Sewage Water Use in Crop Production and Its Effect on Physico-Chemical and Biological Properties of Soil: A Review

Sushil *

Department of Soil Science, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India.

Kiran Khokhar

Department of Soil Science, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India.

K.K Bhardwaj

Department of Soil Science, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India.


Department of Soil Science, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India.


Department of Soil Science, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India.


Department of Soil Science, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India.

Vishal Goel

Department of Soil Science, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


The availability of freshwater for irrigation is dwindling, prompting the need for innovative solutions to tackle this critical issue. This research delves into comparing sewage water with fresh water, recognizing the immense volume of wastewater generated daily due to rapid population growth and industrial expansion. The current state of sewage water in India presents a formidable challenge, highlighting the imperative for proactive management strategies moving forward. The study explores methods to harness sewage water for agricultural use, aiming to enhance productivity while acknowledging the global significance of wastewater management. Sewage water composition varies depending on local industrial activities, often containing higher levels of nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, organic carbon, micronutrients, and soil microbial content compared to regular water sources. Utilizing sewage water for irrigation can positively impact soil chemistry and fertility, although it may increase electrical conductivity, albeit usually within acceptable limits to mitigate soil salinity risks. However, sewage water typically contains elevated concentrations of heavy metals such as Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, and Nickel, posing potential hazards to soil and plant health if surpassing safety thresholds. Continuous use of sewage water may exacerbate the accumulation of these hazardous metals, posing risks to both soil quality and human health. Nonetheless, during periods of water scarcity crucial for crop growth, sewage water emerges as a vital resource, potentially saving agricultural productivity. In this context, sewage farming emerges as a promising approach to alleviate the demand for freshwater while addressing wastewater challenges. Embracing sewage water for irrigation holds the promise of significant advancements in curbing wastewater proliferation, underscoring its role as a sustainable solution for agricultural water requirements.

Keywords: Sewage water, soil, heavy metals, agricultural productivity, water scarcity

How to Cite

Sushil, Kiran Khokhar, K.K Bhardwaj, Vikas, Rohtash, Roohi, and Vishal Goel. 2024. “Sewage Water Use in Crop Production and Its Effect on Physico-Chemical and Biological Properties of Soil: A Review”. Journal of Experimental Agriculture International 46 (7):200-210.


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