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Evaluation of Conservation Drainage Systems in Illinois – Bioreactors

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009894.(doi:10.13031/2013.30015)
Authors:   Siddhartha Verma, Rabin Bhattarai, Richard Cooke, Jong Ahn Chun, Gregory E Goodwin
Keywords:   Bioreactor, Bio-remediation, conservation drainage, nitrate, water quality

Intensive cropping patterns coupled with the increased usage of fertilizers and pesticides in Midwestern United States have contributed to the formation of a hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Bioreactors are in-situ bioremediation systems which can be used to treat agricultural contaminants in the water from subsurface (tile) drained systems. Over the past few years researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign have installed and monitored several bioreactor sites in Eastern and Central Illinois. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of field scale bioreactors in removing nitrates from tile drain systems. The results are indicative that bioreactors are extremely effective in removing nitrates from tile discharge and can play a part in improving water quality from tile drained areas

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