentina, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, and Thailand, and five agreement holders from Austria, Germany, Japan, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom participated in the project. The first Research Co-ordination Meeting (RCM) was held 10-14 July 1995 in Vienna, the second RCM 14-18 September 1996 in Cairo, Egypt, the third RCM 22-26 June 1998 in Oeiras, Portugal, and the fourth RCM was held 20-24 September 1999 in Serdang, Malaysia.}
place = {IAEA}
year = {2002}
month = {Oct}
}