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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Vegetative Filter Strip Design for Grassed Areas Treated with Animal Manures

Authors
item Edwards, D. - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Daniel, T. - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Moore, Philip

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Buffer strips, also know as vegetative filter strips, have been shown to reduce runoff of pollutants from agricultural fields. The objective of this study was to develop a VFS design algorithm for pasture/meadow that uses available information on the water quality dynamics of these systems to simplify the design process to the greatest degree practical. The design of the algorithm cosists of the SCS curve number method for runoff estimation and the Overcash equation for predicting concentrations of pollutants exiting a VFS as a function of VFS and runoff parameters. The algorithm can used to determine how much buffer area is required to achieve the desired reduction in nutrient runoff.

Technical Abstract: Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are a low-cost management option that have been demonstrated effective in reducing runoff transport of fertilizer constituents applied to pastue/meadow. Runoff quality studies involving applied pasture/meadow indicate that the design of VFS can be approached by assuming that (a) only infiltration is responsible for pollutant removal, (b) the first post-application runoff event is most important from a water quality perspective, and (c) no pollutant build-up that degrades VFS performance will occur. The purpose of this study was to develop a VFS design aigorithm for pasture/meadow that uses available information on the water quality dynamics of these systems to simplify the design process to the greatest degree practical. The design algorithm consist of the SCS (1972) curve number method for runoff estimation and the Overcash et al. (1981) equation for predicting concentrations of pollutants exiting a VFS as a function of VFS and runoff parameters. The procedure may be used to determine VFS length requirement for cases in which the VFS is used to achieve a given pollutant runoff concentration, pollutant mass transport, reduction (as a proportion of incoming) in pollutant runoff concentration , or reduction in mass transport. Minimal data are required when the VFS is to achieve given reductions (as proportions of incoming) in pollutant concentration or mass transport. For those cases, charts developed and presented in this paper eliminate the need for any computatiions in selected cases. This algorithm can be used to quickly determine the VFS length requirement necessary to provide any desired degree of effectiveness given the appropriate level of effectiveness and design storm parameters.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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