Determining the Sustainability of Land-Applying Biosolids to Agricultural Lands Using Environmentally-Relevant Terrestrial Biota
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 14:46 authored by Karen Joan Puddephatt
Biosolids, the treated solid by-product of a WWPT, have been land-applied for decades as a means of disposal of an inexpensive form of fertilizer. However, research has shown that many chemicals such as pharmaceuticals, herbicides, pesticides, plasticizers, detergents, or heavy metals pass through the WWTP, often unaltered, and potentially end up in the biosolids. Therefore, a need to determine if the land-application of biosolids has an impact on terrestrial biota exists. In this work, six different organisms were used including Folsomia candida, Lumbricus terrestris, Zea mays, Glycine max, Phaseolus vulgaris, and Brassca rap. It was determined that government protocols were inadequate since they either prescribed organisms not environmentally-relevant or only looked at initial growth stages such as germination and emergence and not at effect, if any, on subsequent generations. Thus, new protocols were developed. Additionally, it was concluded that very little impact was seen on any of the terrestrial biota examined.