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Recycled Sewage Sludge: A Step to Sustainable Agriculture

Author(s): Pallavi Bhatt, Nupur Mathur, Anuradha Singh and Pradeep Bhatnagar

Sewage sludge obtained as a byproduct of a typical wastewater treatment plant is being viewed as an excellent substitute for the commercially available chemical fertilizers in light of their potential for improving soil properties and for providing important nutrient and trace element supplements that are essential for plant growth. Due to high cost of mineral fertilizers and escalating trends in their prices, there is an increasing trend of using sewage sludge in agriculture, especially under intensive cropping in arid and semi arid regions, where the soil is low in organic matter due to rapid oxidation. Application of sewage sludge to agricultural soils may provide a sustainable and economical solution to the safe disposal of large amount of organic waste while beneficially recycling the nutrients into the soil. This paper therefore presents a review on the nutrient value of sewage sludge and the beneficial aspects of its application on agricultural land.

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