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Phosphorus Removal in Vegetative Filter Strips Receiving Milkhouse Wastewater and Barnyard Runoff

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  032075,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14002) @2003
Authors:   Young-Jin Kim, Larry D. Geohring, Tammo S. Steenhuis
Keywords:   vegetative filter strip, milkhouse waste, phosphorus, soil saturation

Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are commonly used BMPs to control agricultural pollutants such as phosphorus (P) from milkhouse wastewater and barnyard runoff. However, although VFS performed well for removing P, the flow and P sorption were different than originally envisioned. The objective was, therefore, to characterize flow through the VFS and then relate this to the observed P concentrations in the VFS. Monitoring wells and the application of chloride tracer were used to investigate flow paths and soluble reactive P (SRP) removal from two VFS. The early chloride breakthroughs in wells in the downslope area showed that the milkhouse waste flows preferentially down the hillslope. These paths were located at the center (Farm I) or to both sides (Farm II) of the VFS. The locally saturated area of the VFS appeared to accelerate surface flow that contributed to rapid transport of P to the downslope area. Although VFS of 33 to 40m long for Farms I and II, respectively, eventually reduced SRP to lower than 0.2mg/l in most cases, SRP is less effectively removed in the areas where soil saturation occurred. The effort to distribute the wastewater uniformly to avoid soil saturation should be considered in new designs because conditions that cause saturation may be extended in the long term.

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