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Water Spreading Under Low Flow Conditions for Vegetated Treatment Area Applications

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008671.(doi:10.13031/2013.29690)
Authors:   Justin Dale Bonnema, Todd P Trooien
Keywords:   Agricultural runoff, vegetative treatment area, water spreading, animal feeding operation, surface water

Abstract The use of level spreaders in vegetated treatment areas can offset the tendency of water to concentrate while through a sloped treatment area. This study was conducted to determine if use of these spreaders is beneficial and to evaluate different types of spreaders for effectiveness of spreading water under low flow conditions. A laboratory model was used to test the effectiveness of level spreading devices across a range of flow rates from 0.727 L/s to 2.384 L/s. All of the spreader types tested showed an increase of water spreading efficiency when compared to a condition of having no spreader installed. The characteristics of the flow and spreaders that were identified as having the most significant effect on the water spreading were the levelness of the spreader and the surface tension effects of the water flow. The spreading effectiveness increased as the flow rate was increased. A sharp-crested, v-notch weir performed most efficiently in the tests and the use of rock as a spreading medium also proved to be highly efficient. An equation for use of the v-notch weir was developed for design purposes and the operation and maintenance of the spreading devices was considered.

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