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Phosphorous Removal Technologies as a Tool for TMDLs

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

Citation:  Watershed Management to Meet Water Quality Standards and Emerging TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Proceedings of the Third Conference 5-9 March 2005 (Atlanta, Georgia USA) Publication Date 5 March 2005  701P0105.(doi:10.13031/2013.18083)
Authors:   I. ÇELEN, F. WALKER AND J. BUCHANAN
Keywords:   TMDL, BMP, phosphorus removal, precipitation, struvite

Across the U. S. total maximum daily load (TMDL) budgets for phosphorus will have to be developed for many impaired surface waters. One of the causes of phosphorus enrichment of surface waters is runoff and erosion from over-fertilized row crop and pasture land. Farmers who land apply manures and biosolids based on their nitrogen contents can over-apply phosphorus by 3 to 10 times (or more) because of the higher amount of phosphorus compared to nitrogen (relative to crop needs) in these materials. The removal of phosphorus as struvite (MgNH4PO4.6H2O) from biosolids is a proven technology that is being used by the wastewater treatment industry in different regions of the world. It is technically possible to precipitate phosphorus as struvite from manures, but a different approach will be needed to develop practical, farm-based, economic methods of precipitating and removing struvite. This paper will review the chemistry of phosphorus precipitation and removal as struvite from organic waste streams, discuss the development and application of this technology by industry and review options for developing this as a best management practice (BMP) for agricultural operations and tool in developing TMDLs.

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