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Nature, Environment and Pollution Technology Technoscience Publication

Vol. 2.

No. 4.

pp. 441-445


EFFECTS OF WASTEWATER OF AMBANALA, AMRAVATI ON GROWTH PATTERN OF SPINACH (SPINACEA OLERACEA L.) D. D. KHEDKAR * and A. J. DIXIT** * P. G. Department of Botany, Govt. Vidarbha Institute of Science & Humanities, Amravati 444604 ** P. G. Department of Botany, Vidya Bharati Mahavidyalaya, Amravati - 444602

ABSTRACT The wastewater of Ambanala, Amravati has been utilized by farmers bearing croplands in the vicinity of the Ambanala to irrigate the spinach crop. Hence, in the present work the effects of the nalawater on growth of spinach have been studied. Physico-chemical analysis revealed the alkaline nature of the nalawater with high concentration of TDS, sodium and phosphate, which exceed the permissible limits for the irrigation. The nalawater has growth promoting effect on spinach at vegetative stage whereas, at reproductive stage there seems to inhibiting effect on seed setting and yield of the crop. The growth of nalawater-irrigated crop was found to be more vigorous than well-watered plants.

INTRODUCTION: Huge amount of wastewater is produced in the cities due to the increasing population. The indiscriminate disposal of such sewage and industrial wastewater causes soil as well as water pollution. The cost of treatment of sewage and wastewater is expensive. However, the wastewater has been used in agriculture as a source of irrigation water and important plant nutrients. Klimo and Fekette (1990) stated that sewage irrigation raised the N : P : K contents in the soil. Reddy et al (1981) observed that sugarcane yield with paper and pulp industrial effluent irrigation was higher as compared to that of well water irrigation. Singh and Mishra (1987) attributed increased fodder yield to the essential nutrients contained in wastewater and sewage. Mishra and Sunandashoo (1989) reported that chlorophyll contents, shoot length, number of tillers per plant, dry weight of shoot, grain weight and total grain production of paddy were increased when irrigated with paper and pulp factory effluent. Singh et al (1991) noticed that sewage increased and refinery effluent decreased dry matter yield of berseem. The problem of sewage water can be solved only by effective use of this water. Big municipalities in India use this water for cultivation of the vegetables in the farmers fields. In Amravati, Ambanala runs through the heart of the city and the water is polluted by the discharge

of domestic waste. Since last two decades the practices of utilization of wastewater for irrigation of variety of the crops like spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, onion by local farmers along the stretch of 10 15 kms. approximately of nala is prevalent. In the present work an attempt is made to study effects of nalawater on growth parameters of spinach (Spinacea oleracea L.), which is one of the most commonly grown and nalawater irrigated leafy crop in the region. MATERIALS AND METHODS I. Physico-chemical analysis of nalawater (Site II)

The physico-chemical analysis of nalawater of site II was carried out with the help of water analysis kit (VSI-07 Model) from April 2000 to March 2002. The water samples were collected on the fortnightly basis by using composite sampling method and were transported to the laboratory in polythene containers to study various chemical parameters by the methods suggested in Theroux (1943), APHA (1998) and Gupta (2000). II. Design of experimental plots

Out of five sites, site II is located near the farm of Shri. Ingole and is selected for the field studies who also practiced the irrigation of spinach crop by nalawater. Two plots of 15 X 15 feet size each were maintained for cultivating 100 experimental spinach plants each, irrigated by nalawater. Whereas, two separate plots of the same size were prepared near the well where soil is not contaminated with the nalawater and the control spinach plants in these plots were irrigated by the well water. The distance between two succeeding plants in a row and in between two adjoining rows was 1.5 feet each. The plants cultivated in all the plots were irrigated on every forth day and irrigation was stopped ten days before harvesting. The sowing of spinach seeds in the plots was carried by the end of the month of November 2000 and harvesting by the end of March 2001. The data on growth parameters was recorded at an interval of 15 days from 15 th days to 90th days after sowing during vegetative and reproductive phases of crop plants. The growth parameters studied were 1) Plant height 2) Leaf growth 3) Branch growth 4) Flowering and 5) Seed setting. The experiment was repeated during the year 2001 2002 by applying same methodology and considering same growth parameters. RESULT AND DISCUSSION I. Physico-chemical analysis of nalawater (Site II)

It is represented in table 1. The average pH of nalawater is 7.5, which is tended towards the alkaline nature; however, it is within permissible limits for the irrigation water (6.5 8.5). The average value of the TDS (976.5 mg/l) was higher than the CPCB standards for irrigation. The BOD was 171.5 mg/l, which was within permissible limits. The concentrations of sulphates, chlorides, calcium and magnesium were within permissible limits for irrigation, whereas the concentrations of the sodium and phosphates exceeded the permissible limits for irrigation water. II. Growth parameters

The effects of Ambanala water on various growth parameters of spinach are tabulated in table 2. i) Plant height (cms.): As compared to the control plants, the plant height of polluted plants revealed increasing trend on 15th and 30th days stage of growth. The results were in accordance with those of Dutta (2002) who also recorded increase in plant height of rice plants on same

stage of growth irrigated by the wastewater of the paper and pulp industry effluents. As compared to 3 % and 10.5 % increase of the height of polluted rice plants over control at 15 th and 30th days stage of growth the spinach plants exhibited relatively higher % increase over height of control in present study i.e. 20.45 % and 15.59 % respectively. The height of polluted spinach plants declined on 60th and 75th days in comparison with those of control. Dutta also reported the similar declining trends in height of polluted rice plants from 45th days till maturity i.e. 135 days. The decrease in height of the wheat plants (13.04 % ) was noticed by Singh et al (2002) by paper and pulp factory effluent was in line with those of present work. Chandrashekhar et al (1991) also observed that plant height of Sorghum was significantly more with sewage than that of well water irrigation. Gladis et al (1996) reported decrease in height in Sorghum plants irrigated by sewage water. ii) Leaf growth: The average number of leaves per plant was not indicative of any significant difference between control and polluted plants from 15 th to 45th days stage of growth. However, on the 60th days the average number of leaves was relatively lower in polluted plants as compared to that of control.10.53 % reduction in average number of leaves per polluted spinach plants in present study almost match with 13.44 % reduction in number of leaves of black gram irrigated with sewage water (Pradhan et al, 2001). In general, there is an increase in average leaf area of polluted plants in comparison with those of control from 15th to 60th days stages of growth. However the results were more significant and remarkable on 45th days when polluted plants shows (29.96 %) increase in leaf area (385.5 sq.cms.) over that of control (296.24 sq.cms.). The observations gain more prominence due to fact that, spinach is commercially leafy vegetable, which is to be harvested and marketed at this 45th days stage of growth before starting of flowering. This is the most appropriate and suitable time for marketing the crop. The present observation of increase in leaf area due to nalawater irrigation were in agreement with those of Mishra and Behera (1991) and Chaturvedi et al (1995) who have also reported enhancement in leaf area of rice and wheat respectively by lower concentration of effluent. These lower green foliage leaves of spinach are relatively large in size than those of leaves borne on branches. These lower large sized leaves dries up and falls off by the time of initiation of flowering. iii) Branch growth: The development of branches was initiated after one month of vegetative growth in both types of plants and continued up to flowering phase. However, the average numbers of branches per plant does not exhibit any marked difference in polluted and control plants on 45th, 60th and 75th days of growth. The average length of branches slightly increases in polluted plants over those of control on 45th and 60th days stage. A reverse trend was noticed on 75th days when the average length was reduced from 80.6 cms. in control to 71.2 cms. in polluted plants amounting to 11.67 % reduction. Similar reductions in branch length (4.03 %) though relatively low were noticed by Pradhan et al, 2001 in sewage treated black gram plant over tube well treated plants. iv) Flowering: The process of flowering starts 45 days after sowing. However, the speed is slow in the beginning and it increases during later stages of growth. The flowering occurs during the month of January February. The average number of flowers per inflorescence was almost similar on 75th and 90th day of growth in control as well as polluted plants (Table 3). During later stages of growth i.e. on 75th to 90th days the average number of inflorescences per plant, average length of inflorescence and average number of seeds per inflorescence declined in polluted plants against those of control. These findings in present study matched with those of Pradhan et al, 2001 who noticed the reduction in number of pods per plant and grains per pod in black gram plants irrigated with sewage over the tube well irrigated control plants. Subramani et al, 1995 3

also reported decrease in number of pods per plant in Vigna radiata irrigated by distillery effluent. v) Seed setting: The average seeds per inflorescence were slightly decreased in polluted plants than those of control. Similar types of findings were reported by Subramani et al 1995 in Vigna radiata irrigated by distillery effluent. It is also evident from table 3 that average yield per plant and weight of 1000 seeds was reduced inn polluted plants over those of control. Subramni et al 1995 also reported similar decrease in seeds out put per plant in Vigna by 50 % distillery effluent irrigation. Pradhan et al 2001 reported similar decrease in yield in black gram when irrigated with sewage water. It was observed in the present study and also reported by farmers practicing nalawater and well water irrigation of spinach plants that the plants irrigated by the nalawater shows relatively vigorous growth than those of well water irrigated plants. There was growth enhancing effect of nalawater on spinach at 45th days of vegetative growth in respect of increased I) plant height II) leaf area and III) length of branch. Some plant nutrients present in nalawater may possibly be responsible for the growth promoting effect. 45 days old nalawater irrigated spinach crop is ready for harvesting and marketing while well-irrigated spinach requires at least two months time for harvesting and marketing. There was growth-inhibiting effect of nalawater on spinach adversely affecting flowering, seed setting and yield. From the present study it is inferred that the spinach crop should be irrigated by nalawater for commercial marketing of spinach. It will be better to irrigate spinach crop with well water whenever crop is cultivated for large-scale production of seeds for sowing in future. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Authors acknowledge University Grants Commission, New Delhi for rendering financial assistance to Minor Research Project and Principal, VidyaBharati Mahavidyalaya, Amravati for providing laboratory facilities

Table 1.

Physicochemical analysis of Ambanala water (Site II)

S.NO. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16



SITE II Permissible irrigation 28.73 7.519 6.5 8.5



mV mg/L meq/L mg/L mg/L mg/L mg/L mg/L meq/L meq/L meq/L meq/L mg/L mg/L

112.3 976.5 13.95 3.16 145.2 131.5 368.3 22.75 6.58 0.28 3.15 3.92 7.83 8.23 2.5 12.5 3.75 2.5 5.0 0 192 3.0 142 355 200 700 2000

Table 2. Effect of Ambanala water (Site II ) on growth parameters of control ( C ) and Polluted ( P ) Spinach plants at 15 90 days after sowing (DAS)

DAS Days

Average Plant height (cms.) C P 5.3 17.1 36.8 59.9

% change over Control

Average No. of leaves / Plant

Average Leaf Area (Sq. cms.)

Average No.of Branches/ plant C P

Average Length of Branch (cms.) C P

C + 20.45 + 15.14 + 8.2 - 17.38 6.1 19.6 63.1 109.3

P 6.2 19.4 63.0 97.8

C 9.68 96.12

P 12.72 103.25

15 30 45 60 75 90

4.4 14.8 34 72.5

296.24 385.0 416.1 430.5

7.5 7.3 11.0

7.1 7.9 10.6

28.5 58.7 80.6

30.8 62.4 71.2

121.9 109.8 - 9.93

Table 3. Effect of Ambanala water (Site II ) on growth parameters of control ( C ) and Polluted ( P ) Spinach plants at 60 120 days after sowing (DAS)

DAS Days

Average No. of flowers / Plant

Average No. of inflorescences / Plant

Average length of inflorescence / Plant

Average No. of seed /inflorescence

Average yield / Plant (gms.)

Average weight of 1000 seeds (gms.) C P

C 60 75 90 120

C 22.0 56.1 57.0

P 20.0 42.0 45.0

C 3.4 13.9 52.7

P 2.9 11.7 50.6

28.9 28.1 69.7 65.5 70.0 67.0

43.4 62.6

39.2 59.6 40.6 26.0 10.8 8.7

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