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26th Scientific Symposium with International Participation

Project CEEX 78/01.08.2006

Studies on reuse of urban sludge as fertilizer in the fruit orchards, according to E.U regulations (NAMOLPOM)


Improvement of life standard, civilization progress, increase and diversification of the population welfare bring about larger amounts of waste waters and consequently about the same quantity, resulted from the purifying plants.

The increased sludge amounts resulted from the urban water purifying plants, a sort of civilization product is getting similar to the society progress trend, sometimes exponentially due to more and more obstacles regarding the high accumulation of this kind of sludge and its utilization by means of some techniques and technologies friendly to the environment.

Many experts have stood the idea of neutralization this urban sludge by soil regarded as a biological purifying plant.

Using the soil as a purifying system of these residuals, it is absolutely necessary to preserve its fertility at the present and in future as well as to provide safe, good quality produce un harmful for the human health.

The utilization of sludge in the agriculture is a complex problem which should be monitored to avoid the side effects so that the physical, chemical and microbiological properties of sludge and soil should be taken into account.

Likewise, the plants ability to process the nutrients resulted from these sludge as well as the environmental pollution should be considered.

One of the factors playing a major role in the fruit quality and quantity is an adequate soil supply with nutrients. That can be achieved by application of manure and mineral fertilizers single or in mixture.

Under new socio-economic conditions of the Romanian agriculture, the manure can be into a less extent ensured due to a decrease of cattle number and their breeding.

Replacing the manure by the sludge resulted from the urban waste waters is an alternative which has certain advantages for sludge application as fertilizer. That can recycle several chemical compounds needed to plants development, preserve the phosphate minerals which are the basis for P fertilizers, improve the physical, chemical, biological soil properties and reduce the mineral fertilizers applied in the agriculture. When using dehydrated sludge as fertilizer, there are still problems left such as: its heavy metals content, contaminating organic substances, pathogens, for which a solution must be found.

With this view, the general major objective of the project is the evaluation of various means for utilization the urban sludge as fertilizer in the fruit orchards by a complex and precise methodology providing the protection of the environment and human health.

The project objectives and methods involved are in accordance with EU aquis in the field, Directive 86/278/EEC regarding the environment and particularly soil protection when the sludge is used in the agriculture ; Directive 91/676 EEC regarding the water protection against the pollution by nitrates resulted from agricultural sources as well as Order 344/16.08.2004 of Environment and water Ministry including the technological directives for environment protection and using the purifying sludge in agriculture.