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Volume 8, Pages 819-827
Research Article

Pig Manure Application for Remediation of Mine Soils in Murcia Province, SE Spain

1Sustainable Use, Management and Reclamation of Soil and Water Research Group, Agrarian Science and Technology Department, Technical University of Cartagena, Paseo Alfonso XIII, 52, 30203 Cartagena, Murcia, Spain
2Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8, Canada

Received 9 December 2007; Revised 7 July 2008; Accepted 13 July 2008

Academic Editor: Ahmet R. Mermut

Copyright © 2008 A. Faz et al.


In southern Spain, specifically in Murcia Province, an increased pig population causes large amounts of slurry production that creates a very serious environmental concern. Our aim was to use this waste to reduce the acid mine drainage process, heavy metal mobilization, and to improve soil conditions to enhance plant establishment in mine soils. Pig manure, sewage sludge, and lime were used as soil amendments in a field experiment and in undisturbed soil column. Field experiments showed an increase in pH, total nitrogen, organic carbon, and carbonate contents; a reduction of diethylene-tetramine pentaacetic acid (DTPA)– and water-extractable metals; and an improvement of plant establishment. The field studies showed that pig manure could be utilized to remediate polluted soils. Column studies in the laboratory showed that amendment of mine soil with pig manure initially increased soil pH from 2.21 to 6.34, promoted reduced conditions in the surface soil, and decreased the metal mobility. After 21 weeks, while the leachate was slightly acidic, however, the mobility of metals was substantially low. Additions of 7 and 14% of pig manure were insufficient to maintain a neutral pH in the leachate. Therefore, continuous application of the pig manure may be advised.