USDA Agricultural Research Service --Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



Water Air Soil Pollut (2011) 222:195–204 DOI 10.1007/s11270-011-0816-7


Concrete grinding residue (CGR) is a byproduct created by concrete pavement maintenance operations. The application of CGR to roadside soils is not consistently regulated by state agencies across the USA, which is partially due to the lack of science-based information on its impacts to soils and plants. The objectives of this research were to determine the impact of CGR additions to soil on both smooth brome (Bromus inermis L.) biomass and plant and soil chemical parameters. In a greenhouse study, two soils were treated with two CGR by-products at 8% and 25% by weight. Shoot biomass was significantly influenced by the main effects (Soil, CGR, and Rate) and by all two-way interactions, but not consistently positively or negatively correlated. Trace metal concentrations in the shoot biomass were variable, but 68% of these metals had the same concentration or lower in the 25% CGR treatments compared with the controls. Soil pH and electrical conductivity were significantly influenced by the main effects and two-way interactions of Soil × Rate and CGR × Rate, and soil pH was significantly greater in the CGR-treated soils. Calcium, Na, Mg, Al, and S concentrations in soils were all influenced by additions of CGR, but trace metal levels in the treatments were all within the range for uncontaminated soils. Ecosystem impact of applying CGR will be dependent upon the quality of CGR and soil characteristics. Controlling the liming potential of CGR should be considered a best management practice.