Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (309K bytes)

Title: Determining Sludge Fertilization Rates for Forests from Nitrate-N in Leachate and Groundwater

Author: Brockway, D.G.; Urie, D.H.;

Date: 1983

Source: Journal of Environmental Quality 12(4): 487-492.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Municipal and papermill wastewater sludges were applied to conifer and hardwood forests growing on sand soils (Entic Haplorthods, Spodle Udipsamments, and Alfic Haplothods), in northwestern Lower Michigan where annual precipitation averages 765 mm/y.To investigate the impact of sludge on nitrate-N concentrations in soil water and groundwater.During the first growing season after treatment, all forms of N in groundwater and soil water remained near background levels except under aspen (Populus grandidentata Michx.) plots treated with 46 dry Mg municipal sludge/ha.Following the first spring snowmelt period after sludge was applied (spring 1977), nitrate-N concentrations exceeded the 10 mg/L potable water standard in groundwater under plots treated with 16 or more dry Mg/ha undigested papermill sludge.Soil leachate exceeded 10 mg/L under pine plantations receiving 19.3 dry Mg/ha and aspen sprout stands receiving 23 dry Mg/ha or more anaerobically digested municipal sludge. Sludge applications rates which would not degrade water quality in water-table aquifers were estimated by regression analysis of nitrate (NO3-) concentrations in relation to dry solids loading.Applying raw papermill sludge at rates not exceeding 9.5 dry Mg/ha (670 kg total N/ha) to a red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) planatation was found to be consistent with levels that met the 10 mg/L potability standard in groundwater.The analyses showed anaerobically digested municipal sludge could be applied to a red pine and white pine (Pinus strobus L.) plantation at 16.5 Mg/ha (990 kg total N/ha) or less and to aspen sprouts at rates up to 19 dry Mg/ha (1140 kg total N/ha) with the same water quality limits.

Keywords: Pinus resinose, Pinus strobus, Populus grandidentata, soil water, nitrate leaching.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Brockway, D.G.; Urie, D.H. 1983. Determining Sludge Fertilization Rates for Forests from Nitrate-N in Leachate and Groundwater. Journal of Environmental Quality 12(4): 487-492.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.