Submitted to: North American Benthological Society Bulletin
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2002
Publication Date: 6/1/2003
Citation: Haggard, B.E., Ekka, S.A., Matlock, M.D., Chaubey, I. 2003. Effect of alum and calcium carbonate on sediment-phosphorus interactions. North American Benthological Society Bulletin. Abstract. v. 20(1). p. 367.
Technical Abstract: In the Ozark Plateaus, the focus of watershed mangers is often on diffuse sources of phosphorus (P). However, it has become apparent that this shift in focus may be premature and neglect P from the end of pipes, e.g. wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Several studies have reported exponential declines in P concentrations downstream of WWTPs and suggested net P uptake lengths are several kilometers at these enriched systems. The sediments at these systems may represent a considerable transient storage pool of P; lengthening the time required to see marked improvements in water-quality. We sampled sediments and the water column at three streams in the Illinois River Basin that receive effluent from municipal WWTPs; these WWTPs represented 45% of annual P load (208,000 kg) from 1997 through 2001. Sediment extractions included equilibrium P concentration (EPC), exchangeable P (ExP) and P sorption index (PSI). Water column P concentrations suggested several kilometers were required to retain about 63% of WWTP inputs. Phosphorus buffering capacity (PSI) was significantly decreased downstream of WWTPs whereas EPC and ExP significantly increased. Alum and calcium carbonate treatment of benthic sediments significantly increased P buffering capacity and reduced ExP and EPC in WWTP impacted streams, but the effect was somewhat relative to WWTP P additions.