Use of a multi-layer column device for study on leachability of nitrate in sludge-amended soils

Yongming Luo*, Xianliang Qiao, Jing Song, Peter Christie, Ming Hung WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper described a multi-layer column device constructed with six cylindrical polythene tubes with installation of Rhizon soil moisture samplers (Rhizon SMS). The feasibility of using the column device to collect soil solution and percolate and to monitor leachability of nitrate in two sludge-amended soils was evaluated under glasshouse conditions. The soil moisture sampler in the device was demonstrated to be a non-destructive, simultaneous, sequential, convenient and rapid sampling tool for multiple-site porewater extraction. The device provided an in situ monitoring technique for leachability of nitrate in a soil profile following application of the anaerobically digested sewage sludge. The monitored results showed that surface soil amendment of the sewage sludge increased markedly the concentration of nitrate in the soil solutions at depths of 10-30 cm in a neutral paddy soil and at 30-50 cm in an acid red paddy soil. This amendment also largely increased nitrate in the percolates of the acid red soil. The movement and distribution patterns of nitrate in the profile were related to soil types, profile depths and experimental periods. Land application of sewage sludge may pose a risk in groundwater contamination of nitrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1483-1488
Number of pages6
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Leachability
  • Nitrate
  • Rhizon SMS
  • Sewage sludge
  • Soil solution


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