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ISSN : 2456-8643

Title:
EFFECTS OF IRRIGATING WITH KITCHEN WASTEWATER ON GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF LETTUCE

Authors:
Mcebisi M. Mkhwanazi and Mayibongwe Vilane

Abstract:
Increased scarcity of water for irrigation has necessitated the exploration of the use of wastewater, especially greywater for crop production. Kitchen wastewater was used in this experiment to determine its effects on the growth and development of lettuce (Lactuca sativa). In this experiment, there were four treatments; untreated kitchen wastewater (U), wastewater treated only by removing oil (T1), filtered wastewater (T2) and farm water which was used as a control (C). The parameters measured included germination, number of leaves, leaf width and leaf length. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine whether the differences were significant. Results showed that lettuce plants irrigated using untreated kitchen wastewater did not survive to maturity. However, when oil was removed, the plants survived to maturity, although the growth in terms of leaf width and length was significantly (p < 0.05) lower for T1 than the rest of the treatments bar the untreated wastewater. Lettuce watered with filtered water (T2) also showed significantly lower growth than lettuce watered using the farm water. It was concluded that untreated wastewater, when it contains oil may not be useable for crop production, but basic treatment e.g. removal of oil and/or filtering can render the water suitable to irrigate crops, although it may still contain some harmful elements. It was recommended that other forms of greywater e.g. bath and laundry water be investigated and other crops used in further experiments.

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