Spatio-temporal impacts of dairy lagoon water reuse on soil: heavy metals and salinity
Diminishing freshwater resources have brought attention to the reuse of degraded water as a water resource rather than a disposal problem. The spatial impact and sustainability of dairy lagoon water reuse from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) has not been evaluated at field scale. The objective of this study is to monitor the impact of dairy lagoon water blended with recycled water on a 32 ha field near San Jacinto, CA from 2007 to 2011. Spatial monitoring was based on soil samples collected at locations identified from apparent soil electrical conductivity (ECa) directed sampling. Soil samples were taken at depth increments of 0–0.15, 0.15–0.3, 0.3–0.6, 0.6–0.9, 0.9–1.2, 1.2–1.5, and 1.5–1.8 m at 28 sample sites on 7–11 May 2007 and again on 31 May – 2 June 2011 after 4 years of irrigation with the blended waters. Chemical analyses included salinity (electrical conductivity of the saturation extract, ECe), pHe (pH of the saturation extract), SAR (sodium adsorption ratio), trace elements (As, B, Mo, Se), and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Zn). Results indicate a decrease in mean values of pHe at all depth increments; a decrease in ECe and SAR above a depth of 0.15 m, but an increase below 0.15 m; a decrease in all trace elements except B, which increased throughout the 1.8 m profile; and the accumulation of Cd, Mn, and Ni at all depth increments, while Cu was readily leached from the 1.8 m profile. Zinc showed little change. The results focused concern on the potential long-term agronomic effect of salinity, SAR, and B, and the long-term environmental threat of salinity and Cu to detrimentally impact groundwater. The accumulation of Cd, Mn, and Ni in the soil profile raised concern since it provided a potential future source of metals for leaching. The long-term sustainability of dairy lagoon water reuse hinges on regular monitoring to provide spatial feedback for site-specific management.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Waste and Recycling: Sources and Resources