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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Water Quality Benefits of Constructed Wetlands Integrated Within Agricultural Water Recycling Systems

item Allred, Barry
item Fausey, Norman - Norm
item Clevenger, Bruce
item Prill, Gary
item Labarge, Greg
item Miller, Scott
item Chester, Paul
item Riethman, Duane
item Brown, Larry

Submitted to: Society of Wetland Scientists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2008
Publication Date: 5/28/2008
Citation: Allred, B.J., Fausey, N.R., Clevenger, B., Prill, G., Labarge, G., Miller, S., Chester, P., Riethman, D., Brown, L. 2008. Water Quality Benefits of Constructed Wetlands Integrated within Agricultural Water Recycling Systems. Society of Wetland Scientists.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Constructed wetlands have been integrated within innovative agricultural water recycling systems, and these systems are now being evaluated at three demonstration sites located in the northwest Ohio portion of the Maumee River Basin (Defiance, Fulton, and Van Wert Counties). The water recycling systems are called Wetland Reservoir Subirrigation Systems, or WRSIS for short, and the three demonstration sites have been in operation since 1996/1997. Each WRSIS is comprised of three main components, which include a constructed wetland and a water storage reservoir linked to a network of subsurface pipes used at different times to either drain or irrigate crops through the root zone. The integration of these components allows WRSIS to be operated hydraulically in a closed loop mode most of the time with offsite water release restricted. Agricultural field runoff and subsurface drainage are routed to the wetland for water treatment. The water is then transferred from the wetland to the storage reservoir where it is held until needed to subirrigate field crops during dry parts of the growing season. Water quality measurements have been tabulated for 2003 through 2007, and with respect to water treatment, two of the three WRSIS wetlands show substantial effectiveness in removing suspended sediment, nitrate, and total nitrogen. Consequently, besides providing new vegetation and wildlife habitats, the WRSIS wetlands also have water quality benefits, which in addition to the crop yield increases produced by WRSIS, can make these agricultural water recycling systems attractive both environmentally and economically.

Last Modified: 08/16/2017
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