Sludge Utilization in Alpine Reclamation
To evaluate the effectiveness of sludge application on reclaimed areas in an alpine location.
- The study was established in 1999 with ANC sludge on a recontoured spoil pile in the Alpine.
- Plots included: 3 plots capped with reclamation material and 2 plots with no capping material.
- Capped material was comprised mainly of salvaged surface material.
- Uncapped was mainly weathered rock or a combination of subsoil and spoil material.
- Sludge was applied at an application rate of 32 BDT/ha.
- Prior to application of the sludge the plots were seeded with an alpine mix and raked to incorporate the seed.
- Samples were collected from the 0 to 15 cm depth in the capped and uncapped areas.
- A site visit was made on August 26, 1999 to assess the vegetation performance and take photographs.
Results and Conclusions
- The sludge amendment resulted in excellent and uniform grass establishment.
- Enhanced growth was associated with the sludge amended treatment compared to the control treatment.
- This benefit can be attributed to the “organic” nature of the sludge which results in excellent moisture retention and the nutrients contained in the material.
- The sludge was still evident ten years after application and native species continued to invade the site.
- Species observed for the first time in 2006 had increased substantially in number by 2009.
- One example is the sedge which has been identified as Norway sedge (Carex norvegica).
- Willow was becoming increasingly more common along with American vetch and several other species.