UKTC Archive

RE: Biodisc effluent - impact to trees?

Subject: RE: Biodisc effluent - impact to trees?
From: Rupert Baker
Date: Dec 21 2017 18:27:54
Trees can cope with high levels of heavy metals - but perhaps not as a sudden 
input if they have not grown and adapted to the site.  Foresting contaminated 
land is a way of reducing the load of such pollutants, as they are absorbed 
and laid down in the wood of trees. -ok if you use the wood for construction, 
not so good if it is burned at the end of the cycle.  Look up bioremediation 
on line

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Ben Maxted
Sent: 21 December 2017 12:25
To: UK Tree Care <>
Subject: Re: Biodisc effluent - impact to trees?

It's the heavy metal content of human sewage sludge that was the main threat 
as I recall,fading and selective memory notwithstanding!

This was one of the reasons t fell out of favour for treating agricultural 

Any change in pH and nutrient values will likely affect the micro and macro 
biology of the site. Perhaps the change wont be drastic if it is not a SSSI 
or similar

I would get a lab test done on a sample for heavy metal content.

I expect Newton Rigg/University of Lancaster might be able to help? Contact 
Andrew Leslie he is a good chap and is likely to help but I expect the 
research has been done by good old Forest Research and Defra,good luck

Murky Solstice to one and all

On 21 Dec 2017 10:20, "Igoea, Andrew" <> wrote:

Hi All,

Has anyone had experience with assessing the impact of discharging 
biodisc effluent (treated sewage) into the rooting zone of trees?

The treated effluent will contain 10mg/L suspended solids and 3.8mg/L 
ammonia, and will have a BOD of 10mg/L. The output could be between 
1-2 cubic metres per day.

The treatment facility is at the top of a steep bank and the trees are 
below it.

I know the proposal will impact the moisture content and chemical 
composition of the soil, which could impact the mycorrhizal 
associations and soil fauna, but will it have a significant 
detrimental impact on the trees?


Andrew Igoea  | Arboricultural Officer Forestry, Amenity and Lands 
Directorate | Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture Thie 
Slieau Whallian | Foxdale Road | St Johns | Isle of Man | IM4 3AS
TEL:  (+44) 01624 XXXXXX | MOB: (+44) 07624 XXXXXX | E-MAIL:<>

Isle of Man. Giving you freedom to flourish

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The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy