Effect of Treated Waste Water Irrigation on Plant Growth and Soil Properties in Gaza Strip, Palestine


This study investigated the effect of treated wastewater (TWW) irrigation on growth of Chinese cabbage and corn and on soil properties in Gaza Strip, Palestine. Chinese cabbage and corn were planted in winter and summer seasons respectively in a sandy soil. The experimental design was a randomized complete block using 2 treatments with 4 replicates. Soil samples were collected from 0.0-120 cm depths from all plots and analyzed for pH, electric conductivity (EC) and nutrient contents. The plants were irrigated with either TWW or fresh water (FW) fortified with NPK, while control used drip irrigation system. The biomass (total fresh weight of the plants) was used as an indicator of the plant yields. Concentration of heavy metals on plant leaves was determined by Inductive Coupled Plasma Analyzer (ICP) and was taken as an indicator of plant quality. Biomass of Chinese cabbage and corn grown in plots irrigated with TWW was higher than those grown in plots irrigated with FW. These results indicate the ability of TWW supplying the necessary nutrients for plant growth. Heavy metal content in plant leaves in all treatments (TWW and FW) was nearly similar and below EPA standards, indicating high quality of plants. Soil analysis showed great changes in soil properties due to irrigation with TWW. The interesting outcome of this study is that TWW is an effective source for plant nutrients. It is encouraging to reuse TWW in agricultural system after full treatment.

Share and Cite:

Y. El-Nahhal, K. Tubail, M. Safi and J. Safi, "Effect of Treated Waste Water Irrigation on Plant Growth and Soil Properties in Gaza Strip, Palestine," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 9, 2013, pp. 1736-1743. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.49213.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, “Palestinian National Authority, Yearly Report,” 2012.
[2] R. S. Evett Jr., S. R. Zalesny, F. N. Kandil, A. J. Stanturf and C. Soriano, “Opportunities for Woody Crop Production Using Treated Wastewater in Egypt. II. Irrigation Strategies,” International Journal of Phytoremediation, Vol. 13, No. l 1, 2011, pp. 122-139.
[3] G. L. Mendoza-Espinosa, A. Cabello-Pasini, V. MaciasCarranza, W. Daessle-Heuser, V. M. Orozco-Borbón and L. A. Quintanilla-Montoya, “The Effect of Reclaimed Wastewater on the Quality and Growth of Grapevines,” Water Science and Technology, Vol. 57, No. 9, 2008, pp. 1445-1450. doi:10.2166/wst.2008.242
[4] G. Oron, L. Gillerman, A. Bick, Y. Manor, N. Buriakovsky and J. Hagin, “Membrane Technology for Sustainable Treated Wastewater Reuse: Agricultural, Environmental and Hydrological Considerations,” Water Science and Technology, Vol. 57, No. 9, 2008, pp. 1383-1388. doi:10.2166/wst.2008.243
[5] P. K. Mosse, F. A. Patti, J. R. Smernik, W. E. Christen and R. T. Cavagnaro, “Physicochemical and Microbiological Effects of Long-and Short-Term Winery Waste-water Application to Soils,” Journal of Hazardous Material, Vol. 201, No. 202, 2012, pp. 219-228. doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2011.11.071
[6] P. R. Singh, P. Singh, H. M. Ibrahim and R. Hashim, “Land Application of Sewage Sludge: Physicochemical and Microbial Response,” Review of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Vol. 214, 2011, pp. 41-61. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-0668-6_3
[7] E. Castro, P. M. Manas and J. De Las Heras, “Effects of Wastewater Irrigation on Soil Properties and Turfgrass Growth,” Water Science and Technology, Vol. 63, No. 8, 2011, pp. 1678-1688. doi:10.2166/wst.2011.335
[8] L. D. Pritchard, N. Penney, J. M. McLaughlin, H. Rigby and K. Schwarz, “Land Application of Sewage Sludge (Biosolids) in Australia: Risks to the Environment and Food Crops,” Water Science and Technology, Vol. 62, No. 1, 2010, pp. 48-57. doi:10.2166/wst.2010.274
[9] N. O. Belyaeva, J. R. Haynes and C. E. Sturm, “Chemical, Physical and Microbial Properties and Microbial Diversity in Manufactured Soils Produced from Co-Composting Green Waste and Biosolids,” Waste Management, 2012, in Press. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2012.05.034
[10] Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, “Palestinian National Authority, Yearly Report,” 2007.
[11] FAW, CROP WAT, VERSION 8, Food Agriculture Organization, Rome, 2007.
[12] A. D. Eaton, L. S. Clesceri and A. E. Greenberg, “Standard Methods for Wastewater Analysis,” American Public Health Association, Washington DC, 20005.
[13] B. J. Jones and V. W. Case, “Sampling, Handling and Analyzing Plant Tissue Samples,” In: R. L. Westerman, Ed., Soil Testing and Plant Analysis, 3rd Edition, Soil Science Society of America, Madison, 1990, pp. 389-427.
[14] D. Boruah and S. Hazarika, “Normal Water Irrigation as an Alternative to Effluent Irrigation in Improving Rice Grain Yield and Properties of a Paper Mill Effluent Affected Soil,” Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering, Vol. 52, No. 3, 2010, pp. 221-228.
[15] M. Adrover, E. Farrús, G. Moyà and J. Vadell, “Chemical Properties and Biological Activity in Soils of Mallorca Following Twenty Years of Treated Wastewater Irrigation,” Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 95, 2012, pp. 188-192. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2010.08.017
[16] S. G. Metson, L. R. Hale, M. D. Iwaniec, M. E. Cook, R. J. Corman, S. C. Galletti and L. D. Childers, “Phosphorus in Phoenix: A Budget and Spatial Representation of Phosphorus in an Urban Ecosystem,” Ecological Applications, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2012, pp. 705-721. doi:10.1890/11-0865.1
[17] L. Ferrara, M. Iannace, M. A. Patelli and M. Arienzo, “Geochemical Survey of an Illegal Waste Disposal Site under a Waste Emergency Scenario (Northwest Naples, Italy),” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2012, in Press.
[18] A. S. Hashemi, “The Investigation of Irrigation with Wastewater on Trees (Populus deltoids L.),” Toxicology and Industrial Health, 2012, in Press. doi:10.1177/0748233712442738
[19] N. Nikolic and M. Nikolic, “Gradient Analysis Reveals a Copper Paradox on Floodplain Soils under Long-Term Pollution by Mining Waste,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 15, No. 425, 2012, pp. 146-154. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.076
[20] E. B. Jones, J. R. Haynes and R. I. Phillips, “Addition of an Organic Amendment and/or Residue Mud to Bauxite Residue Sand in Order to Improve Its Properties as a Growth Medium,” Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 95, No. 1, 2012, pp. 29-38.
[21] R. S. Mousavi, M. Galavi and H. Eskandari, “Effects of Treated Municipal Wastewater on Fluctuation Trend of Leaf Area Index and Quality of Maize (Zea mays),” Water Science and Technology, Vol. 67, No. 4, 2013, pp. 797-802. doi:10.2166/wst.2012.624

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.