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Concentrated standing tailwater: a mechanism for nutrient delivery to downstream aquatic ecosystems Part B Pesticides, food contaminants, and agricultural wastes

Kroger, R., Moore, M.T., Farris, J.L.
Journal of environmental science and health 2011 v.1no pp. 773
aquatic environment, drainage, drainage systems, ecosystems, evaporation, pollution load, rain, runoff, sediments, soil nutrients, transpiration, Arkansas, Mississippi
Contribution of first flush runoff events from intense rainfall to downstream aquatic ecosystems are often reported in terms of sediment and nutrient delivery, with hardly any consideration to the contribution that standing, concentrated tailwater in primary aquatic systems makes to downstream nutrient loads. Two geographically distinct studies (Jonesboro Arkansas, and Stoneville Mississippi; 4 studies, n = 30) evaluated the effectiveness of drainage ditch systems to mitigate nutrient concentrations and loads. Within each independent study all experimental ditches had elevated background nutrient concentrations as a result of standing water, prior to the start of each simulated runoff experiment. These concentrations remained elevated 15-30 minutes post the start of each simulation as the concentrated, impounded water was pushed out through each system. In both these systems, it was hypothesized that water had accumulated in the respective drainage ditches and had been concentrated though evaporation and aquatic macrophyte transpiration. It is theorized that additional controlled drainage could decrease the potential of concentration toxicity downstream with improved dilution and hydraulic residence management.