Advertisement

Assessment of nitrate and nitrite levels in treated wastewater, soil, and vegetable crops at the upper reach of Zarqa River in Jordan

  • Riyadh Muhaidat
  • Khaldoon Al-Qudah
  • Ahmed A. Al-TaaniEmail author
  • Sufian AlJammal
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of treated wastewater irrigation on agricultural soils and vegetables along the upper reach of Zarqa River (Jordan). Multiple samples of reclaimed wastewater, soil pits from farms, and vegetables (spinach, parsley, cabbage cauliflower, radish, and onion) were collected and analyzed for pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), and/or NO3 and NO2 contents. The average levels of NO3 and NO2 in treated wastewater samples varied from 167.2 to 209.9 mg/l for NO3 and from 80.3 to 106.1 μg/l for NO2. Values of TDS and pH exhibited relatively comparable spatial patterns, with higher values in the downstream channel and lower in the upper reach, adjacent to Al-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant. The average values of NO3 and NO2 showed broadly decreasing trends down-gradient towards King Talal Dam. In soil pits, a marginal increase of pH values with depth was noted, whereas TDS showed a remarkable decrease in soil profile by ~ 2 to 3 folds. Concurrently, the levels of NO3 and NO2 in all soil pits markedly decreased from top to bottom. In vegetables irrigated with treated wastewater, substantially elevated levels of NO3 were observed, compared with those irrigated with rainwater, with leafy vegetables demonstrating higher levels than the root crops. Spinach exhibited higher capacity for NO3 accumulation (4614.1 mg/kg), while onion showed the lowest content (1722 mg/kg). The highest NO2 level was observed in parsley (1.19 mg/kg), and the lowest concentrations were found in cauliflower (0.25 mg/kg). The markedly high accumulation of NO3 in vegetables is an indicator of pollution activities around Zarqa River and poses potential health risks to humans when they are consumed.

Keywords

Nitrate  Total dissolved solids Water pollution Leafy vegetables Treated wastewater Irrigation Zarqa River 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are indebted to Safa’ Kashashneh from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences for technical help and Dr. Athena D. McKown for helpful comments and suggestions on the manuscript.

References

  1. Aiello, R., Cirelli, G. L., & Consoli, S. (2007). Effects of reclaimed wastewater irrigation on soil and tomato fruits: a case study in Sicily (Italy). Agricultural Water Management, 93, 65–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-Rawabdeh, A., Al-Ansari, N., Al-Taani, A. A., & Knutsson, S. (2013). A GIS-based drastic model for assessing aquifer vulnerability in Amman-Zerqa Groundwater Basin, Jordan. Engineering, 5, 490–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Rawabdeh, A., Al-Ansari, A., Al-Taani, A. A., Al-Khateb, F., & Knutsson, S. (2014). Modeling the risk of groundwater contamination using modified DRASTIC and GIS in Amman-Zerqa Basin, Jordan. Central European Journal of Engineering, 4, 264–280.Google Scholar
  4. Al-Shereideh, S., Wahsha, M., El-Radaideh, N., Al-Taani, A. A., Abderahman, N., Odat, S., Al-Momani, T., & Khawajah, M. (2015). Geo-environmental assessment of Al-Ramtha soils, Jordan. Current World Environment, 10, 386–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Al-Taani, A. A. (2013). Seasonal variations in water quality of Al-Wehda dam north of Jordan and water suitability for irrigation in summer. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 6, 1131–1140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Al-Taani, A. A. (2014). Trend analysis in water quality of Al-Wehda Dam, north of Jordan. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 186, 6223–6239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Al-Taani, A. A., & Al-Qudah, K. (2013). Investigation of desert subsoil nitrate in northeastern Badia of Jordan. Science of the Total Environment, 442, 111–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Al-Taani, A. A., Batayneh, A., El-Radaideh, N., Al-Momani, I., & Rawabdeh, A. (2012). Monitoring of selenium concentrations in major springs of Yarmouk Basin, North Jordan. World Applied Science Journal, 18, 704–714.Google Scholar
  9. Al-Taani, A. A., Batayneh, A., Mogren, S., Nazzal, Y., Ghrefat, H., Zaman, H., & Elawadi, E. (2013). Groundwater quality of coastal aquifer systems in the eastern coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Applied Science and Agriculture, 8, 768–778.Google Scholar
  10. Al-Taani, A. A., Batayneh, A., El-Radaideh, N., Ghrefat, H., Zumlot, T., Al-Rawabdeh, A., Al-Momani, T., & Taani, A. (2015). Spatial distribution and pollution assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments of Ziqlab Reservoir, Jordan. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 187, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Al-Taani, A. A., El-Radaideh, N., & Al Khateeb, W. (2018). Status of water quality in King Talal Reservoir Dam, Jordan. Water Resources, 45, 603–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ammary, B. (2007). Wastewater reuse in Jordan: present status and future plans. Desalination, 211, 164–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Anjana, U. S., Iqbal, M., & Abrol, Y. P. (2006). Are nitrate concentrations in leafy vegetables within safe limits? (pp. 81–84). New Delhi: Proceedings of the Workshop on Nitrogen in Environmental, Industry and Agriculture.Google Scholar
  14. Arregui, L. M., & Quemada, M. (2006). Drainage and nitrate leaching in a crop rotation under different N-fertilizer strategies: Application of capacitance probes. Plant and Soil, 288, 57–69.Google Scholar
  15. Armstrong, F. A. (1963). Determination of nitrate by ultraviolet spectrophotometry. Analytical Chemistry, 35, 1292–1294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Balkhair, K., & Ashraf, M. (2016). Field accumulation risks of heavy metals in soil and vegetable crop irrigated with sewage water in western region of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 23, S32–S44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Batayneh, A., & Al-Taani, A. A. (2015). Integrated resistivity and water chemistry for evaluation of groundwater quality of the Gulf of Aqaba coastal area in Saudi Arabia. Geosciences Journal, 20, 403–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Bernhard, A. (2010). The nitrogen cycle: processes, players, and human impact. Nature Education Knowledge, 3, 25.Google Scholar
  19. Blom-Zandstra, M. (1989). Nitrate accumulation in vegetables and its relationship to quality. Annals of Applied Biology, 115, 553–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Bose, B., & Srivastava, H. S. (2008). Absorption and accumulation of nitrate in plants: Influence of environmental factors. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 39, 101–110.Google Scholar
  21. Brkić, D., Bošnir, J., Bevardi, M., Bošković, A. G., Miloš, S., Lasić, D., Krivohlavek, A., Racz, A., Mojsović-Ćuić, A., & Trstenjak, N. U. (2017). Nitrate in leafy green vegetables and estimated intake. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 14, 31–41.Google Scholar
  22. Cárdenas-Navarro, R., Adamowicz, S., & Robin, P. (1999). Nitrate accumulation in plants: a role for water. Journal of Experimental Botany, 50, 613–624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Cervigni, R., & Naber, H. (2010). Achieving sustainable development in Jordan: country environmental analysis. Amman: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, The World Bank.Google Scholar
  24. Chowdany, V., Rao, N., & Samara, P. (2005). Decision support framework for assessment of non-point source pollution of groundwater in large irrigation projects. Agricultural Water Management, 75, 194–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Chung, S. Y., Kim, J. S., Kim, M., Hong, M. K., Lee, J. O., & Kim, C. M. (2003). Survey of nitrate and nitrite contents of vegetables grown in Korea. Food Additives and Contaminants, 20, 621–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Cirelli, G. L., Consoli, S., Licciardello, F., Aiello, R., Giuffrida, F., & Leonardi, C. (2012). Treated municipal wastewater reuse in vegetable production. Agricultural Water Management, 104, 163–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Delhon, P., Gojon, A., Tillard, P., & Passama, L. (1995). Diurnal regulation of NO3 uptake in soybean plants. II. Relationship with accumulation of NO3 and asparagine in the roots. Journal of Experimental Botany, 46, 1595–1602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. El-Radaideh, N., Al-Taani, A. A., & Al Khateeb, W. (2017). Status of sedimentation in King Talal Dam: case study from Jordan. Environmental Earth Sciences, 76, 132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Eysinga, R. (1984). Nitrate and glasshouse vegetables. Fertilizer Research, 5, 149–156.Google Scholar
  30. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2013). Methods for chemical analysis of water and wastes. Washington: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. BiblioGov.Google Scholar
  31. Goldman, E., & Jacobs, E. R. (1961). Determination of nitrates by ultraviolet absorption. American Water Works Association, 53, 187–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Greer, F., & Shannon, M. (2005). Infant methemoglobinemia: the role of dietary nitrate in food and water. Pediatrics, 116, 784–786.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hammouri, N., & El-Naqa, A. (2007). Drought assessment using GIS and remote sensing in Amman-Zarqa Basin, Jordan. Jordan Journal of Civil Engineering, 1, 142–152.Google Scholar
  34. Haq, I. U., Zhang, M., Yang, P., & van Elsas, J. D. (2014). The interactions of bacteria with fungi in soil: emerging concepts. Advances in Applied Microbiology, 89, 185–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Huang, F., Liu, Z., Ridoutt, B. G., Huang, J., & Li, B. (2015). China’s water for food under growing water scarcity. Food Security, 7, 933–949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jiménez, B. (2006). Irrigation in developing countries using wastewater. International Review for Environmental Strategies, 6, 229–250.Google Scholar
  37. Kanaan, S. S., & Economakis, C. D. (1992). Effect of climatic conditions and time of harvest on growth and tissue nitrate content of lettuce in nutrient film culture. Acta Horticulturae, 323, 75–80.Google Scholar
  38. Khan, S., Cao, Q., Zheng, Y. M., Huang, Y. Z., & Zhu, Y. G. (2008). Health risked of heavy metals in contaminated soils and crops irrigated with wastewater in Beijing, China. Environmental Pollution, 152, 686–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lamb, J.A., Fernandez, F.G., & Kaiser, D.E. (2014). Understanding nitrogen in soils. In: Nutrient Management. University of Minnesota Extension.Google Scholar
  40. Mandelbaum, R. T., Sadowsky, M. J., & Wackett, L. P. (2008). Microbial Degradation of s-Triazine Herbicides. In The Triazine Herbicides. (pp. 301–328). Elsevier.  https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-044451167-6.50025-8
  41. Meli, S., Porto, M., Bellingo, A., Bufo, S. A., Mazzatura, A., & Scopa, A. (2002). Influence of irrigation with lagooned urban wastewater on chemical and microbiological soil parameters in a citrus orchard under Mediterranean condition. Science of the Total Environment, 285, 69–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mensinga, T. T., Speijers, G. J., & Meulenblet, J. (2003). Health implication of exposure to environmental nitrogenous compounds. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 22, 41–51.Google Scholar
  43. Ministry of water and irrigation (MWI). (2016). Annual report of water authority of Jordan. Ministry of water and irrigation, Amman, Jordan. Accessed at: http://www.mwi.gov.jo/sites/en-us/Annual%20Reports/Annual%20Report%202016.pdf
  44. Mor, F., Sahindokuyucu, F., & Erdogan, N. (2010). Nitrate and nitrite contents of some vegetables consumed in south province of Turkey. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 9, 2013–2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Munch, J.C., & Velthof, G.L. (2007). Denitrification and Agriculture. In: Bothe, H., Ferguson, S. J., & Newton, W. E. (Eds.), Biology of the nitrogen cycle (pp. 331–341). Elsevier.Google Scholar
  46. Nebel, B. J., & Wright, R. T. (2000). Environmental science: the way the world works (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  47. Pedrero, F., Kalavrouziotis, I., Alarcón, J., Koukoulakis, P., & Asano, T. (2010). Use of treated municipal wastewater in irrigated agriculture—review of some practices in Spain and Greece. Agricultural Water Management, 97, 1233–1241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Qadir, M., Ghaffoor, A., & Murtaza, G. (2000). Amelioration strategies for saline soils: a review. Land Degradation and Development, 11, 501–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Qadir, M., Wichelns, D., Raschid-sally, L., McCornik, P. G., Derchsel, P., Bahri, A., & Minhas, P. S. (2010). The challenges of wastewater irrigation in developing countries. Agricultural Water Management, 97, 561–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rehan, M., El sharkawy, A., & El Fadly, G. (2016). Microbial biodegradation of S-triazine herbicides in soil. Journal of Crop Research and Fertilizers, 1, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rusan, M., Hinnawi, S., & Rousan, L. (2007). Long term effect soil and plant quality parameters. Desalination, 215, 143–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Santamaria, P. (2006). Nitrate in vegetables: toxicity, content, intake and EC regulation. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 6, 10–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Shao-ting, D. U., Zhang, Y.-S., & Lin, X.-Y. (2007). Accumulation of nitrate in vegetables and its possible implications to human health. Agricultural Sciences in China, 6, 1246–1255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sumiko, T., & Masako, K. (1993). Naturally occurring of nitrite and nitrate existing in various raw and processed foods. Journal of Food Hygiene and Safety, 34, 294–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ugalde, D., Brungs, A., Kaebernick, M., McGregor, A., & Slattery, B. (2007). Implications of climate change for tillage practice in Australia. Soil and Tillage Research, 97, 318–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Weightman, R. M., Dyer, C., Buxton, J., & Farrington, D. S. (2006). Effects of light level, time of harvest and position within field on variability of tissue nitrate concentration in commercial crops of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and endive (Cichorium endiva). Food Additives and Contaminants, 23, 462–469.Google Scholar
  57. Zimdahl, R. L. (2015). In R. L. Zimdahl (Ed.), Six chemicals that changed agriculture (pp. 41–54). Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceYarmouk UniversityIrbidJordan
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of ScienceYarmouk UniversityIrbidJordan

Personalised recommendations