Submitted to: International Symposium Addressing Animal Production & Environmental Issues
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2000
Publication Date: 9/20/2000
Citation: HUBBARD, R.K., NEWTON, G.L. A FARM SCALE TEST OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF OVERLAND FLOW VEGETATED BUFFER TREATMENT SYSTEMS FOR SWINE LAGOON WASTEWATER. INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ADDRESSING ANIMAL PRODUCTION & ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. Raleigh, N.C., CD-ROM. 2000.
Interpretive Summary: Animal wastes pose a major threat to soil, surface water, and ground water quality. Excess loadings of nitrogen and phosphorus from animal wastes applied to land may result in eutrophication of water bodies or contamination of drinking water. Technologies are needed to utilize nutrients contained within animal wastes without contaminating the environment. One method for utilizing lagooned animal wastes is application to combined grass-forest buffer systems by overland flow. Recent research using small plots evaluated overland flow-riparian buffer systems for use of nutrients contained within swine lagoon wastewater. The study showed that N concentrations were effectively reduced by the bottom ends of the plots through vegetative uptake and denitrification. P was also assimilated, although concentrations in groundwater showed increases over time. New research evaluating these systems at a large scale is under rway on a commercial hog producer's land. Swine lagoon wastewater is being applied to replicated areas approximately 60 m in width based on either N or P content. Both soil sampling and transects of wells are being used to determine the effects on soil and water quality. This paper presents an overview of the project and results to date. This research is important to animal producers and land managers because it provides information which will assist them in utilizing animal wastes while reducing the risk of environmental contamination.
Technical Abstract: A farm-scale study is being conducted to determine the effectiveness of vegetated buffers in removing nutrients from swine lagoon wastewater applied by overland flow. The objective of the research is to test low- cost overland flow buffer systems at the farm scale to see if they can effectively utilize nutrients from lagoon wastewater while protecting environmental quality. Plot scale research conducted during the 1990's showed that overland flow-vegetated buffer systems have good potential for handling lagoon wastewater in an environmentally friendly manner. A lower landscape forested area was selected on a commercial hog producers farm (Jones-Moorman) in Tift County, GA. Six broad areas were selected to receive the wastewater by overland flow or serve as control areas. Wastewater is pumped from the single lagoon and applied to 4 broad areas (60 m in width) through slotted pipe such that the wastewater flows first over a grassed buffer and then into forest. Two of the areas receive the lagoon wastewater based on N content while two receive the wastewater based on P content. Commercial water meters are used to record total wastewater application for each area. A remaining 2 areas serve as controls and do not receive wastewater. Transects of shallow groundwater wells (3 per plot) were installed 1 # years prior to application of the wastewater. These are sampled twice annually and the shallow groundwater is analyzed for N, P, and Cl. Soil samples were collected to a depth of 1 m prior to application of wastewater and are collected 2 times per year for analyses for N, P, and Cl. Results concerning effectivenss of vegetated filter systems used at a practical farm scale in assimilating nutrients received from swine lagoon wastewater applied by overland flow.