Sludge from Wastewater Treatment: A Natural Fertilizer for Pechay

Introduction

Background of the Study

Pechay (Brassica rapa chinensis) could grow for almost 15-20 cm tall and have wide leaves (Siemonsma & Piluek, 1994). Pechay would grow under any climate and could be produced throughout the year specially when the provided soil is rich in organic fertilizer and with good drainage. It could be harvested as they reached the desired size (Cultural Directions for Phil. Agricultural Crops, 2003). Sewage sludge is produced from the treatment of wastewater.

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It has generally been perceived by the public as a waste which has a little beneficial use and needs to be disposed of in landfills. It can be a source of nutrients for the soil. Using this material as a fertilizer can benefit the environment by turning wastes into valuable resources. Sludge can be obtained at a little or no cost (Mitchell, 1992: Rechcigl, 2000). This study will be conducted to determine the effect of sludge from waste water treatment on the growth of Pechay (Brassica rapa chinensis).

Statement of the Problem

This study primarily aims to find out the effect of sludge from wastewater treatment on the growth of Pechay.

Specific Objective

  1.  To determine the effect of the different amount of decomposed sludge from wastewater treatment on the height and number of leaves of Brasica rapa chinensis Hypothesis
  2.  The different amount of decomposed sludge from wastewater treatment has no effect on the height and numbers of leaves of Brassica rapa chinensis

Significance of the Study

The sludge from wastewater treatment used as an organic fertilizer could benefit the farmers because it is cheaper and this could not require them to buy an expensive commercial fertilizer that could pollute the environment. Using this material as a natural fertilizer can benefit the environment by turning wastes into valuable resources.

Scope and Delimitations of the Study

This study is only limited to the use of sludge in different treatment amounts as natural fertilizer for Pechay.

Definition of Terms

  • Pechay –is a popular leafy vegetable among Filipino housewives, being found practically in all markets throughout the country almost all year round (Cultural Directions for Phil. Agricultural Crops, 2003).
  • Sludge – is the residual, semi-solid material left from industrial, or wastewater treatment processes (Basque Research, 2009)
  • Natural Fertilizer- the end result of controlled aerobic decomposition of organic matter known as composting (Redmond, 2008).

Pechay (Brassica rapa chinensis)

Pechay is one of the most popular vegetables in making soups It can be found in all market around the country almost the whole year. Pechay would grow under any climate and could be produced throughout the year. It could be harvested as they reached the desired size (Cultural Directions for Phil. Agricultural Crops, 2003). Sewage Sludge

Sludge is organic slow released fertilizer. It is a product of wastewater treatment. This material can be a wonderful source of nutrients for the soil and it could be used as an organic fertilizer for crops and grasses that could be a beneficial source of nutrients (Rechcigl, 2000).

Related Studies

There were studies conducted by Range Cattle Research and Education Center (2000) to determine the potential uses of sludge as an alternative to more costly inorganic fertilizers for pasture grasses. Another study by Bozkurt, (2008) was conducted to determine the effect of using sewage sludge as nitrogen fertilizer for maize.

Another study by Spinger, (2001) was conducted to investigate the feasibility of an activated-sludge process with complete lysis and recycle of sludge. Another study by Arakawa, (2000) was conducted to determine the relationship between sludge liquefaction by ozonation and sludge reduction, as well as the stability of treatment in which activated sludge is deactivated in the liquefaction process. Another study by Mitchell, (1992) was conducted to determine the capability of sludge as an organic fertilizer on landfills.

Methods and Materials

Tools and Materials

The materials that will be used in decomposition are sludge taken somewhere in the province Capiz. The materials to be used in planting pechay will be seed boxes, 15 pots, trowel, loam soil, commercial fertilizer, pechay seeds and distilled water. Research Design

The Research Design of this study will be the Completely Randomized Block Design. The different treatments will be namely Treatment A 1000 g and 500 g loam soil, Treatment B 100 g and 500 g loam soil, Treatment C 10 g 500 g loam soil, commercial fertilizer and 500 g loam soil for the (+) control and 500 g loam soil for (-) control . This will be performed in a research institution.

  • The sludge will be taken from Water District in Brgy. Salocon, Panitan, Capiz. The materials for planting pechay will be gathered.
  • The sludge will be weighed using grammer.
  • The seeds will be planted in a seed box.
  • The treatments will be placed in a pot.
  • They will be mixed thoroughly to develop homogeneous mixture.
  • The plants will be transplanted after the sludge decomposed.
  • The heights of the plant will be measured every 3 days.
  • The number of leaves will be recorded every 3 days.

General Procedure

Preparing the Treatments

The sludge will be weighed in the grammer after collecting it by the authorized engineer from the Water District. It will be replicated three times,1000 g and 1000 g loam soil in treatment A , 100 g and 1000g loam soil in treatment B, 10 g 1000 g loam soil in treatment C , commercial fertilizer and 1000g loam soil for the (+) control and 1000 g loam soil for (-) control .

Planting of Pechay seeds

The seed box will be filled with 3000g of loosen soil. 100 seeds will be sown thinly on the shallow furrows across the seed box. It will be covered lightly with fine top soil. The seed box will be partially shaded to protect the germinating seeds. The seedlings will be watered 50 mL of water by sprinkler twice a day (Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development, 2003.).

Application of treatments

The prepared treatments will be placed on the pots. It will be mixed up properly to develop a homogeneous nature on each pot.

Transplanting of Pechay seeds

The plants will be transplanted after the sludge will be decomposed. The seed box will be moisten thoroughly a day before pricking out the seedlings to facilitate easy pricking out for transplanting and to minimize root injury. The seedlings will be gently pricked out and will be transplanted in the prepared pots. The pots will be watered from the top part of the soil.

The rooting zone will be thoroughly soaked. It will be watered again until the plants show signs of needing additional water such as turning a dark bluish green or wilting during the hottest part of the day (Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development, 2003.:Oregon State University, 2005).

Gathering of Results

The height of the plant will be measured from the border of the container to the top of the main plant stem every 3 days. The number of leaves on each plant, even visible leaf on the plant, including the tips of new leaves just beginning to emerge will be recorded every 3 days (Mulanax, 2009.). Statistical Analysis

The employed statistical tool will be Two – Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) at 5% level of significance. Post hoc analysis Tuker Simultaneous Comparison will be used to determine the significant differences between the treatments (Megastat, 2003)

Bibliography

  1. “Botany: Setting Up for RCB Lab.” Rhodes College. http://www.rhodes.edu/biology/stinemetz/FPlants.htm, accessed February 4, 2005. DENR- CAR, 1991. Technology Transfer Series, Vol. (1). 2003 Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development.
  2. Mulanax, Matt. Science Buddies Advisor, email correspondence February 4, 2005. Siemonsma, J.S. and Piluek, K. (Editors). 1994. PROSEA Handbook No. 8 Vegetables. Pudoc, Wageningen. 1993/PROSEA, Bogor. DENR-CAR, 1991.
    Technology Transfer Series, Vol. 1(1).
  3. Rechcigl, J. 2000. The Florida Cattleman and Livestock Journal. University of Florida, IFAS, Range Cattle REC The Garden Helper, Components and Uses of Fertilizers in the Garden. September 12, 1999

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