front view of tunnel

By Sharratt, B.S., Daniel C. Schlatter, Timothy C. Paulitz., Schillinger, W.F., Pi, H, Bary, A, Cogger, C, Washington State University and USDA-ARS

No studies have determined the effects of biosolids on wind erosion or the chemical composition of windblown dust emitted from fields treated with biosolids. Windblown dust was collected from fields treated or not treated with biosolids at Lind, Washington in 2015 and 2016 using a portable wind tunnel. Dust analysis included determining the mass, chemical, and biological composition of dust. Windblown soil loss was similar or lower from fields treated with biosolids. Although the soil was enriched in metals (Zn) and various nutrients (N) as a result of applying biosolids, no evidence was found to suggest the windblown dust was also enriched in these chemicals. In addition, no evidence was found that windblown dust was enriched in human pathogens other than Clostridiaceae.  Our results suggest that biosolids applications to agricultural lands will have minimal impact on wind erosion and the environment.

top view
Top view of wind tunnel
Wind tunnel
Active wind tunnel sampling

References:

Pi, H., Sharratt, B.S., Schillinger, W.F., Bary, A., Cogger, C., 2018. Wind erosion potential of a winter wheat–summer fallow rotation after land application of biosolids. Aeolian Res. 32, 53–59.

Pi, H., Sharratt, B.S., Schillinger, W.F., Bary, A., Cogger, C., 2018. Chemical composition of windblown dust emitted from agricultural soils amended with biosolids. Aeolian Research 32:102-115.

Daniel C. Schlatter, William F. Schillinger, Andy I. Bary, Brenton Sharratt, Timothy C. Paulitz. 2017. Biosolids and conservation tillage: Impacts on soil fungal communities in dryland wheat-fallow cropping systems. Soil Biology and Biochemistry.115:556-567.

Daniel C. Schlatter, William F. Schillinger, Andy I. Bary, Brenton Sharratt, Timothy C. Paulitz. 2018. Dust-associated microbiomes from dryland wheat fields differ with tillage practice and biosolids application. Atmospheric Environment (accepted)