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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » National Soil Erosion Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344469

Research Project: Conservation Practice Impacts on Water Quality at Field and Watershed Scales

Location: National Soil Erosion Research

Title: Design and construction of phosphorus removal structures for improving water quality

Author
item Penn, Chad
item Bowen, James - University Of Kentucky

Submitted to: Springer Verlag
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2016
Publication Date: 7/20/2017
Citation: Penn, C.J., Bowen, J.M. 2017. Design and construction of phosphorus removal structures for improving water quality. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG. 228 p.

Interpretive Summary: The purpose of this book is to introduce the phosphorus (P) removal structure as a new practice for reducing dissolved P loading to surface waters from non-point source pollution, provide guidance on designing site-specific P removal structures, and provide instruction on use of the design software, “Phrog” (Phosphorus Removal Online Guidance). The book initially provides a review of the nature and sources of non-point source P pollution, examines short and long term solutions to the problem, and provides detailed theory on design and operation of the P removal structure. As with many areas of study, one of the best methods of communicating concepts is through illustrations and examples. This book is no exception; several years of experience in studying P sorption and constructing P removal structures at multiple scales and settings is utilized for providing real examples and applications. With an understanding of the P removal structure established, the reader is instructed on how to obtain all of the necessary inputs for properly designing a site-specific P removal structure for meeting a desired lifetime and performance, or predict the performance and lifetime of a previously constructed P removal structure. For the readers who already possess the Phrog design software or are interested in obtaining it, one chapter is dedicated to detailed use of the software as demonstrated with various examples of structure design and also prediction.

Technical Abstract: Phosphorus (P) input to surface waters is considered the most limiting nutrient with regard to eutrophication. The result has been a negative impact on recreation, ecosystem diversity, drinking water treatment, and the associated economics of each. Depending on region, over 50% of P inputs to surface waters may be from non-point sources such as agriculture, horticulture, urban/suburban lawns, and golf courses. The problem of non-point P pollution is further aggravated by “legacy” P in soils that has accumulated over several decades. Such legacy P will require several decades of P “draw-down” from the soils with forage crops and improved nutrient management. In the meantime, high concentrations of dissolved P will continue to leak out of these systems into surface waters. Even when conventional best management practices (BMPs) are employed, they will do little to prevent losses of dissolved P since conventional BMPs are mostly intended for reducing erosion and therefore particulate forms of P. While the long term solutions of nutrient management, P draw-down, and manure transport programs are being implemented, the P removal structure can be implemented to prevent dissolved P losses in the short term. At the most basic level, a P removal structure is a landscape-scale filter that utilizes P sorption materials (PSMs), which have a strong affinity for dissolved P. Structures are designed such that PSM is able to be replaced after they are no longer effective at removing P. The purpose of this book is to introduce the P removal structure as a new BMP for reducing dissolved P loading to surface waters from non-point source pollution, provide guidance on designing site-specific P removal structures, and provide instruction on use of the design software, “Phrog” (Phosphorus Removal Online Guidance). This book initially provides a review of the nature and sources of non-point source P pollution, examines short and long term solutions to the problem, and provides detailed theory on design and operation of the P removal structure. As with many areas of study, one of the best methods of communicating concepts is through illustrations and examples. This book is no exception; several years of experience in studying P sorption and constructing P removal structures at multiple scales and settings is utilized for providing real examples and applications. With an understanding of the P removal structure established, the reader is instructed on how to obtain all of the necessary inputs for properly designing a site-specific P removal structure for meeting a desired lifetime and performance, or how to predict the performance and lifetime of a previously constructed P removal structure. For the readers who already possess the Phrog design software or are interested in obtaining it, chapter 7 is dedicated to detailed use of the software as demonstrated with various examples of structure design and prediction. Last, we provide recommendations and guidance for safe and beneficial disposal of spent PSMs that are no longer effective at removing dissolved P. While this book may serve as a traditional textbook on the topic, the intended audience is practitioners and policy makers in environmental quality, agriculture, and water quality with regard to reducing non-point source P pollution to surface waters. The purpose of this book is to promote and disseminate the construction of P removal structures throughout the world. This encompasses government agencies such as the USDA, NRCS, and EPA, state and local agencies such as Departments of Agriculture, Departments of Environmental Quality, and municipalities, non-profit organization dedicated to water quality and agriculture, the environmental engineering and consulting industry, and golf course superintendents.