30 Sep 2019
Assessing nitrogen and phosphorus removal potential of five plant species in floating treatment wetlands receiving simulated nursery runoff
Jonathan T. Spangler, David J. Sample, Laurie J. Fox (Virginia Tech), Joseph P. Albano (USDA) and Sarah A. White (Clemson University)
Floating treatment wetlands (FTW) consist of a raft containing hydroponically grown wetland plants. FTW performance in reducing nitrogen (N) and phosporus (P) in runoff from commercial nurseries was evaluated in two, 8-week trials using replicated mesocosm experiments, with five monoculture species, alone and in mixtures. Panicum virgatum was the best performer, removing 65% P and 82% N. FTW plants transplanted into containers grew well for four weeks after transplanting, potentially providing a saleable product. FTW can reduce N and P in runoff from commercial nurseries. However, more research is needed to evaluate specific plant species and extend applications to the field scale.
Click here to read the research article
19 Aug 2019
Water Quality Characterization of Storm and Irrigation Runoff from a Container Nursery
Mohammad Nayeb Yazdi, David J.Sample, Durelle Scott, James S.Owen, Mehdi Ketabchy, and Nasrin Alamdari (Virginia Tech)
Runoff from container nurseries contains nutrient and sediment from fertilizer and irrigation. We assessed runoff total suspended solids (TSS), N as total N (TN), and P as total P (TP) from a 5.2 ha production area of a mid-Atlantic nursery. TN and TP storm loads were approximately 900, 35 and 50 times greater than irrigation loads. While TN and TP were comparable to urban runoff, TSS was 2-4 times greater. The Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) was calibrated to the results and used to generate annual TSS, TN, and TP loading, providing a valuable planning tool for nurseries.
Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.326
6 Mar 2018
Bell, N., Majsztrik, J., and S. White (Clemson University)
Ecological treatment methods such as slow sand filters, bioreactors, and algal turf scrubbers are low-cost, low energy technologies which harness the power of naturally-occurring microorganisms to remediate nutrients, agrichemicals, and pathogens in water. System costs are substantially lower than chemical disinfestation and remediation technologies. European horticultural growers have been using slow sand filters (SSFs) since the early 1990s, however SSFs have been used since the early 1800s to clean contaminants from water for human consumption. Recent research has shown that slow filters containing pumice and rockwool are able to effectively remediate pesticides and nutrients from irrigation water.