Estimation of Maximum Biosolids and Meat and Bone Meal Application to a Low P Index Soil and a Method to Test for Nutrient and Metal Losses
Lucid, Joseph D.
Healy, Mark G.
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Lucid, JD,Fenton, O,Healy, MG (2013) 'Estimation of Maximum Biosolids and Meat and Bone Meal Application to a Low P Index Soil and a Method to Test for Nutrient and Metal Losses'. Water Air And Soil Pollution, 224 :1464-1475.
The aim of this study was to develop (1) a method for the calculation of the maximum legal rate at which meat and bone meal (MBM) and biosolids should be applied to land, which took into account the soil phosphorus (P) index, the dry solids and the nutrient and metal content of each material, and (2) a quick method to evaluate their impact, when applied at the estimated maximum and twice the maximum application rates, on the release of P and metals to surface runoff. Three types of biosolids-lime stabilised (LS), anaerobically digested (AD) and thermally dried (TD)-and two types of MBM (low and high ash) were examined. The nutrient and metal losses were examined using a 1-L capacity beaker, which contained an intact soil core. Treatments were applied at maximum and twice the maximum legal application rates and then overlain with 500 mL of water, which was stirred to simulate overland flow. At the maximum legal application rate, low ash MBM (1.14 mgL(-1)) and TD biosolids (2.43 mgL(-1)) had the highest losses of P. Thermally dried biosolids and LS biosolids exceeded maximum allowable concentrations (MAC) for manganese, but all treatments remained below the MAC for copper and iron, at the maximum legal application rate. Anaerobically digested biosolids and high and low ash MBM would appear to have potential for landspreading, but these results are indicative only and should be verified at field scale.