Assessment of toxicity reduction after metal removal in bioleached sewage sludge

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Journal titleWater Research
Pages14151424; # of pages: 10
AbstractSewage sludge can be applied to land to supply and recycle organic matter and nutrients. Trace elements in sludge, however, may accumulate in the soil with repeated sludge applications. Reducing metal content may therefore reduce the adverse effects of sludge application. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of bioleaching technology in reducing metal content and toxicity as measured by a battery of terrestrial and liquid-phase bioassays. Sludge–soil mixtures simulating the application of sludge to land were tested by means of terrestrial bioassays, barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) seed germination (5 d) and sprout growth (14 d), lettuce (Lactuca sativa) seed germination (5 d), and worm (Eisenia andrei) mortality (14 d). Liquid-phase bioassays, Microtox® (Vibrio fischeri, 15 min), lettuce root elongation (L. sativa, 5 d), cladoceran mortality (Daphnia magna, 48 h), and SOS Chromotest (Escherichia coli) were used after elutriation of the sludge. Comparison of the bioassay results (except for D. magna) before and after treatment demonstrated that this bioleaching process reduced both sludge toxicity and metal content. In addition, lower Cu and Zn concentrations found in barley sprouts following treatment supported the assumption that the bioleaching process, by decreasing metal content and bioavailability, reduced sewage sludge toxicity. This study also emphasized the interest of using ecotoxicological bioassays for testing biosolids. In particular, the terrestrial bioassays after simulation of land application and the Microtox® test after sludge elutriation proved to be the most appropriate procedures.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Biotechnology Research Institute; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number43331
NPARC number3538797
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Record identifierae6be42f-8a59-488b-a6be-0e59c209f9b2
Record created2009-03-01
Record modified2016-05-09
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