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Design of a pot experiment to study the effect of irrigation with diluted winery wastewater on four differently textured soils

AR Mulidzi
CE Clarke
PA Myburgh


Due to the intensification of environmental legislation, the wine industry is expected to find solutions for the treatment or re-use of winery wastewater. The objective of the study was to design and evaluate a pot experiment for determining the effects of irrigation with diluted winery wastewater on different soils. Four pedogenetically different soils were included in the experiment, i.e., (i) alluvial sand containing 3.3% clay from Rawsonville, (ii) aeolic sand containing 0.4% clay from Lutzville, (iii) shale-derived soil containing 20% clay from Stellenbosch, and (iv) granite-derived soil containing 13% clay from Stellenbosch. The pot experiment was carried out under a rain shelter at ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij. Soils were packed in 3.54 dm3 PVC pots to a bulk density of 1 400 kg/m3. The four soils were irrigated using winery wastewater that was diluted to 3 000 mg/L COD. Municipal water was used to irrigate the control treatment of each soil. The relatively simple mixing and irrigation infrastructure enabled irrigation of more than one soil with diluted winery wastewater in one experiment. It was possible to irrigate the soils accurately when approx. 85% of the water had evaporated as no visual drainage occurred. Since the pot experiment could be continued under the rain shelter during winter, results were obtained quicker compared to an open field study. However, weighing the pots every second day was time consuming. Therefore, it is recommended that load cells are to be used to record daily mass losses automatically in future pot experiments.

Keywords: bulk density, irrigation system, rain shelter, simulated season, texture

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1816-7950
print ISSN: 0378-4738