Phosphorus in soil treatment systems: accumulation and mobility
2014 (English)In: Water Research, ISSN 0043-1354, E-ISSN 1879-2448, Vol. 64, 42-52 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In several western countries, septic tanks with subsequent soil treatment systems (STS) are a common treatment technique for domestic wastewater in rural areas. However the suitability of STS (especially relatively close to surface waters) can be questioned since the discharge of phosphorus (P) from such effluents is not well known. In this study, six STS in Sweden (11 to 28 years old) were investigated by means of batch and column experiments on samples taken from the unsaturated subsoil beneath the distribution pipes. At all sites the wastewater had clearly influenced the soil. This was observed through decreased pH, increased amounts of oxalate extractable metals and altered P sorption properties. The amount of accumulated P in the STS (defined as the amount of total P in the STS samples minus the amount of total P in unused soil samples) were found to be between 0.32 and 0.87 kg m-3, which in most cases was just a small fraction of the estimated P load (< 30%). Column studies revealed that remarkably high P concentrations (up to 6 mg L-1) were leached from the material when deionized water was applied. However, the response to deionized water varied between the sites. The affinity for P in the soils was well correlated to the amount of oxalate-extractable aluminium (as evidenced by a strong relationship between oxalate-extractable Al and oxalate-extractable P) and generally soils with high content of oxalate extractable Al was also less vulnerable to P leakage.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 64, 42-52 p.
onsite wastewater treatment, Soil treatment system, Septic system, Phosphorus leakage, Column studies, Removal mechanisms
Geochemistry Environmental Sciences
Research subject Land and Water Resources Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-121047DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.06.034ISI: 000341348500005ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84904362663OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-121047DiVA: diva2:616560
FunderSwedish Research Council Formas, 2006-632
Updated from manuscript to article.
QC 201410032013-04-172013-04-172015-03-04Bibliographically approved