Function of Vegetation

The root system of the vegetation absorbs water from the sludge, which is then lost to the atmosphere via evapotranspiration. It is estimated that during the warm growing season this evapotranspiration pathway can account for up to 40% of the liquid applied to the bed. As described in Chapter 7, these plants are capable of transmitting oxygen from the leaf to the roots; thus, aerobic microsites (on the root surfaces) exist in an otherwise anaerobic environment that can assist in sludge stabilization and mineralization.

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