Olive mill wastewater irrigation of maize: Impacts on soil and groundwater

D. Moraetis*, F. E. Stamati, N. P. Nikolaidis, N. Kalogerakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (SciVal)


The environmental impact of irrigating a maize field with weathered olive mill wastewater (OMW) for 5 years was assessed. The use of the weathered OMW added the following concentrations of nutrients to the field: 11.8. t/ha/yr carbon, 1033. kg/ha/yr total nitrogen, 23.8. kg/ha/yr phosphorous and 4161. kg/ha/yr potassium. The maize field received 6 times more nitrogen, 50 times more potassium and 2 times less phosphorous than the recommended fertilization rates. The presence of carbon increased microbial activity for organic nitrogen breakdown and the decomposition rate of organic nitrogen. No significant increase was observed of heavy metal accumulation in the soil. Electrical conductivity in the soil remained below the salinization threshold. No direct exposure values were exceeded. No impact on groundwater quality was observed. Irrigation of crops like maize with weathered OMW could be part of a viable decentralized solution for olive mill wastewater use in areas with low organic matter and high irrigation demand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1132
Number of pages8
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2011


  • Environmental impacts
  • Marginal water
  • Non-conventional fertilization
  • Water scarcity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Olive mill wastewater irrigation of maize: Impacts on soil and groundwater'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this