EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF UNTREATED SEWAGE EFFLUENT ON FARM LANDS
1.1 Background of the Study
Land application of wastewater is centuries old practice. This practice was introduced in US more thaii one hunched years ago but general interest on the subject waned after the turn of the century in favour of more mechanized method of waste treatment and disposal (Jewel and Seabrook. 2011). It allows disposal of the sewage effluents and fulfills the increasing demand of water for agricultural purposes. The cost of constructing. operating and maintaining a land treatment facility is generally considered to be lower than corresponding conventional waste water treatment system (Badger and Thomason. 2013). In the UK. treatment and disposal of sewage sludge from biological water plants accounts for approximately 50% of the total cost of sewage treatment, and the major US sludge disposal route is land application (Lake 2013). Due to the fact that toxic substances are concentrated in the solid phase during wastewater and sludge disposal. the sludge management can be more risky than irrigation with wastewater particularly in developing countries with economic and administrative constraints. Moreso. Mexico large quantities of sludge from a wastewater treatment plant containing pathogens and toxic substances as ionic aluminum have been deposited in open areas, causing damage on soils and problems to the inhabitants (Qrtiz-Hemandez et a!., 2011).
The reuse of domestic wastewater to irrigate agricultural land seems to be a practical option for under developed world including India. One of the most important problem in the Municipal Corporation areas of cities like Ludhiana. The reuse of domestic wastewater to irrigate agricultural land seems to be a practical option for under developed world including India. One of the most important problem in the Municipal Corporation areas of cities like Ludhiana. Jalancihar. Amritsar in Punjab. India are that industries are not confined to industrial parks rather most of the small to medium industries are running in the residential area. The owners of these small to medium industries are unable to install their treatment plants and they are disposing their effluents in the domestic sewage system of the city. which is carried forward to rural areas through open sewage drains and farmers with fields adjoining to these drains irrigate purely or mixing it with underground irrigation water. In addition to domestic effluents. a number of industries to produce large volume of effluents requiring their proper disposal. May times. industries produce highly toxic effluents which can neither be thrown into water bodies nor used for agricultural purposes as the toxic elements are likely to enter food chain through plants. annuals and fish. However, effluents of some industries have useful characteristics and. therefore. have the potential to improve the productivity of soils. The land management of such wastes thus. not only brings the economic benefits but also protect the fragile ecosystem from degradation.
The application of sewage effluent on farm lands as an alternative to fertilizer is increasingly receiving attention in the recent time due to high cost of fertilizer in some developing countries. Though sewage contains both organic and inorganic matter, but it has been discovered that farmers encounter many challenges each time they apply untreated sewage effluent on farm lands. Some of these problems include the presence of heavy metals in sewage. These heavy metals are harmful to farm land when they accumulate. They may also be harmful to human system when consumed through the plant. (Young-Jin, 2011)
Untreated sewage effluence is referred as those domestic and industrial waste effluents which are discharged into septic tank or sterilization pond and have not undergone treatment process. This untreated sewage effluent contains heavy metals such as sulphur, zinc, copper and other toxic metals. (Kharche, et al, 2011)
Effluent from Municipal sewage treatment plants often contain high level of plant nutrient, particularly nitrogen and potassium, which are essential to crop growth. Agricultural application of untreated sewage effluent provides both water and nutrient for crop production (Chambers, et al, 2002). However, depending on the content of the potentially harmful component, which can accumulate in the soil of the farm land biologically prove hazardous (Rattan et al, 2005). Therefore when untreated effluent of the sewage is used on land for an agricultural purposes, the problem associated with its use should be considered (Emongor and Ramolemana, 2004). The continous use of untreated sewage effluent on farm lands by farmer may result in the accumulation of heavy metal on the soil and thereby affect the soil fertility.
Therefore, the need for farmer to know the effect of untreated sewage on farm land is a necessity especially, in a developing country like Nigeria were farmers have limited access to chemical fertilizer.
Therefore, this study shall evaluate the impact of untreated sewage effluence on farm lands using Sancaros Farm, Ihe town in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State as a point of reference.
1.2 Objectives of the Study
The project aimed at evaluating the impact of untreated sewage effluent on farm land using Sancaros Farm, Ihe town in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State as a case study.
The specific objectives are:
(1) To characterize soil from farmland with sewage effluent deposit
(2) To compare the soil properties of farmland with effluent deposit with that without effluent deposit
(3) To highlight the negative effects of farmland with effluent to crops and possible recommendations for improvement
1.3 Justification of the Study
The significant of the project cannot be over emphasized. The need to understand the characteristic and composition of farm land with untreated sewage effluent is a necessity.
Also these will serve as a research material for agricultural industries and student on the knowledge and understanding on the use of untreated sewage effluent for agriculture. The result of this study may enhance farmer decision to apply untreated sewage effluent instead of relying on prohibitive supply of chemical fertilizer.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE PROJECT:
The scope of this project will involve the following:-
i. To locate a source of untreated sewage effluent
ii. Measuring the key chemical characteristic of the untreated sewage before the application
iii. Measuring the key parameter of soil after application of untreated sewage
Key parameter – PH, Copper, Phosphorus, potassium, nitrate ND chloride and note charges.
1.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
During the research the researchers encountered some constraints which serve as limitation to the study. These limitations include time factor, funding of the project and difficulty in getting research materials.
1. Time Factor: The time for the research is not enough since the researchers are engage with other task to be done such as receiving lectures, quiz, assignment and exams. Also, during the period of the research the researchers will also take care of some domestic work.
2. Funding of the Project: The financial aspect of the project was another challenge. The cost of getting materials so as to complete the project is expensive.
3. Difficulty in Getting Research Material: Materials for the research work are not easily come by. However, the researcher had to do all they can to make the research work valid.
1.6 Research Methodology
The research methodology is divided into chapters. This include chapter one which is the introduction and it contains the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, scope and limitation, methodology and significance of the study.
Chapter two is the literature review which contains an indepth research of past works in the subject matter.
Chapter three is methodology which include materials and methods.
Chapter four contains the research result and discussion.
Finally, chapter five contains conclusion and recommendations.