Changes in soil microbial activities were investigated to examine the effect of aerobically digested sewage sludge (SS) and compared with compost under incubation conditions over 63 days. Sandy soil was amended with 0.25, 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 % w/w of compost and sewage sludge. Enzyme activity (dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, acid phosphatase, phytase and urease) were examined at an interval of 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, 42 and 63 days. At the end of the experiment the change in organic carbon, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus was also recorded.
Results indicated that enzyme activities were substantially enhanced in presence of both amendments for first few days and the higher increases were measured at 1.5% of compost and sewage sludge amendment. Then an overall decrease in enzyme activity was recorded. Both the amendments also significantly increased the organic carbon, nitrogen and potassium of the soil while increase in available phosphorus was only recorded in treatment receiving compost. The present experiment indicated that addition of compost and sewage sludge have positive effect on soil microbial activity and can be safely used as soil amendment without having any adverse effect. Though, a previous examination of sewage sludge to be used must be made for heavy metals and pathogens.
Compost, Microbial enzyme, Sandy soil, Sewage sludge
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