Research Continues at Eastern Virginia AREC Biosolids Plot

Fall harvest has come and gone, and this means a next step for the VBC research at the Eastern Virginia AREC Research Plot. This plot is being used to examine the impact of the land application of biosolids and PFAS on soils. The research is being included in a national PFAS study conducted by Dr. Ian Pepper of the University of Arizona.

Eastern VA AREC Director Joseph Oakes and his team harvested the plot of soybeans in early October. The half-acre lot was divided into three areas: a control section and two sections in which DCWater’s EQ product Bloom was applied at differing rates. Looking only at the yields, the high rate of application of Bloom yielded significantly higher yield than the control section and low rate of application. The table below illustrates the yields from this year’s harvest.

Throughout the year, soil samples have been collected by the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) and sent directly to Dr. Pepper for analysis and inclusion in his national PFAS study. The VBC hopes to share early results as they become available from Dr. Pepper.

A cover crop has now been applied to the plot in anticipation of utilizing it again next year examine the long-term effect of biosolids application and PFAS. The VBC looks forward to continued research on the application of biosolids and PFAS and to providing more information on Dr. Pepper’s body of work, including the research taking place in Virginia.