Decker, Dan, Administrative Advisor, Cornell
Harrison, Ellen, co-Chair, Cornell
Krogmann, Uta, co-Chair,
Bean, Christine, secretary, UNH
Barker, Allen, UMass
Elliott, Herschel, Penn State U
Hay, Anthony, Cornell
Horner, Allison, Cornell
Knighton, Ray, CSREES- Washington, D.C.
McBride, Murray, Cornell
McDowell, Bill, UNH
Pfeffer, Max, Cornell (June 27)
Richards, Brian, Cornell
Smith, Jennifer, Cornell
Steenhuis, Tammo, Cornell
Stehouwer, Rick, Penn State U
Thies, Janice, Cornell (afternoon June 26)
The meetings began at with introductions and a review and the approval of the meeting agenda. Uta Krogmann, co-chair of committee, explained that the presentations were organized by proposal topics and that the presentations for each proposal topic would be followed by a discussion period. Excerpts from the approved project proposal were handed out (appendix 1).
Dan Decker announced that the new administrative director of the Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station, Max Pfeffer, would be a guest at the second day of the meeting. Dan recommended that Max takes over as project liaison with the Experiment Station directors. (Note: In the meantime, Max Pfeffer notified NE1001 that there are some shifts in responsibilities and that Dan Decker will continue being the liaison with the Experiment Station directors).
Presenter: J. Hargreaves, U of
The focus of this research was to assess unregulated metals
in sewage biosolids and agricultural soils. The metal
concentrations were determined in sewage biosolids
from 25 STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants) in
issues for sewage biosolids were discussed. It was
suggested that it would be of interest to compare daily samples with samples
over several days. A similar study was
Presenter: E. Harrison, Cornell
Currently, according the federal regulations monitoring of organic chemicals is not required. Objective of this study was to compile available data (literature, data required by states, data from WEF and AMSA). Results: 36 sources found, few provide info on sewage biosolids type or average values (only ranges), 300 different chemicals in 15 chemical classes and 744 individual tests were reported in the papers. EPA SSLs (soil screening levels) were found for 71 of the 300 chemicals and used as a benchmark. 59 of the organic chemicals for which there were SSLs had one or more samples that exceeded a SSL indicating that evaluation of risk might be warranted. As pointed out in the National Research Council sewage biosolids report, the National Sewage Sludge Survey published in 1990 had high limits of detection for various chemicals, well above SSLs. Thus using “non detect” as a criterion for eliminating a chemical from regulation may not address chemicals that pose a risk through land application. Knowledge about fate and transport, presence and concentration and ecological impacts is needed for organic chemicals in sewage biosolids. Persistent bioaccumulative toxics are of particular concern.
Discussion: How to regulate testing protocol? If you dilute sample so you can test for chemicals you know are present at high levels, you may miss others. Analytical detection with a standard is different than in these biosolids/sludge matrices.
Future research needs include the assessment of additional organic chemicals of concern in sewage biosolids and sewage biosolids applied soils; establish fate and transport; and evaluate ecological endpoints.
Uta Krogmann summarized what was proposed in the NE1001 proposal and what was accomplished so far in this project. Various studies were performed addressing characteristics and variability of selected nutrients, metals, pathogens and organics. Areas not studied include analytical variability; sampling variability; sampling strategies including frequency of collection and sample size.
Plans for the next year: Even though not proposed, various group members will continue working on pathogens (viral assays at Cornell (Steenhuis) and various pathogen issues at UNH (Bean and Margolin)). A summary of UNH laboratory projects for the next year was included in meeting handouts (Appendix 3). Anthony Hay will analyze temporal trends in 5-90 MGD facilities for organics. Questions regarding analytical and sampling variability can only be addressed if external funding can be secured.
“Molybdenum Extractability in Soils and Uptake by Alfalfa 20 years after Sewage Sludge Application”
Presenter: M. McBride, Cornell
(Mo) at elevated concentrations in non-acid soils is readily taken up into
pastures and forage crops, particularly legumes, and can result in secondary
copper deficiency or molybdenosis in ruminants.
Because sewage biosolids are commonly much higher in
Mo concentration than soils, amendment of soils with sewage biosolids
could cause health problems in livestock. To determine the long-term potential
for sewage biosolids amendments to raise
forage Mo concentrations, alfalfa from historical experimental sewage biosolids application sites at the
Discussion: The problem of averaging soil and forage Mo data from acid soils and alkaline soils was discussed. Average values are not protective for alkaline soils. M. McBride suggested 5 kg/ha loading limit for Mo which would be about the amount associated with Cu/Mo ratio of 2 on near neutral soils. It was also discussed if there should be different loading limits depending on crop and soil.
“Use of Hot 0.01 M CaCl2 Extractant to Determine Mo Availability and Uptake by Crops”
Presenter: R. Stehouwer,
Five farms from the 18 farm assessment of sewage biosolids effects on soil quality conducted by Shober et al. (2003) were selected to investigate the ability of a dilute salt extractant (hot 0.01 M CaCl2) to determine Mo availability and uptake by crops. The 5 farms provided corn (grain), alfalfa, soybean, and grass hay samples collected with corresponding soil samples from sewage biosolids and non-sewage biosolids fields in two consecutive years. Crop tissue samples were analyzed for Cu and Mo, and soil samples were analyzed for pH and dilute salt extractable Cu, Mo, and S. It was found that:
· Crop tissue content of Mo was dependent both on crop species and crop tissue analyzed.
Cumulative Mo loading from sewage biosolids
application was a poor predictor of crop tissue Mo content and crop uptake of
· Hot 0.01 M CaCl2 extractable Mo provided a better indicator of crop Mo uptake than did cumulative Mo loading, but the relationship did not appear to hold for all crops and all sewage biosolids.
· Soil pH also provided a better indicator of crop Mo uptake than did cumulative Mo loading. Again the relationship did not hold for all crops and sewage biosolids.
· Greatest risk for hypocuprosis appeared to be from sewage biosolids applications that increased soil pH above 7 combined with a crop that is susceptible to increased soil Mo availability. Even in this case (pH of 8 with whole plant soybean) the data showed Cu/Mo ratio approaching but not going below 2.
Discussion: R. Stehouwer suggests advising dairy farmers that they should monitor Mo for fields with pH>7.
Presenter: A. Barker,
The focus of the experiment was to develop a Zn-contaminated soil that would provide a wide range of Zn concentrations within one soil type. Zinc sulfate was mixed with soil to simulate concentrations present in contaminated soils. Morgan’s extractable zinc decreased as the incubation period progressed from 44% on day 7 to 32% on day 21. Results indicated that the incubation period can be as short as 7 days to create a suitable Zn-contaminated soil for research.
summarized what was proposed in the NE1001 proposal and what was accomplished
so far in this project. The focus of the
group's work was on Mo (field studies) and long-term effects in soil columns. Less fieldwork was done on metals other than
Plans for next year:
Murray McBride et al. will collect soil crop data for cycle 13 of the soil column study with different sewage biosolids treatments. Bill McDowell will continue his study to quantify areas of stockpiling in field. His goal is to estimate where stockpiles and total residual metals are at site and compare that to total application rate and to the effect on groundwater. Rick Stehouwer's mine reclamation project assessing nutrient and metals in runoff will end this month. Bev Hale is working on hydroponics experiments to incorporate metals into tissues.
Study site includes a control, a
control with lead arsenate and a test plot area with heavy sewage biosolids applications. Samples were taken from site and
lab avoidance assay was performed following
The meeting began at .
Sewage biosolids are used for mine reclamation in PA at a rate of 60 dry tons acre-1. Using anaerobically digested sewage biosolids cake, this rate adds approximately 5,000 lb total N acre-1 and on the order of 1,000 of plant available N acre-1 in the first year after application. An abandoned mine site was instrumented to collect surface runoff, leachate, and ground water samples. Water quality at the site was monitored for one year prior to, and for two years following reclamation with sewage biosolids. No changes were observed in groundwater quality aside from small nitrate spikes. Surface runoff water showed no discernable changes in trace element concentrations or phosphorus, but a clear though relatively small pulse of nitrate. Leachate water showed the greatest impact from sewage biosolids application. During the first fall and winter following application there was a large pulse of nitrate with concentrations up to 300 ppm, followed by a second, smaller pulse the following fall. Leachate nitrate-N remains >10 ppm 1.5 y after sewage biosolids application. Estimated leaching loss of nitrate-N was 700 – 1000 kg ha-1. There was also a small pulse of leachate P during the first fall and winter following biosolids application and a clear pulse of trace metals, despite relatively low loading rates. These results indicate potential for significant N loss and a need to reassess current sewage biosolids reclamation practices to more effectively manage nitrogen.
enrichment and eutrophication of surface waters have
been identified as a significant water quality problem in the
Five P-sources [fresh dairy manure, anaerobically digested sewage biosolids (low Al and Fe), aerobically digested sewage biosolids (elevated Al), anaerobically digested sewage biosolids (elevated Fe), and composted sewage biosolids (elevated Fe)] were surface applied at 100 lbs. P acre-1 to runoff trays (20-cm x 100-cm x 7.5-cm deep) packed with 5 cm of soil. An acid-shale and a calcareous soil, each with high-P and low-P (Mehlich-3) background levels, were studied (four soils in all). Trays were sloped at 3% and subjected to a 30-min rainfall event (intensity = 7 cm hr-1). Collected runoff was analyzed for total mass, total solids, total volatile solids, runoff dissolved P (RDP), and total runoff P (TRP). Two rainfall/runoff cycles were performed.
Dairy manure treatments had significantly higher RDP compared to all sewage biosolids treatments. Runoff DP for all materials was highly correlated (r2 = 0.9) with the WEP of the P-source. Average runoff DP from high-Fe biosolids cake was not statistically different from control (soil only) trays. TRP was also significantly greater for dairy manure than for biosolids. Findings suggest WEP is superior to total P as a measure of environmentally relevant P in organic P soil amendments. As P-based nutrient management is implemented for land application, it is imperative that guidance and regulatory policies reflect the different runoff P potentials of sewage biosolids and manures. Moreover, WEP is a simple test that could be used as a measure of P-source availability in the P indices being developed in several states.
Discussion: Tammo Steenhuis indicated that from his experience WEP in manure is dependent on manure age. In this study fresh manure was used. According to Tammo Steenhuis WEP of fresh manure is twice as high as after 7 days.
This presentation summarized findings from three recent and/or ongoing projects:
1. Release of trace elements from sludge: microbial roles
Sewage biosolids trace element release and mobility is microbially mediated. To clarify the role, microbial activity was altered with incubation temperature or the presence of Ag biocide and periodically leached to assess element release. Tests involved no active promotion of microbes (such as is the case with bioleaching). Substantial losses of trace elements (nearly 100% of Zn) are possible when microbial acidification is allowed to proceed. The presence of known (Thiobacillus sp.) and putative (Ralstonia sp.) S-oxidizers were confirmed by enrichment. Direct acidification was equally efficient to microbial acidification, and prevention of acidification by lime or calcareous sand minimized loss, as did the presence of layer of calcareous sand below the sewage biosolids.
2. Monitoring a commercial farm with long-term waste applications
A large (850-head) dairy farm was monitored in the Southern Tier of NY, which has applied sewage biosolids since 1978. Other wastes applied are manure, some septage and food processing wastes. Soils are shallow inceptisols on glacial till. Corn silage and forage are grown for on-farm feed. Six fields were selected representing primary wastes applied: sewage biosolids, manure, or none (fertilizer only). Maximum cumulative metal loadings were <1% of Part 503 limits. Even well documented farms are difficult to monitor. All wastes caused detectable surface soil enrichment of P, S and Mo, and all affected percolate quality to some extent. Intensive surface water monitoring April 2000 showed that exports from primarily sewage biosolids applied watershed exceeded fertilizer watershed for most analytes.
3. Long-term fate controlled application study
ongoing greenhouse study (started in 1994) showed that leaching of Cd and especially Zn are increasing from acidic “unmanaged
1. Excerpts from the Approved NE1001 Project
2. STP’s included in “Survey of Metals in STP Biosolids and Agricultural Soils”
3. Pathogen Projects- UNH 2003-2004 (Bean and Margolin)
Barker, A.V. and G.M. Bryson. 2002. Bioremediation of heavy metals and organic toxicants by composting. The Scientific World 2:407-420.
H.A. Elliott, and G.A. O’Connor. 2002. Comparative evaluation of water
extractable P in biosolids and livestock manures. Proc.16th Annual Residuals and Biosolids Conference.
Elliott, H.A., G.A. O’Connor, and S. Brinton. 2002. Phosphorus leaching from biosolids-amended sandy soils. J. Environ. Qual. 31:681-689.
Elliott, H.A., G.A. O’Connor, P. Lu and S. Brinton. 2002. Influence of water treatment residuals on phosphorus solubility and leaching. J. Environ. Qual. 31: 1362-1369.
Hale, R.C. and M.J. La Guardia. Have risks associated with the presence of synthetic organic contaminants in land-applied sewage sludges been adequately assessed? 2002. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy 12:371-386.
Hale, R.C. Emerging Environmental Pollutants. Vignette for Fundamentals of Ecotoxicology. Second Edition. M. Newman and M. Unger. 2002. Lewis Publishers.
M.J. La Guardia,
Hale, R.C. and M.J. La Guardia. 2002. Emerging contaminants of concern in coastal and estuarine environments. Chapter 3 in Risk Assessment in Coastal and Estuarine Environments. Ed. M.C. Newman, M.H. Roberts Jr. and R.C. Hale. pp. 41-72.
Hamlin, R.L., C. Schatz, and A.V. Barker. 2003. Zinc accumulation in Brassica juncea as influenced by nitrogen and phosphorus nutrition. J. Plant Nutrit. 26: 177-190.
Krogmann, U. and H.-N. Chiang. 2002. Selected nutrients and heavy metals in sewage sludge from New Jersey POTWs. JAWRA 38: 681-692.
Krogmann, U. and V. Gibson.
2002. Integrating development of
extension materials and formative informal evaluation: Land application of
sewage sludge as a
J. of Extension 41,
Guardia, M.J., R.C. Hale, E.P. Harvey, E.O. Bush, T.M. Mainor
and M.O. Gaylor. 2003. Emerging chemicals of concern in biosolids.
Proc. WEF/AWWA/CWEA Joint Residuals and Biosolids Management
McBride, M. B., E. A. Nibarger, B. K. Richards and T. S. Steenhuis. 2003. Trace metal accumulation by red clover grown on sewage sludge-amended soils and correlation to Mehlich 3 and calcium chloride-extractable metals. Soil Sci. 168:29-38.
McBride, M.B. 2002. Cadmium uptake by crops estimated from soil total Cd and pH. Soil Sci. 167, 62-67.
McBride, M.B. and L.J. Evans. 2002. Trace metal extractability in soils and uptake by
bromegrass 20 years after sewage sludge application.
McBride, M.B., E.A. Nibarger, B.K. Richards and T. Steenhuis. 2003. Trace metal accumulation by red clover grown on sewage sludge-amended soils and correlation to Mehlich 3 and calcium chloride-extractable metals. Soil Sci. 168: 29-38.
McBride, M.B. 2003. Cadmium concentration limits in agricultural soils: weaknesses in USEPA's risk assessment and the 503 rule. Human Ecol. Risk Assess. 9, 661-674.
Newman M.C., R.C. Hale and M.H. Roberts Jr. 2002. Synthesis of concepts in ecological risk of coastal environments. Chapter 13 in Risk Assessment in Coastal and Estuarine Environments. Ed. M.C. Newman, M.H. Roberts Jr. and R.C. Hale. pp. 327-336.
O’Brien, T.A., S.J. Herbert, and A.V. Barker. 2002. Growth of corn in varying mixtures of paper mill sludge and soil. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 33:635-646.
O’Brien, T.A., S.J. Herbert, and A.V. Barker. 2003. Paper sludge as a soil amendment for production of corn. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 34:2229-2241.
O’Connor, G.A., H.A. Elliott, and P. Lu. 2002. Characterizing water treatment residuals phosphorus retention. Soil Crop Sci. Soc. Florida. 61:67-73.
and H.A. Elliott. 2002. Co-application of biosolids
and water treatment residuals. Transactions World Congress
G.A., H.A. Elliott, S.R. Brinton, and D. Sarkar.
2001. Plant availability of biosolids-P. American Society of
S., A.G. Hay, and L. Walker.
2002. Nonylphenol in anaerobically
digested sewage sludge from
Qureshi, S., B. K. Richards, A. G. Hay, C. C. Tsai, M. B. McBride, P. Baveye, and T. S. Steenhuis. 2003. Effect of microbial activity on trace
element release from sewage sludge. In press, Environmental Science &
Technology (ES&T web release date:
Roberts Jr., M.H., M.C. Newman and R.C. Hale. 2002. Overview of ecological risk assessment in coastal and estuarine environments. Chapter 1 in Risk Assessment in Coastal and Estuarine Environments. Ed. M.C. Newman, M.H. Roberts Jr. and R.C. Hale. pp. 1-13.
Stehouwer, R.C., and K.E. Macneal. 2002. Use of yard trimmings compost for restoration of saline soil incineration ash. Comp. Sci. Util. 11(1):51-60.
2003. Land application of sewage sludge in
Effects of biosolids
on soil and crop quality. Environmental Soil Issues, Pen
von Willert, F.J. and R.C. Stehouwer. 2003. Compost and calcium surface treatment effects on subsoil chemistry in acidic minespoil columns. J. Environ. Qual. 32:781-788.
von Willert, F.J. and
R.C. Stehouwer. 2003. Compost, CaCO3, and
on Ca and Al transport in acidic minespoil. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 67:778-786.
J., H.A. Elliott, R.C. Brandt. 2002. Determining P in biosolids
using neutral ammonium citrate extraction. Proc.16th Annual
Residuals and Biosolids Conf.