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Water 2016, 8(12), 549; doi:10.3390/w8120549

Design and Hydrologic Performance of a Tile Drainage Treatment Wetland in Minnesota, USA

1
Ecological Engineering Group, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, 303 BAE Hall, 1390 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN 55108, USA
2
Water Resources Science Program, University of Minnesota, 311 BAE Hall, 1390 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN 55108, USA
3
USDA-ARS Soil and Water Management Research Unit, 439 Borlaug Hall, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN 55108, USA
4
Center for Integrated Natural Resources Management (CINRAM), Department of Forest Resources, 100 Green Hall, St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN 55108, USA
5
Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 625 Robert Street North, St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN 55155, USA
6
Tetra Tech, Inc., 661 Andersen Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15220, USA
7
Ecological Engineering Group, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, 203 BAE Hall, 1390 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN 55108, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hans Brix
Received: 16 September 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructed Wetlands for Water Treatment: New Developments)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3421 KB, uploaded 25 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

Treatment wetlands are increasingly needed to remove nitrate from agricultural drainage water to protect downstream waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico. This project sought to develop a new edge-of-field treatment wetland, designed to remove nitrate-nitrogen and enhance phosphorus removal by plant harvest and to monitor its effectiveness. A 0.10 ha wetland was designed and installed to treat subsurface drainage flow from farmland in southwestern Minnesota, USA, in 2013, and monitored for three years by recording flow, nitrate-nitrogen, total phosphorus (TP) and soluble orthophosphorus (OP) input to and output from the wetland. Prior to construction, a level-pool routing, mass balance approach with DRAINMOD flow inputs was used to predict nitrate removal efficiency. Nitrate load removal averaged 68% over three years, nearly matching model predictions. However, most denitrification occurred in the sub-soil of the wetland rather than in surface flow as predicted. Phosphorus removal was approximately 76% over three years, and phosphorus removed by plant uptake exceeded inflow mass in the third year. The edge-of-field design has potential as a cost-effective method to treat field outflows because agricultural landowners can adopt this treatment system with minimal loss of productive farmland. The wet-prairie vegetation and shallow depth also provide the opportunity to remove additional phosphorus via vegetative harvest. View Full-Text
Keywords: treatment wetland; nitrate; subsurface drainage water; plant harvest treatment wetland; nitrate; subsurface drainage water; plant harvest
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lenhart, C.; Gordon, B.; Gamble, J.; Current, D.; Ross, N.; Herring, L.; Nieber, J.; Peterson, H. Design and Hydrologic Performance of a Tile Drainage Treatment Wetland in Minnesota, USA. Water 2016, 8, 549.

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