Heavy metal content in sewage sludgea management strategy for an ocean island

  1. Cintia Hernández Sánchez 1
  2. Ángel Gutiérrez 1
  3. Juan Manuel Galindo 1
  4. Dailos González-Weller 1
  5. Carmen Rubio 1
  6. Consuelo Revert 1
  7. Antonio Burgos 1
  8. Arturo Hardisson 1
  1. 1 Universidad de La Laguna, España
Revista de Salud Ambiental

ISSN: 1697-2791

Year of publication: 2017

Issue Title: Cambio Climático

Volume: 17

Issue: 1

Pages: 3-9

Type: Article

More publications in: Revista de Salud Ambiental


In recent years, the generation of sewage sludge has increased worldwide. Correct processing and management of this waste concerns all countries. This work presents a study of metal contents, i.e. of Cd, Pb, Zn, Cr, Cu, and Ni, in sewage sludge from a wastewater treatment plant in the northeastern region of the island of Tenerife. The study aimed at examining the sludge for potential suitability as a farmland fertilizer. Detected metal levels for Pb, Zn, Cr, Cu, and Ni were extremely low (26.44, 544.01, 24.10, 37.05, and 8.04 mg/kg dw [dry weight], respectively). Cadmium levels were under quantification limit. Season-dependent, statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in metal concentrations in sewage sludge were observed for Cu, Ni, Cr, and Pb. Consequently, the application of sewage sludge to fertilize nutrient-deficient agricultural soils and soils degraded by human activity represents a fast and straightforward solution to the lack of such resources, particularly in an oceanic island.