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Article

Sediment and Nutrient Retention in Ponds on an Agricultural Stream: Evaluating Effectiveness for Diffuse Pollution Mitigation

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UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB, UK
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School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
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Atkins, One St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1DE, UK
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School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6UR, UK
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Environment Agency, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard Cooper
Water 2021, 13(12), 1640; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121640
Received: 30 April 2021 / Revised: 2 June 2021 / Accepted: 9 June 2021 / Published: 11 June 2021
The creation of ponds and wetlands has the potential to alleviate stream water quality impairment in catchments affected by diffuse agricultural pollution. Understanding the hydrological and biogeochemical functioning of these features is important in determining their effectiveness at mitigating pollution. This study investigated sediment and nutrient retention in three connected (on-line) ponds on a lowland headwater stream by sampling inflowing and outflowing concentrations during base and storm flows. Sediment trapping devices were used to quantify sediment and phosphorus accumulations within ponds over approximately monthly periods. The organic matter content and particle size composition of accumulated sediment were also measured. The ponds retained dissolved nitrate, soluble reactive phosphorus and suspended solids during baseflows. During small to moderate storm events, some ponds were able to reduce peak concentrations and loads of suspended solids and phosphorus; however, during large magnitude events, resuspension of deposited sediment resulted in net loss. Ponds filtered out larger particles most effectively. Between August 2019 and March 2020, the ponds accumulated 0.306 t ha−1 sediment from the 30 ha contributing area. During this period, total sediment accumulations in ponds were estimated to equal 7.6% of the suspended flux leaving the 340 ha catchment downstream. This study demonstrates the complexity of pollutant retention dynamics in on-line ponds and highlights how their effectiveness can be influenced by the timing and magnitude of events. View Full-Text
Keywords: water quality; natural flood management; suspended sediment; phosphorus; nitrate; organic matter; on-line ponds; constructed wetlands; particle size water quality; natural flood management; suspended sediment; phosphorus; nitrate; organic matter; on-line ponds; constructed wetlands; particle size
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MDPI and ACS Style

Robotham, J.; Old, G.; Rameshwaran, P.; Sear, D.; Gasca-Tucker, D.; Bishop, J.; Old, J.; McKnight, D. Sediment and Nutrient Retention in Ponds on an Agricultural Stream: Evaluating Effectiveness for Diffuse Pollution Mitigation. Water 2021, 13, 1640. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121640

AMA Style

Robotham J, Old G, Rameshwaran P, Sear D, Gasca-Tucker D, Bishop J, Old J, McKnight D. Sediment and Nutrient Retention in Ponds on an Agricultural Stream: Evaluating Effectiveness for Diffuse Pollution Mitigation. Water. 2021; 13(12):1640. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121640

Chicago/Turabian Style

Robotham, John, Gareth Old, Ponnambalam Rameshwaran, David Sear, David Gasca-Tucker, James Bishop, Joanne Old, and David McKnight. 2021. "Sediment and Nutrient Retention in Ponds on an Agricultural Stream: Evaluating Effectiveness for Diffuse Pollution Mitigation" Water 13, no. 12: 1640. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121640

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