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Field application of farmstead runoff to vegetated filter strips: surface and subsurface water quality assessment.


Farmstead runoff poses significant environmental impacts to ground and surface waters. Three vegetated filter strips were assessed for the treatment of dairy farmstead runoff at the soil surface and subsurface at 0.3- or 0. 46-m and 0. 76-m depths for numerous storm events. A medium-sized Michigan dairy was retrofitted with two filter strips on sandy loam soil and a third filter strip was implemented on a small Michigan dairy with sandy soil to collect and treat runoff from feed storage, manure storage, and other impervious farmstead areas. All filter strips were able to eliminate surface runoff via infiltration for all storm events over the duration of the study, eliminating pollutant contributions to surface water. Subsurface effluent was monitored to determine the contributing groundwater concentrations of numerous pollutants including chemical oxygen demand (COD), metals, and nitrates. Subsurface samples have an average reduction of COD concentrations of 20, 11, and 85% for the medium dairy Filter Strip 1 (FS1), medium dairy Filter Strip 2 (FS2), and the small Michigan dairy respectively, resulting in average subsurface concentrations of 355, 3960, and 718 mg L COD. Similar reductions were noted for ammonia and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) in the subsurface effluent. The small Michigan dairy was able to reduce the pollutant leachate concentrations of COD, TKN, and ammonia over a range of influent concentrations. Increased influent concentrations in the medium Michigan dairy filter strips resulted in an increase in COD, TKN, and ammonia concentrations in the leachate. Manganese was leached from the native soils at all filter strips as evidenced by the increase in manganese concentrations in the leachate. Nitrate concentrations were above standard drinking water limits (10 mg L), averaging subsurface concentrations of 11, 45, and 25 mg L NO-N for FS1, FS2, and the small Michigan dairy, respectively.


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    Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
    Water Quality

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    Journal Article



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