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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346868

Research Project: Developing Agricultural Practices to Protect Water Quality and Conserve Water and Soil Resources in the Upper Midwest United States

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Feasibility matrix to identify locally sourced mixed media to mitigate agricultural pollutants in land drainage

Author
item Golnaz, Ezzati - Teagasc (AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY)
item Healy, Mark - National University Of Ireland
item Feyereisen, Gary
item Christianson, Laura - University Of Illinois
item Daly, Karen - Teagasc (AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY)
item Fenton, Owen - Teagasc (AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY)

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/22/2017
Publication Date: 10/25/2017
Citation: Golnaz, E., Healy, M.G., Feyereisen, G.W., Christianson, L.E., Daly, K., Fenton, O. 2017. Feasibility matrix to identify locally sourced mixed media to mitigate agricultural pollutants in land drainage. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. October 22-25, 2017, Tampa, Florida.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The degradation of water quality and ecology as a result of intensification of agricultural activities has affected human health, and aquatic and ecosystem biodiversity. Land drainage systems may create a pathway for loss of nutrients such as phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N), but also offer an ideal edge-of-field location for bioreactors to intercept and remove or retain such pollutants. Media selection to facilitate attenuation in bioreactors is vital for successful outcomes. Researchers have employed a wide range of novel or traditional media including organic/inorganic, natural and synthetic or waste materials from different sectors to intercept nutrients and remove pollutants in drainage waters at delivery points, but no metric has been used to rank the appropriateness of media selection from environmental, economic and logistical perspectives. This study develops a “feasibility index”, which evaluates and ranks potential media based on a number of factors including N removal rate; P retention; and removal of other contaminants such as pesticides, total suspended solids, dissolved organic carbon, oil, and organic matter; availability and cost (at different scales e.g., local, national and international); permeability, and lifetime. Media can be added to the matrix over time and the media is then ranked with local farm conditions in mind. To date, this feasibility index has been used to evaluate the efficiency and practicality of 61 previously investigated filter media. Results for an Irish dairy farm scenario showed that the majority of the top 20 ranked media include waste materials from agricultural, industrial, construction and demolition industries. Over 90% of the top 10 media could be found locally on Irish dairy farms or in the local vicinity, and were typically low cost. The next step is to test the top 10 materials in controlled batch experiments to compare their treatment capacity with those from the literature and to rank the media accordingly.