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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #369796

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: Use of rapid small-scale column tests for simultaneous prediction of phosphorus and nitrogen retention in large-scale filters

Author
item GOLNAZ, EZZATI - Teagasc (AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY)
item HEALY, MARK - National University Of Ireland
item CHRISTIANSON, LAURA - University Of Illinois
item DALY, KAREN - Teagasc (AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY)
item FENTON, OWEN - Teagasc (AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY)
item Feyereisen, Gary
item THORNTON, STEVE - University Of Sheffield
item CALLERY, OISIN - National University Of Ireland

Submitted to: Journal of Water Process Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/2020
Publication Date: 7/1/2020
Citation: Golnaz, E., Healy, M.G., Christianson, L.E., Daly, K., Fenton, O., Feyereisen, G.W., Thornton, S., Callery, O. 2020. Use of rapid small-scale column tests for simultaneous prediction of phosphorus and nitrogen retention in large-scale filters. Journal of Water Process Engineering. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwpe.2020.101473.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwpe.2020.101473

Interpretive Summary: Drainage water from some heavy-textured soils can be degraded by both dissolved reactive phosphorus and ammonium-nitrogen. Filtration is one potential solution for removal of these undesirable constituents. This study identified two materials to remove the pollutants, one (high-iron content sand) for the phosphorus and one (a natural zeolite) for the ammonium. The materials were tested for effectiveness in sets of laboratory columns that were larger diameter (4 in.) or smaller diameter (0.4 in.). As expected, the materials removed the phosphorus and ammonium in both sets of columns. The results from the small columns were used to develop equations to predict the results from the large columns. The predictions were accurate enough to suggest that for future material tests, the smaller columns could be used. The smaller columns provide substantial savings on operational costs, labor, and time. This information is pertinent to researchers, academics, engineers, and agency personnel for guidance in assessing materials for filtration of phosphorus and ammonium from drainage water.

Technical Abstract: Rapid small-scale column tests (RSSCTs) have been previously used to predict the effluent concentration of a single nutrient in large filters with good accuracy. However, in drainage waters originating from heavy textured soils, where there is a need for in-ditch filters to retain both dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) and ammonium (NH4) simultaneously, the suitability of an RSSCT approach to model both parameters must be proved. In this study, a decision support tool was used to identify appropriate media that may be placed in filters for the removal of DRP and NH4. The media selected were sand and zeolite. They were placed in acrylic tubes with lengths ranging from 0.1 to 0.4 m, and their performance for simultaneous removal of DRP and NH4 from water was evaluated. The data generated from the RSSCTs were used to model DRP and NH4 removals in 0.4 m-long laboratory columns of diameter 0.1 m, which had the same media configuration as the small columns and were operated using the same influent concentrations (1 mg DRP and NH4-N L-1). The developed model could accurately predict the effluent concentration of DRP and NH4-N from the large columns. This indicates using RSSCTs to model the performance of filters will produce substantial savings on operational, financial and labor costs, without affecting the accuracy of model predictions.