Heavy Metal Potential of Domestic Biological Wastewater Treatment Plant Sludge

Research Article- DOI: 10.23953/cloud.ijaaeee.503


  • T.D.C. Pushpakumara Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
  • W.G.T. Sandakelum IESL College of Engineering, Sri Lanka


wastewater; fertilizers; nutrients; sludge treatment


The use of sludge as fertilizers helps to the recycling of nutrients to the environment due to its beginning from wastewater and therefore relatively high content of nutrients and organic matter. However, wastewater does also contain hazardous compounds like heavy metals and micro pollutants which eventually are separated to the sludge during the treatment processes at the wastewater treatment plant. In order to improve the sludge quality, source tracking is a relatively cheap and effective way to find and eliminate hazardous compounds and prevent them from ending up in the sludge. The aim with this thesis was to investigate the fertilizer potential in sludge from wastewater treatment plant. The sludge is analyzed in terms of nutrient and heavy metal contents as well as physiochemical parameters. In order to determine the potential as fertilizer, the quality of the sludge is compared with other fertilizer alternatives, other sludge types and regulations for sludge use in agriculture. The work with sludge quality improvements in Gaborone is also investigated. Sludge from different stages along the treatment processes were collected in order to see differences in quality related to the treatment. The results shows that the samples of primary an aerobically treated sludge tend to have higher heavy metal content than the secondary sludge. The quality of the dry sludge samples indicates lower nutrient content than both the primary and secondary sludge, but similar heavy metal content. The analysis of dry sludge from indicates a low nutrient value and high heavy metal content in comparison to other selected fertilizer options and sludge from other. The processes for removal of nutrients from the wastewater are an important factor for the nutrient content in the sludge.

Keywords wastewater; fertilizers; nutrients; sludge treatment

doi: https://doi.org/10.23953/cloud.ijaaeee.503





How to Cite

Pushpakumara, T. ., & Sandakelum, W. . (2021). Heavy Metal Potential of Domestic Biological Wastewater Treatment Plant Sludge: Research Article- DOI: 10.23953/cloud.ijaaeee.503. International Journal of Advanced Alternative Energy, Environment and Ecology, pp.90–113. Retrieved from https://cloudjl.com/index.php/AlternativeEnergy/article/view/30