Eurasian Soil Science

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 491–497 | Cite as

Self-purification of agrosoddy-podzolic sandy loamy soils fertilized with sewage sludge

  • I. O. Plekhanova
Degradation, Rehabilitation, and Conservation of Soils


Sandy loamy agrosoddy-podzolic soils and plants growing on them were studied. The soils had been treated with sewage sludge from the Lyubertsy aeration station applied as organic fertilizer for 5–10 years before 1990. Initially, these soils were used for cultivating vegetables and fodder crops. The content and mobility of heavy metal compounds increased in the plow horizons of studied soils under the influence of sewage sludge. The concentrations of Cd and Zn exceeded the tentative permissible concentrations (TPC) for these elements by 8–16 and 2–4 times, respectively. The contaminated layer was found at the depths within 30–50 cm, which attests to a low migration rate of heavy metals added to the studied soils with sewage sludge (SS) 25 years ago. The concentration of Cd exceeded the maximum permissible concentration (MPC) of this element in all vegetable and fodder crops cultivated on the studied soils. The content of heavy metals in plants differed by three–five times in dependence on the capacity of particular plants to accumulate them. The period of soil self-purification from heavy metals was found to depend on the soil contamination level and element mobility, as well as on the element removal with harvested crops and with soil water flows. The maximal time of achieving the normal level of Cd concentration was estimated as 288 years for maximally contaminated soils; the corresponding values for Cu and Zn were estimated as 74 and 64 years, respectively.


sewage sludge soil contamination removal of heavy metals by plants migration self-purification of soils 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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