Reuse of laundry greywater as affected by its interaction with saturated soil

Misra, Rabindra K. and Sivongxay, Amphone (2009) Reuse of laundry greywater as affected by its interaction with saturated soil. Journal of Hydrology, 366 (1-4). pp. 55-61. ISSN 0022-1694

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We conducted laboratory experiments on a well aggregated, non-swelling clay soil to measure water retention, saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) and salts present in the irrigation and drainage water to study the impacts of reusing untreated laundry greywater (GW) to irrigate soils in the residential garden beds. We used undisturbed (field) and disturbed (loose and compacted) soil cores to represent situations typical in old and recently established garden beds. Using tap water (TW), soil water retention within 0-10 kPa matric suction was found to be significantly lower and hysteresis significantly higher for the loose soil than the field or compacted soil. Measured values of Ks with TW were in the order loose >field >compacted soil, but these values were reduced to 5-16% when GW was used. Further measurements of Ks with application of TW to soil cores which had been previously saturated with GW, greater reduction in Ks occurred with Ks - 0 for the compacted soil. A comparison of the quality of GW with TW as irrigation water indicated an approx. increase in pH of GW by 3 pH units over TW, two-fold increase in EC, 5-fold increase in Na concentration and a 10-fold increase in Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR). Measurements of drainage water during the water flux measurements for Ks showed that the soil was able to reduce pH and EC of infiltrating water, store some salts (Na and K) and released Ca and Mg from soil so that the quality of drainage water improved substantially to become similar in quality to TW. Thus, long-term use of untreated laundry greywater may reduce salt contamination of groundwater, but predispose soils to future environmental hazards from excess sodium accumulation.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2009 12:47
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: greywater; hydraulic conductivity; irrigation; laundry greywater; SAR; water retention
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050305 Soil Physics
12 Built Environment and Design > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120504 Land Use and Environmental Planning
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961101 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water for Urban and Industrial Use
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961407 Urban and Industrial Soils
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2008.12.010

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