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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Long-Term Reclaimed Water Irrigation on Trace Elements Contents in Agricultural Soils in Beijing, China

1
State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
2
Beijing Water Science & Technology Institute, Beijing 100048, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(12), 1716; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121716
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
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Abstract

The rapid increase of reclaimed water irrigation on agricultural soils requires investigation of its impact on soil health. In this study, a simulation experiment for various lengths of long-term reclaimed water irrigation time (98, 196 and 236 years, respectively) was conducted in the southeast suburb of Beijing, China. Unirrigated soil served as the control. The environmental behavior of seven trace elements (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn) at different soil depths in 0–600 cm profiles was analyzed. Results showed that the 0–30 and 200–300 cm soil layers were more likely to accumulate trace elements under long-term reclaimed water irrigation, although the accumulation in the 0–600 cm profiles was not particularly obvious. Correlation analysis showed that the trace element concentrations and distribution were significantly related to clay fraction and organic matters (OM), whereas they were not related to redox potential (Eh). The potential ecological risk assessment showed that the long-term reclaimed water irrigation did not result in a significantly increased ecological risk. However, Cd and Hg were identified as the metals with the highest potential ecological risk in the study area and the trace element contents in the top 0–30 cm soil layer should be carefully monitored. Future studies are required to clarify the environmental risks of trace elements under long-term reclaimed water irrigation as they might slowly accumulate in soil with time. View Full-Text
Keywords: long-term reclaimed water irrigation; trace elements; distribution and transportation; soil properties; potential ecological risk assessment long-term reclaimed water irrigation; trace elements; distribution and transportation; soil properties; potential ecological risk assessment
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Hu, Y.; Wu, W.; Xu, D.; Liu, H. Impact of Long-Term Reclaimed Water Irrigation on Trace Elements Contents in Agricultural Soils in Beijing, China. Water 2018, 10, 1716.

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