Effect of brewery wastewater obtained from different phases of treatment plant on seed germination of chickpea (Cicer arietinum), maize (Zea mays), and pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan)

Brewing industry releases large quantities of wastewater after product generation. Brewery wastewater contains organic compounds which are biodegradable in nature. These biodegradable wastes can be recycled and reused and hence considered as suitable products for agriculture. But before using wastewater for agriculture, it is better to evaluate the phytotoxic effects of wastewater on crops. Hence, the main objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of brewery effluent on seed germination and growth parameters of selected crop species like chickpea (Cicer arietinum), maize (Zea mays), and pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan). Study comprised seven types of water treatments—tap water as control, diluted UASBR effluent (50% effluent + 50% distilled water): UASBR50, undiluted UASBR effluent: UASBR100, diluted TC effluent (50% effluent + 50% distilled water): ETP50,TC effluent without dilution: ETP100, 10% diluted reverse osmosis (RO10) reject (10% RO reject + 90% distilled water), and 25% diluted reverse osmosis(RO25) reject (25% RO reject + 75% distilled water) with three replications in completely randomized design. Germination test was performed in petri plates for 5 days. Parameters like germination percentage, germination rate index, seedling length, phytotoxicity index, seed vigor index, and biomass were calculated. All parameters decreased with increase in respective effluent concentration. Among all treatments, RO25 showed highest inhibitory effect on all three crops. Even though undiluted effluent of UASBR and ETP effluent showed positive effect on germination, seedling growth of three crops was promoted to the maximum by UASBR50 and ETP50. Hence, from the study, it was concluded that dilution of brewery effluent can be recommended before using it for irrigational purpose.