Currently, the rate of sludge production in Lebanon far outweighs the rate at which sludge is reused or disposed of. As part of the PRIMA funded AUB-MAGO project's objectives to implement wastewater reuse solutions at AREC in the Beqaa valley, post-doctoral Research Associate, Dr. Lena Abou Jaoude, conducted an experiment to assess the reuse of wastewater sewage sludge in agriculture on rain-fed wheat.
The experiment at AREC is a split-plot design and includes a control and two treatments of dried sludge by-products, with three replicates for each treatment, from secondary and tertiary treated wastewater, respectively sourced from Ablah and Zahle wastewater treatment plants. Preliminary results indicate the highest wheat yields from plots treated with sludge from tertiary treated wastewater. Dr. Abou Jaoude is now preparing to sample wheat yield and test the soil and wheat for contaminants. In its potential to reduce dependency on imported fertilizers and sludge disposal costs and recover valuable nutrients for agriculture, this experiment holds promising solutions for a growing sludge problem in Lebanon.