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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Rapid Transmission of Injected Swine Lagoon Effluent to Tile Drains Via Earthworm Burrows

Authors
item Shipitalo, Martin
item Gibbs, F - USDA-NRCS
item Prochaska, S - OHIO STATE UNIV EXTENSION
item Fritz, M - OHIO STATE UNIV EXTENSION

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Subsurface injection of swine lagoon effluent is a BMP that helps control odor and promotes efficient nutrient usage. In tiled fields, however, injected wastes have been observed in tile outlets shortly after application. This appears to occur most frequently in no-till fields where Lumbricus terrestris L. are numerous. Our objective was to determine if burrows created by this earthworm contribute to rapid movement of injected wastes to tile drains. A turbine blower was used to introduce smoke into a 0.6 m deep tile line in a no-till field and 20 burrows that produced smoke and 18 burrows 1 to 5 m from the tile line that did not produce smoke were flagged. A Mariotte device filled with dyed water was then used to measure infiltration rates into individual burrows. Afterwards, plastic replicas of the burrows were made and excavated so that their proximity to the buried tile could be determined. The average infiltration rate for the smoke-emitting burrows (128 mL/min) was twice that of the burrows more distant from the tile. Additionally, dyed water was observed in the tile outlet when added to the smoke-emitting burrows, but not when added to the more distance burrows that did not produce smoke. Thus, some L. terrestris burrows are directly connected to tile drains and can promote rapid transmission of injected wastes offsite.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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