GrowFood Northampton - UMass Urine Study

Assessment of Urine as a source of nutrients for plant growth

UMass Research Team: Monika Roy (PI) Dave Reckhow, Caitlyn Butler and Om Parkash Dhankher
GFN Research Team: Elena Baum, Paige Bridgens, Pat James & Adele Franks


The objective of this project is to assess the the long term effects of applying alkalinized urine to the soil at the GrowFood Northampton (GFN) community garden. The source is GFN's urine-diversion outhouse that was constructed in 2014. In late July 2018, the GUUS team installed a set of 12 experimental soil columns on site at the gardens. In late fall 2018 they were transported to a UMass greenhouse. These are being used to study various aspects of soil chemistry and microbiology as impacted by use of stabilized urine. This project is primiarly supported by volunteers with modest financial aid from the USGS and the MA WRRC.

Some examples of soil chemistry and micrbiology under study:

            • impacts on pH
                • changes in major ions and nutrients
            • pharmaceuticals and their degradation

Related Research Projects:


Background on this Study