Assessing Vegetable Growth and Yield Response to Graywater Irrigation

Assessing Vegetable Growth and Yield Response to Graywater Irrigation

Shalamu Abudu, Zhuping Sheng, Girisha Ganjegunte

Texas AgriLife Research Center at El Paso, 1380 A&M Circle, El Paso, TX 79927

American Journal of Agricultural Research

The impacts of graywater irrigation on soil properties and vegetable yields were assessed through a three-year field experiment for Bell Pepper, Chile, and Tomato in El Paso, Texas in the United States. Two irrigation treatments including freshwater (well water and sand filter effluent) and graywater (laundry water) with three replications were utilized in the study. Duncan’s multiple range test at the significance level of 0.05 was used to test changes in soil properties including soil pH, salinity, and sodicity, and mean differences in vegetable growth and yields in terms of fruit height, fruit count, weight, and fruit sizes under freshwater and graywater irrigation treatments. The statistical analysis suggests that no evident salt accumulations or changes in salinity and sodicity were observed at the soil surface in the depth of 0-15cm, while soil pH is increased significantly with graywater irrigation. The growth and yield of Bell pepper and Chile under graywater irrigation tend to increase as compared to freshwater irrigation although the results for the third year were not significant. No yield decreases regarding fruit weight, fruit counts and fruit sizes were observed for all vegetables. It can be concluded from the experimental research that the graywater has shown promising potential as an alternative water supply for vegetable production in the El Paso region, Texas.

Keywords: Bell pepper, Chile, Tomato, Graywater, Freshwater, Height, Yield, Soil Salinity, Soil properties

Free Full-text PDF

How to cite this article:

Shalamu Abudu, Zhuping Sheng, Girisha Ganjegunte. Assessing Vegetable Growth and Yield Response to Graywater Irrigation. American Journal of Agricultural Research, 2018,3:19. DOI:10.28933/ajar-2018-06-0501


1. Al-Jayyousi O R. Greywater Reuse: Towards Sustainable Water Management. Desalination, 2003; 156:181-92.
2. Assadian N, Sheng Z, Gonzales E, Cooper L, Villalobos J, Di Giovanni G. Water Conservation in the Rio Grande Basin through Efficient Reclaimed Water Use, and 2005 Annual Report (04-FG-40-2184) submitted to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation: 16p, 2006.
3. Day A D, Mc Fadyen J A, Tucker T C, Cluff C B. Effects of Municipal waste water on the yield and quality of cotton. J. Environ Qual, 1981; 10:47-49.
4. Emmerson G. Every Drop Is Precious: Greywater as an Alternative Water Source. Brisbane: Research Bulletin No 4/98, Queensland Parliamentary Library, 1998.
5. Finely S, Barrington S, Lyew D. Reuse of domestic greywater for the irrigation of food crops. Water Air Soil Pollut, 2008; 199: 235-245.
6. Gawad G A, Arslan A, Gaihbe A, Kadouri F. The effects of saline irrigation water management and salt tolerant tomato varieties on sustainable production of tomato in Syria (1999–2002). The Arab Centre of the Studies of Arid zones and Dry lands (ACSAD), Division of Soil Studies and Water Uses, Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic. Agricultural Water Management, 2005; 78 (2005) 39–53.
7. Kiziloglu F M, Turan M, Sahin U, Kuslu Y, Dursun A. Effects of untreated and treated wastewater irrigation on some chemical properties of cauliflower (Brassica olerecea L. var. botrytis) and red cabbage (Brassica olerecea L. var. rubra) grown on calcareous soil in Turkey. Agric Water Manag. 2008; 95:716–24
8. Misra R K, Patel J H, Baxi V R. Removal of pollutants by tomato plants during reuse of laundry greywater for irrigation. In: International Conference on Food Security and Environmental Sustainability (FSES)-Kharagpur, India, 2009.
9. Mzini L. The effects of greywater irrigation on vegetable crops and soil. Master’s thesis. Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, 2013.
10. Patel R M, Prasher S O, Goel P K, Madramootoo C A, Broughton R S. Brackish Water Subirrigation for Vegetables. Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, McGill University, St. Anne de Bellevue, Canada. Irrigation and Drainage, 2003; 52: 121–132
11. Pinto U, Maheshwari B L, Grewal H S. Effects of greywater irrigation on plant growth, water use and soil properties. Resources. Conservation and Recycling, 2010; 54:429–35.
12. Qishlaqi A, Moore F, Forghani G. Impact of untreated wastewater on soils and crops in Shiraz suburban area, SW Iran. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2008; 141 (1-3): 257-273.
13. Radcliffe J. Water Recycling in Australia. Victoria: The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, 2003.
14. Rose J B, Sun G S, Gerba C P. Microbial Quality and Persistence of Enteric Pathogens in Greywater from Various Household Sources. Water Res., 1991; 25:37-42.
15. Rusan M J, Hinnawi S, Rousan L. Long term effect of wastewater irrigation of forage crops on soil and plant quality parameters. Desalination, 2007; 215:143-152.
16. SAS Institute. SAS for Windows 9.1.3., 2006.
17. Sheng Z. An aquifer storage and recovery system with reclaimed wastewater to preserve native groundwater resources in El Paso, Texas, Journal of Environmental Management, 2005; 75(4): 367-377.
18. Sheng Z, Assadian N, Herrera E, Di Giovanni G, Abdel-Fattah A. Water Conservation in the Rio Grande Basin through Efficient Reclaimed Water Use, 2006 Annual Report (04-FG-40-2184) submitted to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 21p, 2007.
19. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 210. Subchapter F: Use of Graywater Systems. 2005.
20. Toenniessen G H. Review of the world food situation and the role of salt-tolerant plants. In: Staples, R.C. and Toenniessen, G.H. (eds.), Salinity tolerance in plants strategies for crop improvement. Environ. Sci. and Tech. A John Wiley and Sons, Inc. NY, 1984; 399-413.
21. U.S. Salinity Laboratory Staff. Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils. Agric. Handb. 60. U.S. Gov. Print. Office, Washington, DC. under perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne [L]). ISRN Ecology, 1954; 1-9.
22. Wiel-Shafran A, Gross A, Ronen Z, Weisbrod N, Adar E. Effects of surfactants originating from reuse of greywater on capillary rise in the soil. Water Science and Technology. IWA Publishing, London, UK: 2005; 52: 10/11, 157-166.
23. Wiel-Shafran A, Ronen Z, Weisbrod N, Adar E. Potential changes in soil properties following irrigation with surfactant-rich greywater. Ecological Engineering, 2006; 26: 4, 348-354.