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Sediment pond effectiveness for removing phosphorus from PAM-treated irrigation furrows

Bjorneberg, D.L. and Lentz, R.D. (2005) Sediment pond effectiveness for removing phosphorus from PAM-treated irrigation furrows. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 21(4):589-593.

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Polyacrylamide (PAM) greatly reduces erosion on furrow-irrigated fields and sediment ponds can be constructed
to remove suspended sediment from irrigation runoff. Both practices are approved for reducing phosphorus (P) loading in
the Lower Boise River Pollution Trading Project in southwest Idaho, but information is not available about using both
practices on the same field. The objective of this study was to measure the combined effects of PAM application and sediment
ponds on sediment and P losses from a furrow-irrigated field. Small sediment ponds (5.8 m 2) with a 60-min design retention
time were installed on two fields to receive runoff from PAM-treated or control furrows. Pond inflow and outflow were
monitored during a total of 11 irrigations on the two fields. Three crop years of data showed that applying PAM to furrows
reduced sediment and total P mass transport to the ponds 50% to 80%, which reduced the mass of sediment and total P retained
in the ponds. However, PAM application did not change the percentage of sediment (86%) and total P (66%) retained. The
PAM-sediment pond combination reduced average total P loss by 86% to 98%, based on the difference between untreated
inflow and PAM-treated outflow. PAM and sediment ponds had little or no effect on dissolved reactive P (DRP)
concentrations. The mass of DRP retained in sediment ponds was directly related to the amount of water that infiltrated within
the ponds. Applying PAM to irrigation furrows and installing sediment ponds at the end of the field can be an effective
combination for reducing sediment and total phosphorus losses from furrow-irrigated fields, but these practices only reduced
soluble P losses by decreasing the volume of water that ran off the fields.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1168
Subjects: Irrigation > Furrow irrigation > Runoff losses > Sediment
Polyacrylamide (PAM) > Water-soluble PAM (WSPAM)
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:49
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2016 16:04
Item ID: 20