Effect of Greywater Irrigation on Soil Available-Phosphorus


  • Ramadan Mohamed Aishah Environmental Science Dept., Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Sebha University, Libya.
  • Mohamed Ali Elssaidi Environmental Science Dept., Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Sebha University, Libya.


Greywater, Phosphorous, Soil, Domestic plants, Recycle, Libya


This paper deals with the effect of using greywater for irrigation on the properties of desert soils and the growth of Lilium, oats and sunflower under controlled greenhouse conditions. The studied greywater treatments were 0, 25, 50, 75 &100% v/v. pH and electrical conductivity values of greywater used in this study were 8.68 and 2.05 dS/m, respectively. Results showed that irrigation with greywater has an effect on both soil soluble phosphorous and exchangeable phosphorous after plant harvest. Thus, a significant amount of phosphorous can be add to soil through the reuse of greywater. Detergents in washing wastewater contain many contaminants, which in turn affect pH values and electrical conductivity. Whereas, irrigation treatments at a rate of 100% of greywater showed an increase in pH and electrical conductivity values compared to the control and other treatments. Results also showed a clear effect on plants productivity (Biomass), as observed by a decrease in wet and dry weight of plants shoots and root in the treatment 25%, and the best productivity for them during treatment was with 50% and returned to decrease to 100% of greywater. This indicates that irrigation with high concentrations of greywater may reduce the productivity of some plants, including the studied species.


Aishah, R. M., & Elssaidi, M. A. (2019). Fractionation of organic and inorganic phosphorus in sandy soils irrigated by treated wastewater cultivated by hordeum vulgre & vicia faba. Journal of Pure & Applied Sciences, 18(4).‏

Aishah, R., Shamshuddin, J., Fauziah, C., Arifin, A., & Panhwar, Q. (2019). Using plant species for phytoremediation of highly weathered soils contaminated with zinc and copper with application of sewage sludge. BioResources, 14(4), 8701-8727.

Alaswad, F., Aishah, R.M., Mohmat-Yousff, F., Jusoh, I., Kusin, F., Ashaari, Z., &. Mostafa, R. (2019).Soil organic matter dynamics in particle size fractions as revealed by the 13C/12C isotopic ratio in tropical soil. Libyan Journal of Ecological & Environmental Sciences and Technolog., 1 (2),16-21

Al-Hamaiedeh H., & Bino M., (2010). Effect of treated grey water reuse in irrigation on soil and plants. Desalination, 256(1-3), 115-119.

Al-Mefleh, N. K., Othman, Y. A., Tadros, M. J., Al-Assaf, A., & Talozi, S. (2021). An assessment of treated greywater reuse in irrigation on growth and protein content of Prosopis and Albizia. Horticulturae, 7(3), 38.‏

Anwar A. H. (2011) Efect of laundry greywater irrigation. J Enviro Res Devel 5(4).

Bubenheim D., Wignarajah K., Berry W., & Wydeven T. (1997). Phytotoxic effects of greywater due to surfactants. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 122:792–6.

Chang, S. C., & Jackson, M. L. (1958). Soil phosphorus fractions in some representative soils. Journal of Soil Science, 9(1), 109-119.‏

Christova-Boal D., Eden R. E., & Mcfarlane S., (1996). An investigation into greywater reuse for urban residential properties. Desalination. 106:391–397.

Clesceri, L. S., Greenberg, A. E., & Eaton, A. D. (2000). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater; American Public Health Association: Washington, DC, 2000.

Dixon A., Butler D., & Fewkes A. (1999). Water saving potential of domestic water reuse systems using greywater and rainwater in combination. Water Sci. Technol. 39:25–32.

Eriksson E., Auffarth K., Henze M., & Ledin A. (2002). Characteristics of grey wastewater. Urban Water J. 4:85–104.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations). (1985). Water quality for agriculture. FAO, Rome. http:// www.fao.org/DOCReP/003/T0234e/T0234e00.htm.

Flafel, H. M., Kaeebah, A., Fadel, M., & Annejjar, A. T. (2020). Drinking water quality of some commercial water purification systems at sabratha area, Libya. Libyan Journal of Ecological & Environmental Sciences and Technolog., 2( 2),9-21.

Franson, M. A., Eaton, A. D., Clesceri, L. S. & Groenberg A. E. (1995). Standard methods for examination of water and wastewater 19th. Amriecan Public Health Association, Washingtion. USA

Gebauer, L., Bouffaud, M. L., Ganther, M., Yim, B., Vetterlein, D., Smalla, K., & Tarkka, M. T. (2021). Soil texture, sampling depth and root hairs shape the structure of ACC deaminase bacterial community composition in maize rhizosphere. Frontiers in microbiology, 12.‏

Hadad, H. R., Maine, M. A. & Bonetto, C. A. (2006). Macrophyte growth in a pilot-scale constructed wetland for industrial wastewater treatment. Chemosphere. 63(10): 1744-1753.

Houghton, J., Thompson, K., & Rees, M. (2013). “Does seed mass drive the differences in relative growth rate between growth forms?,” The Royal Society's Flagship Biological Research Journal (280), 1762. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0921

Jackson M. L. (1958). Soil chemical analysis. 30 pp: Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Kettler, T. A., Doran, J. W. & Gilbert, T. L. (2001). Simplified method for soil particle-size determination to accompany soil-quality analyses. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 65(3):.849-852.

Lu, W., & Leung A. Y. T., :(2003) A preliminary study on potential of developing shower/laundry wastewater reclamation and reuse system, Chemosphere 52 1451–1459.

Matos, C., Sampaio, A., & Bentes, I. (2012). Greywater use in irrigation: characteristics, advantages and concerns. Irrigation-Water Management, Pollution and Alternative Strategies, 159-84.‏

Mohamed, R. M., Al-Gheethi, A. A., & Noramira, J. (2018). Effect of detergents from laundry greywater on soil properties: a preliminary study. Appl Water Sci 8: 16–24.‏

Myers, B. J, Bond, W. J., Benyon, R. G., Falkiner, R. A., Polglase, P. J., Smith, C. J., Snow, V. O. & Theiveyanathan, S. (1999), Sustainable effluent irrigated plantations: Australian Guideline, CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra.

Nguyen, X. C., Tran, T. P., Hoang, V. H., Nguyen, T. P., Chang, S. W., Nguyen, D. D., & Bach, Q. V. (2020). Combined biochar vertical flow and free-water surface constructed wetland system for dormitory sewage treatment and reuse. Science of The Total Environment, 713, 136404.‏

‏Pinto, U., Maheshwari, B. L., & Grewal, H. S. (2010). Effects of greywater irrigation on plant growth, water use and soil properties. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 54(7), 429-435.‏

Richards, L. A. (1954). Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils. 78 (2) 154. LWW.‏

Rodda, N., Salukazana, L., Jackson, S. A. F., & Smith, M. T. (2011). Use of domestic greywater for small-scale irrigation of food crops: Effects on plants and soil. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, 36(14-15), 1051-1062.‏

Sivongxay A. (2005) Hydraulic properties of Toowoomba soils for laundry water reuse. Thesis BEng Environmental, University of Southern Queensland.

Soil Survey Staff, (2014). Keys to soil taxonomy. United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, 12nd ed. pp735–741.

Standards Australia. AS/NZS 5667.1:1998, Water quality — sampling — guidance on the design of sampling programs, sampling techniques and the preservation and handling of samples edn. Homebush NSW: Standards Australia; 1998a.

Standards Australia. AS/NZS 5667.10:1998 Water quality: sampling. Part 10, Guidance on sampling of waste watersStandards Australia ed. ; 1998b [Homebush, NSW].

Surendran, S., & Wheatley, A. D. (1998). Grey-water reclamation for non-potable re-use. Water and Environment Journal, 12(6), 406-413.‏

Turner, R. D., Will, G. D., Dawes, L. A., Gardner, E. A., & Lyons, D. J. (2013). Phosphorus as a limiting factor on sustainable greywater irrigation. Science of the Total Environment, 456, 287-298.‏

Waisel Y. (2012). Biology of halophytes. Academic Press INC, London

Wen, K., Li, L., Zhang, R., Yang, L., & Amini, F. (2019). Micro-scale analysis of microbial-induced calcite precipitation in sandy soil through SEM/FIB imaging. Microscopy Today, 27(1), 24-29.‏

Wiel-Shafran, A., Ronen, Z., Weisbrod, N., Adar, E., & Gross, A. (2006). Potential changes in soil properties following irrigation with surfactant-rich greywater. Ecological Engineering, 26(4), 348-354.‏

Wu, F., Yang, W., Zhang, J. & Zhou, L. (2009). Cadmium accumulation and growth response of a poplar (Poplus deltoids x Pupulus nigra) in cadmium contaminated purple soil and alluvial soil. Journal Hazard Material.1: 1-6.

Yassin, M., Jamal Safi, J. M., & Mohamed Safi, Y., (2017), Impact of treated wastewater irrigation on soil properties and production of Cucumis melo inodorus in Gaza Strip., Int. J. Soil Sci., 12: 104-112.

Zavadil, J. (2009). The effect of municipal wastewater irrigation on the yield and quality of vegetables and crops. Soil and water research, 4(3), 91-103.‏