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Field drains as a route of rapid nutrient export from agricultural land receiving biosolids

Heathwaite, A. Louise and Burke, S. P. and Bolton, L. (2006) Field drains as a route of rapid nutrient export from agricultural land receiving biosolids. The Science of The Total Environment, 365 (1-3). pp. 33-46.

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Abstract

We report research on the environmental risk of incidental nutrient transfers from land to water for biosolids amended soils. We show that subsurface (drainflow) pathways of P transport may result in significant concentrations, up to 10 mg total P l− 1, in the drainage network of an arable catchment when a P source (recent biosolids application) coincides with a significant and active transport pathway (rainfall event). However, the high P concentrations were short-lived, with drainage ditch total P concentrations returning to pre-storm concentrations within a few days of the storm event. In the case of the drainflow concentrations reported here, the results are unusual in that they describe an ‘incidental event’ for a groundwater catchment where such events might normally be expected to be rare owing to the capacity of the hydrological system to attenuate nutrient fluxes for highly adsorbed elements such as P. Consequently, there is a potential risk of P transfers to shallow groundwater systems. We suggest that the findings are not specific to biosolids-alone, which is a highly regulated industry, but that similar results may be anticipated had livestock waste or mineral fertilizer been applied, although the magnitude of losses may differ. The risk appears to be more one of timing and the availability of a rapid transport pathway than of P source.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: The Science of The Total Environment
Additional Information: Field drains as a route of rapid nutrient export from agricultural land receiving biosolids 5 cites: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?num=100&hl=en&lr=&cites=14095810463825033138
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biosolids ; Sewage sludge ; Phosphorus ; Diffuse pollution ; Drainage ; Agriculture
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 49721
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 15 Sep 2011 13:30
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 19:31
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/49721

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