The impact of sewage sludge treatment on the content of selected heavy metals and their fractions

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to assess the physicochemical properties of compost made of municipal sewage sludge from selected Municipal Sewage Treatment Plant. Content of basic macroelements and heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Cr, Cd, Ni, Pb, Hg, Mg, Ca, N, P, K, Na) and their fractions was determined by means of BCR method. Based on the analyzes, it was found that the content of heavy metals in compost did not exceed the limits set by natural land management of sewage sludge; the compost is very abundant in biogenic elements - nitrogen and phosphorus – and it can be also considered a significant source of calcium and magnesium. The analysis of results obtained from the three-stage chemical extraction revealed that deposits subjected to aerobic stabilization and composting accumulate metals (in descending sequence) in fractions III and II, i.e. fractions virtually inaccessible to the ecosystem in optimal conditions of use.

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