Accumulation of oil and grease in soils irrigated with greywater and their potential role in soil water repellency

Micheal J. Travis, Noam Weisbrod, Amit Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

The potential impact of oil and grease (O and G) to soils irrigated with greywater (GW) was investigated. Greywater streams were sampled and analyzed for O and G content, along with corresponding GW-irrigated soils. Untreated kitchen GW averaged 200 mg L- 1 O and G, over an order of magnitude more than other GW streams. GW-irrigated soils showed O and G accumulation of up to 200 mg kg- l within the first 20-cm of depth. To determine the potential effects of such O and G accumulation on water movement in soil, capillary rise and water drop penetration time (WDPT) experiments were conducted. The results showed up to 60% decrease in capillary rise when sand containing 250 mg kg- 1 O and G was used. Interestingly, no additional reduction in capillary rise was observed at concentrations above 250 mg kg- 1. WDPT was observed to increase linearly with increased O and G content, up to 1000 mg kg- 1. This work demonstrated that O and G in GW used for irrigation can accumulate in soil and may lead to a significant reduction in the soils ability to transmit water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume394
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2008

Keywords

  • Capillary rise
  • Grease
  • Greywater
  • Hydrophobicity
  • Oil
  • Water repellency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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