J. Chem. En. Sci. A.

Impact of Sewage on Seed Germination and Growth of Kharif and Rabi Crops

Anita Rajor, Kunal and Gunjan Bhalla


Sewage water, Kharif crop, Rabi crop, Seed germination, Irrigation

PUBLISHED DATE September 05, 2016
PUBLISHER The Author(s) 2016. This article is published with open access at www.chitkara.edu.in/ publications

Wastewater is an effective source for irrigation of crop. Sewage generated from a hostel of Thapar University campus, Patiala was used for growing Kharif crops (Lady Finger & Pearl millet) and Rabi crops (Wheat, Fenugreek, Mustard & Cluster bean) for 35 days in plastic cups at laboratory scale. When sewage was applied at 50%, 100% individually, the dilution of 50% supported better growth of crops. Both sewage and soil used showed absence of metal constituents and hence non-possibility of their accumulation in the grown crops. Germination period of crop was observed and it was found different from crop to crop, four days in Lady finger as against eight days in Fenugreek. The biomass was higher in Kharif crops than was in Rabi crops. Composition of soil was estimated and it was found that the nutrients (organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) had enriched the treated soil besides aiding the growth of crop. The study was found promising suggesting that the sewage could be used as an irrigating medium for crops. However, several growth parameters are to be optimized before sewage is tried for application at commercial scale.


Developing countries like India are experiencing unparallel growth and rapidly increasing water supply and sanitation coverage will continue to release growing volumes of waste water. With increasing global population, the gap betweenthe supply and demand for water is widening and is reaching such alarming levels that in some parts of the world it is posing a threat to human existence. It is an opportune time, to refocus on one of the ways to recycle water through the reuse of urban waste water for irrigation and other purposes. This could release clean water for use in other sectors that need fresh water and provide water to sectors that can utilize wastewater experiment for irrigation [1]. .

Agriculture is a major activity in India. Fresh water (ground and surface) is in huge demand to meet the needs of human beings. The industrial waste is altogether more complex (quality and quantity) than domestic sewage. Sewage is a source of nutrients, and if planned wisely, finds as a substitute for conventional water for irrigation. The principal impurities in polluted waters are organic matter and plant nutrients. With increasing global population, the gap between the supply and demand for water is widening and is reaching such alarming levels that in some parts of the world it is posing a threat human existence. It is a crucial time to refocus on one of the ways to recycle water through the reuse of urban wastewater for irrigation. .

Pandey et al. [2] have used fertilizer wastewater, which recommended standard norms for land irrigation. Reuse of sewage as irrigation water is one of the best options to reduce the stress on limited fresh water available today and to meet the nutrient requirement of crops. A pot culture experiment was carried out by Mani and Bhaskaran [3] to elucidate an appropriate dilution of dying factory effluent for irrigating agricultural cotton and sorghum crops. Reddy and Borse [4] reported the application of sewage on seed germination and seedling growth of methi which shows that at lower concentration there was significant increase in the percentage of seed germination and other growth parameters whereas Hussein et al. [5] observed higher yield in the crop when higher amount of sewage sludge was utilized. Singh and Agrawal et al. [6] suggested that recommended use of sewage sludge improved the fertilizing value of soil and increased the yield of mungbean whereas higher rate of sewage sludge application increased the heavy metal content in seeds. Gu et al. [7] studied that whether the addition of sewage sludge increased the metal content in soil but it did not affect the growth of ryegrass. Therefore, the present study was made to analyse the wastewater generated from Thapar Technology Campus and its effect on the growth parameters of Kharif and Rabi crops.

Page(s) 1-18
URL http://dspace.chitkara.edu.in/jspui/bitstream/1/894/1/1.pdf
ISSN Print : 2349-7564, Online : 2349-7769
DOI 10.15415/jce.2016.31001

Based on the results obtained and discussions made, following conclusions are drawn:

  • The germination period varied seed to seed. It was early in crops of Kharif (100% germination in 4 days) and delayed in crops of Rabi (100% germination in 8 days). However, the unseen factors behind and controlling the germination are matter of interest.
  • Sewage diluted 50% is very efficient for growing the crops than water alone or undiluted sewage. The absence of metals in sewage and soil showed their non-possibility of accumulation in crops. Biomass of crops of Kharif is found higher than that of Rabi season.
  • The composition of sewage also reveals that it requires treatment before it is applied to grow crops. The type of treatment to be adapted should consider technical and economical aspects.
  • Sewage besides supporting the growth of crops, left nutrients into the soil thus enriching its quality. Organic carbon, nitrogen was found major in
  • comparison to other nutrients C/N like phosphorous, potassium. Change of C/N ratio of treated soil than original soil decides the further sustainability of soil for crop growth.
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