Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 125–131 | Cite as

Concentrations of heavy metals in forty sewage sludges in England

  • R. M. Sterritt
  • J. N. Lester
Article

Abstract

Samples of forty sewage sludges taken in England during 1979 were analysed for ten heavy metals using a rapid flameless atomic absorption spectroscopic technique. For all metals the mean concentrations were influenced by a small number of sludges containing exceptionally high concentrations. Typically, the concentration ranges showed approximately a 100-fold spread. Calculations based on U.K. guidelines for limiting the addition of toxic metals in sludge to agricultural soils indicated that application rates would theoretically be limited for more than 75 % of the sludges by the concentrations of Zn, Cu and Ni, expressed additively as the Zn equivalent. Calculations of the theoretical maximum quantities of sludges which could be applied to land on an annual basis suggested that a significant proportion of the sludges would be unsuitable for application to agricultural land at rates of more than 2 t ha−1 yr−1

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Berrow, M. L. and Webber, J.: 1972, J. Sci. Food Agric. 23, 93.Google Scholar
  2. Bingham, F. T., Page, A. L., Mahler, R. J., and Ganje, T. J.: 1975, J. Environ. Qual. 4, 207.Google Scholar
  3. Bunting, A. H.: 1963, J. Agric. Sci. 60, 121.Google Scholar
  4. Carrondo, M. J. T., Perry, R., and Lester, J. N.: 1979a, Anal. Chim. Acta 106, 309.Google Scholar
  5. Carrondo, M. J. T., Perry, R., and Lester, J. N.: 1979b, Analyst 104, 937.Google Scholar
  6. Chumbley, C. G.: 1971, Permissible Levels of Toxic Metals in Agricultural Land, Agricultural Development and Advisory Service, Paper No. 10.Google Scholar
  7. Cunningham, J. O., Keeney, D. R., and Ryan, J. A.: 1975, J. Environ. Qual. 4, 448.Google Scholar
  8. Department of the Environment: 1972a, Analysis of Raw, Potable and Waste Waters, H.M.S.O., London, p. 37.Google Scholar
  9. Department of the Environment: 1972b, Agricultural Use of Sewage Sludge, Notes on Water Pollution, No. 57.Google Scholar
  10. Department of the Environment and National Water Council: 1977, Report of the Working Party on the Disposal of Sewage Sludge to Land, Standing Technical Committee Report No. 5, National Water Council, London.Google Scholar
  11. Department of the Environment and National Water Council: 1978, Sewage Sludge Disposal Data and Reviews of Disposal to Sea, Standing Technical Committee Report, No. 8, National Water Council, London.Google Scholar
  12. Dowdy, R. H. and Larson, W. E.: 1975, J. Environ. Qual. 4, 229.Google Scholar
  13. Henriksen, A. and Balmer, K.: 1977, Vatten 1, 33.Google Scholar
  14. Johnston, A. E.: 1974, Rothamsted Experimental Station Annual Report, 1975, Part 2.Google Scholar
  15. Johnston, A. E. and Wedderburn, R. W. M.: 1974, Rothamsted Experimental Station Annual Report, 1975, Part 2.Google Scholar
  16. Lester, J. N., Harrison, R. M., and Perry, R.: 1977, Sci. Total Environ. 8, 1953.Google Scholar
  17. Ministry of Housing and Local Government: 1970, Taken for Granted, Working Party Report on Sewage Disposal, H.M.S.O., London.Google Scholar
  18. Sterritt, R. M. and Lester, J. N.: 1980, ‘Determination of Silver, Cobalt, Manganese, Molybdenum and Tin in Sewage Sludge by a Rapid Electrothermal Atomic-Absorption Spectroscopic Method’, Analyst, 105, 616.Google Scholar
  19. Stoveland, S., Astruc, M., Perry, R., and Lester, J. N.: 1979, Sci. Total Environ. 13, 33.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Sterritt
    • 1
  • J. N. Lester
    • 1
  1. 1.Public Health Engineering Laboratory, Department of Civil EngineeringImperial College of Science and TechnologyLondonEngland

Personalised recommendations