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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbus, Ohio » Soil Drainage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #258748

Title: Use of industrial byproducts to filter nutrients and pesticides in a golf green’s drainage water

item Agrawal, Sheela
item King, Kevin
item Moore, James
item Levison, Phil
item Mcdonald, Jon

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2011
Publication Date: 6/7/2011
Publication URL:
Citation: Agrawal, S.G., King, K.W., Moore, J.F., Levison, P.W., McDonald, J. 2011. Use of industrial byproducts to filter nutrients and pesticides in a golf green’s drainage water. Journal of Environmental Quality. 40:1273-1280.

Interpretive Summary: Excess nutrients and pesticides in drainage waters degrade surface water quality. In turn, treatment of these affected waters for public distribution, commercial and recreational use can be costly. As a result, capture of these contaminants prior to surface water entry is viable solution to maintain cleaner, and thus less expensive to treat, water downstream. This project laid the foundation for the upstream treatment of drainage water by using industrial byproducts in end-of-tile filters to reduce contaminant loads to surface waters. Not only are these byproducts effective and inexpensive, but use of them has the potential to reduce the waste stream of several industries including the cement and steel making industries. Thus, the beneficiaries of this research include downstream water users, and industry.

Technical Abstract: Golf courses are particularly vulnerable to phosphate (PO43-) and pesticide loss by infiltration because of the sandy, porous grass rooting media used and presence of subsurface tile drainage. In this study, an effort was made to filter PO43-, chlorothalonil, mefenoxam, and propiconazole in putting green drainage water using a blend of industrial byproducts, including granulated blast furnace slag (GBFS), cement kiln dust (CKD), silica sand, coconut shell activated carbon (CS AC), and zeolite. Two, six-hour storm events were simulated by repeated irrigation of the golf green immediately following a PO43- and pesticide application. Drainage flow ranged from 26 L/s to 2316.01 L/s throughout the course of the simulations. A significant decrease in chlorothalonil load for the experimental run was observed compared to the control (p < 0.05). The median decrease in chlorothalonil was 69.35%, while that of the control was 0%. In general, percent reductions in chlorothalonil were very high (> 80%) near peak flows. In contrast, the filter material did not remove statistically significant quantities of PO43-, mefenoxam, nor propiconazole (p > 0.05). High flow rates, minimal contact time with filter media, pesticide chemistry, preferential flow, and sorption, ion exchange, and precipitation kinetics may all have influenced the filter’s contaminant removal efficiency. More research is needed to determine the optimal blend and configuration for the filter media to remove significant amounts of all contaminants investigated.