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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONSERVATION EFFECTS ASSESSMENT FOR THE ST. JOSEPH RIVER WATERSHED

Location: National Soil Erosion Research Lab

Title: Transport and Fate of Phosphorus During and After Manure Spill Simulations

Authors
item Armstrong, Shalamar -
item Smith, Douglas
item Joern, Brad -
item Owens, Phillip -
item Leytem, April
item Huang, Chi Hua
item Adeola, Layi -

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 14, 2009
Publication Date: January 5, 2010
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/39515
Citation: Armstrong, S.D., Smith, D.R., Joern, B.C., Owens, P.R., Leytem, A.B., Huang, C., Adeola, L. 2010. Transport and Fate of Phosphorus During and After Manure Spill Simulations. Journal of Environmental Quality. 39:345-352.

Interpretive Summary: Manure spills contribute phosphorus (P) to surface waters during catastrophic events and little is known about the effectiveness of the current manure spill remediation methods with regard to the water column and sediments within the fluvial system. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to (1) understand how P partitions between the water column and fluvial sediments during a manure spill and (2) to evaluate the efficacy of the current manure spill clean-up method to remediate manure contaminated sediments. Manure spill simulations were conducted using a stream simulator and sediments collected from three drainage areas of two drainage ditches B-small (760 ac), B-medium (3,502 ac), and A-large (10,900 ac). Sediments with more clay had a better ability to remove P from the water column. Phosphorus uptake length (Snet; an estimate of the distance a P molecule travels before being sorbed by the sediment) was calculated for all sediments, and ranged from 574 to 815 m. The adsorption flux (U; the mass of P that adsorbs to a surface area of sediment per unit of time) ranged from 8.9 to 16.7 mg m-2 h-1. After simulating the current manure spill remediation methods, all sediments released soluble P to the water column at a concentration that exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency total P nutrient criteria (0.076 mg L-1) for the region. Findings from this study suggested that stream bed sediments were able to remove P from the water column during the manure spill, but released P back to the water column after the spill was remediated. The primary impact of this study was to inform manure spill first responders and environment protection agencies of the effectiveness of the current manure spill remediation method and its need for refinement in order to mitigate P from the total fluvial system following a spill.

Technical Abstract: Manure spills contribute phosphorus (P) to surface waters during catastrophic events and little is known about the effectiveness of the current manure spill remediation methods with regard to the water column and sediments within the fluvial system. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to (1) understand how P partitions between the water column and fluvial sediments during a manure spill and (2) to evaluate the efficacy of the current manure spill clean-up method to remediate manure contaminated sediments. Manure spill simulations were conducted using fluvarium techniques and sediments collected from three drainage areas of two drainage ditches B-small (311 ha), B-medium (1418 ha), and A-large (4307 ha). The B-small sediments resulted in a significant greater buffering capacity (10.3 L kg-1) relative to the B-medium (4.95 L kg-1) and A-large (3.24 L kg-1) sediments and removed P from the water column at the greatest rate during the manure spill simulation. The phosphorus uptake length (Snet) for all sediments ranged from 574 to 815 m and the adsorption flux (U) ranged from 8.9 to 16.7 mg m-2 h-1. After simulating the current manure spill remediation methods, all sediments desorbed soluble P to a concentration that exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency total P nutrient criteria (0.076 mg L-1) for the region by at least 67%. Furthermore, results from this study suggest that the current manure spill remediation method needs refining in order to mitigate P from the total fluvial system water column and sediment following a manure spill.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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