Field Technology & Water Quality Outreach

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Purpose

In 2015, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) partnered with local and state agencies to help identify potential sources of fecal coliform bacteria that were impacting shellfish beds in northwest Washington.  WSDA and Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) program partners began collecting ambient, as well as rain-driven, source identification water samples. Large watersheds with multiple sub-basins, changing weather and field conditions, and recent nutrient applications, meant new sites were added almost daily. The increased sampling created an avalanche of new data. With this data, we needed to figure out how to share it in a way that was timely, clear and could motivate change. Picture of water quality data via spreadsheet, graphs, and maps.

Conveying complex water quality results to a broad audience can be challenging. Previously, water quality data would be shared with the public and partners through spreadsheets or graphs via email, meetings or quarterly updates. However, the data that was being shared was often too late or too overwhelming to link locations, weather or field conditions to water quality. Even though plenty of data was available, it was difficult for it to have meaningful context to the general public.

Ease of access to results can help inform landowners of hot spots near their home, it can link recent weather and their own land management practices with water quality, as well as inform and influence decision-making.

What Did We Do?

Using basic GIS tools we created an interactive map, to share recent water quality results. The map is available on smartphones, tablets and personal computers, displaying near-real-time results from multiple agencies.  Viewers can access the map 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We have noticed increPicture of basic GIS tool.ased engagement from our dairy producers, with many checking the results map regularly for updates. The map is symbolized with graduated stop light symbology, with poor water quality shown in red and good in green. If they see a red dot or “hot spot” in their neighborhood they may stop us on the street, send an email, or call with ideas or observations of what they believe may have influenced water quality. It has opened the door to conversations and partnerships in identifying and correcting possible influences from their farm.

The map also contains historic results data for each site, which can show changes in water quality. It allows the viewer to evaluate if the results are the norm or an anomaly. “Are high results after a rainfall event or when my animals are on that pasture?”

The online map has also increased engagement with our Canadian neighbors to the north. By collecting samples at the US/Canadian border we have been able to map streams where elevated bacteria levels come across the border. This has created an opportunity to partner with our Canadian counterparts to continue to identify and correct sources.

What Have We Learned?

You do not need to be a GIS professional to create an app like this for your organization. Learning the system and fine-tuning the web application can take some time, but it is well worth the investment. GIS skills derived from this project have proven invaluable as the app transfers to other areas of non-point work.  The web application has created great efficiencies in collaboration, allowing field staff to quickly evaluate water quality trends in order to spend their time where it is most needed. The application has also provided transparency to the public regarding our field work, demonstrating why we are sampling particular areas.

From producer surveys, we have learned that viewers prefer a one-stop portal for information. Viewers are less concerned about what agency collected the data as they are interested in what the data says. This includes recent, as well as historical water quality data, field observations; such as wildlife or livestock presence or other potential sources. Also, a brief weekly overview of conditions, observations and/or trends has been requested to provide additional context.

Future Plans

The ease and efficiency of the mobile mapping and data sharing has opened the door to other collaborative projects. Currently we are developing a “Nutrient Tracker” application that allows all PIC partners to easily update a map from the field. The map allows the user to log recent field applications of manure. Using polygons to draw the area on the field, staff can note the date nutrients were identified, type of application, proximity to surface water, if it was a low-, medium- or high-risk application, if follow-up is warranted, and what agency would be the lead contact. This is a helpful tool in learning how producers utilize nutrients, to refer properties of concern to the appropriate agency, and to evaluate recent water quality results against known applications.

Developing another outreach tool, WSDA is collecting 5 years of fall soil nitrate tests from all dairy fields in Washington State. The goal is to create a visual representation of soil data, to demonstrate to producers how nitrate levels on fields have changed from year to year, and to easily identify areas that need to be re-evaluated when making nutrient application decisions.

As part of a collaborative Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) group, we would like to create a “Story Map” that details the current situation, why it is a concern, explain potential sources and what steps can be taken at an individual level to make a difference. A map that visually demonstrates where the watersheds are and how local neighborhoods really do connect to people 7 miles downstream.  An interactive map that not only shows sampling locations, but allows the viewer to drill down deeper for more information about the focus areas, such as pop-ups that explain what fecal coliform bacteria are and what factors can increase bacteria levels. We envision a multi-layer map that includes 24-hour rainfall, river rise, and shellfish bed closures. This interactive map will also share success stories as well as on-going efforts.

Author

Kerri Love, Dairy Nutrient Inspector, Dairy Nutrient Management Program, Washington State Department of Agriculture

klove@agr.wa.gov

Additional Information

Results Map Link: http://arcg.is/1Q9tF48

Washington Shellfish Initiative: http://www.governor.wa.gov/issues/issues/energy-environment/shellfish

Mobile Mapping Technology presentation by Michael Isensee, 2016 National CAFO Roundtable

Sharing the Data: Interactive Maps Provide Rapid Feedback on Recent Water Quality and Incite Change by Educating the Public, Kyrre Flege, Washington State Department of Agriculture and Jessica Kirkpatrick, Washington State Department of Ecology,  2016 National Non-Point Source Monitoring Workshop

Whatcom County PIC Program: http://www.whatcomcounty.us/1072/Water-Quality

Skagit County, Clean Samish Initiative: https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/PublicWorksCleanWater/cleansamish.htm

Lower Stillguamish PIC Program: http://snohomishcountywa.gov/3344/Lower-Stilly-PIC-Program

GIS Web Applications: http://doc.arcgis.com/en/web-appbuilder/

Acknowledgements

The web application was a collaborative project developed by Kyrre Flege, Washington State Department of Agriculture and Jessica Kirkpatrick, Washington State Department of Ecology.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Recommendations for Manure Injection and Incorporation Technologies for Phase 6 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model


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Purpose

A Best Management Practice (BMP) Expert Panel was convened under guidance of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s (CBP) Water Quality Goal Implementation Team to assess and quantify Nitrogen and Phosphorus load reductions for use in the Phase 6 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model when manure is injected or incorporated into agricultural lands within the watershed. (Further description of Expert Panels and processes can be found in the 2017 Waste to Worth Proceedings and Presentation by Jeremy Hanson and Mark Dubin).

What Did We Do?

The Expert Panel first created definitions of injection and incorporation practices, which allowed technologies utilized in research to be categorized within each definition. Categorization considered the manner in which manure was placed beneath the soil surface as well as the level of surface disturbance. Manure injection was defined as a specialized category of placement in which organic nutrient sources (including manures, biosolids, and composted materials) are mechanically applied into the root zone with surface soil closure at the time of application with soil surface disturbance of 30% or less. Manure incorporation was defined as the mixing of dry, semi-dry, or liquid organic nutrient sources (including manures, biosolids, and compost) into the soil profile within a specified time period from application by a range of field operations (≤24hr for full ammonia loss reduction credit and 3 days for P reduction credit(s)). Incorporation was divided into categories of high disturbance (<30% residue retention) and low disturbance (>30% residue retention). Both liquid and solid manures were considered.

The panel conducted an extensive literature review of research that allowed comparison of nutrient loss after manure injection and incorporation with a baseline of surface manure application without incorporation. These comparisons were assembled in a large categorical table in percentage form, that reflected loss reduction efficiency. Many manuscripts offered a percentage comparison of application treatments to the surface application baseline. For research reports that did not provide a percentage comparison, the panel interpreted results into a percentage comparison when possible.

Consideration to soil variability and location in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed was considered on a very broad basis and in a manner consistent with work of other panels and modeling team recommendations. Loss reduction efficiencies were provided for soils or locations listed as either Coastal or Upland regions. Nitrogen efficiencies did not vary between the regions, but Phosphorus efficiencies did.

What Have We Learned?

Nitrogen and Phosphorus loss reduction efficiency reported or derived from literature varied within categories. For some categories, the volume of literature was small. Research providing these efficiencies is often conducted on small plots with simulated rainfall. Literary reduction results were often provided as a range and not as a single value. Professional scrutiny and judgment was applied to each value provided from literature and to all values within injection and incorporation categories to determine loss reduction efficiencies to be used in the broad categories of the model. The final loss reduction efficiencies of the Expert Panel’s final report are provided in Tables 1 (Upland Region) and 2 (Coastal Region).

Table 1. Loss reduction efficiency values for Upland regions of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

 

 

Category

Nitrogen

Phosphorus

Time to Incorporation

Ammonia Emission Reduction

Reduction in N Loading1

Time to Incorporation

Reduction in P Loading2

Injection

0

85%

12%

0

36%

Low Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

50%

34%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

24%

High Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

75%

50%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

0%3

1 Reduction in N loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  25% of total N losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved N and sediment-associated organic matter N).

2 Reduction in P loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  80% of total P losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved  and sediment-bound P) in upland regions of the watershed.

3 Reduction in dissolved P losses typically offset by greater sediment-bound P losses due to greater soil erosion with tillage incorporation in upland landscapes.

 

Table 2. Loss reduction efficiency values for Coastal Plain region of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

 

 

Category

Nitrogen

Phosphorus

Time to Incorporation

Ammonia Emission Reduction

Reduction in N Loading1

Time to Incorporation

Reduction in P Loading2

Injection

0

85%

12%

12%

0

22%

Low Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

50%

34%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

14%

High Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

75%

50%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

14%

1 Reduction in N loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  25% of total N losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved N and sediment-associated organic matter N).

2 Reduction in P loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  48% of total P losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved and sediment-bound P) in Coastal Plain.

Future Plans

The report of the Manure Injection and Incorporation Panel were accepted by the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Agricultural Workgroup in December 2016. The values will be utilized in Phase 6 of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model. Future panels may revisit the efficiencies as future model improvements are made.

Corresponding author (name, title, affiliation) 

Robert Meinen, Senior Extension Associate, Penn State University

Corresponding author email address  

rjm134@psu.edu

Other Authors 

Curt Dell (Panel Chair), Soil Scientist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service

Art Allen, Associate Professor and Associate Research Director, University of Maryland – Eastern Shore

Dan Dostie, Pennsylvania State Resources Conservationist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service

Mark Dubin, Agricultural Technical Coordinator, Chesapeake Bay Program Office, University of Maryland

Lindsey Gordon, Water Quality Goal Implementation Team Staffer, Chesapeake Research Consortium

Rory Maguire, Professor and Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech

Don Meals, Environmental Consultant, Tetra Tech

Chris Brosch, Delaware Department of Agriculture

Jeff Sweeney, Integrated Analysis Coordinator, US EPA

For More Information

Two related presentations given at the same session at Waste to Worth 2017

Acknowledgements

Funding for this panel was provided by the US EPA Chesapeake Bay Program and Virginia Tech University through an EPA Grant.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Developing Science-Based Estimates of Best Management Practice Effectiveness for the Phase 6 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model

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Purpose

The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) is a regional partnership that leads and directs Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection. The CBP uses a suite of modeling and planning tools to estimate nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment loads contributed to the Bay from its watershed, and guide restoration efforts. Non-point source (NPS) pollutant sources (e.g., agricultural and urban runoff) are largely related to diverse land uses stretching across six states and the District of Columbia. On-the-ground pollutant reductions are achieved by implementing both management and structural best management practices (BMPs) on those diverse land uses. Short and long-term reductions in NPS pollutant loads that result from BMP implementation are estimated using the CBP modeling suite of tools. The CBP recognizes (i.e., represents pollutant reduction credits for) over 150 BMPs across 66 land uses total for all sectors in its Phase 6 suite of modeling tools. The estimated pollutant reduction performance (i.e., effectiveness) of each BMP is parameterized in the CBP modeling suite. Within the CBP, BMP effectiveness is determined by groups of qualified scientific and technical experts (BMP Expert Panels) that review the relevant literature and make an independent determination regarding BMP performance which are reviewed and approved by the CBP partnership before being integrated in to the modeling tools by the CBP modeling team.

BMP Expert Panels are primarily convened under the auspices of the CBP’s Water Quality Goal Implementation Team and tasked to specific sector workgroups for oversight and management. Panels are tasked with addressing a specific BMP, or a suite of related BMPs. Panel members, in coordination with the CBP partnership, are selected based on their scientific expertise, practical experience with the BMP, and expertise in fate and transport of nutrients and sediment. Panels review the relevant literature and through a deliberative process and form recommendations on BMP pollutant production performance, and how the BMP(s) should be accounted for/incorporated into the CBP modeling tools and data reporting systems. Convening BMP Expert Panels is an ongoing focus and priority of the CBP partnership, given the integral role BMP implementation plays in achieving the pollution reduction goals required by the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

What Did We Do?

Expert panels follow the process and adhere to expectations outlined in the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership’s Protocol for the Development, Review, and Approval of Loading and Effectiveness Estimates for Nutrient and Sediment Controls in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model (aka the “BMP Protocol”). The expert panel process functions as an independent peer review, similar to that of the National Academy of Sciences.

Each panel reviews and discusses all current published literature and available unpublished literature and data related to the BMP(s), and formulates recommendations using the guidance provided in the BMP Protocol to help weigh the applicability of each data source.  Consensus panel recommendations are recorded in a final report, which is presented to relevant CBP partnership groups, including the CBP partnership’s Agriculture Workgroup for feedback and approval.

Panel recommendations are built into the modeling tools following CBP partnership approval of the panel’s report.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Map

Basic Diagram of the Chesapeake Bay Program Expert Panel BMP Review Process

What Have We Learned?

The availability of published, peer-reviewed data varies greatly based on the scope of the panel. Some panels have dozens of articles to analyze while others may have a limited number of published studies to supplement gray literature, unpublished data and their best professional judgment. Even panels with a large amount of relevant literature at their disposal identify important gaps and future research needs. Given the wide range of stakeholders in the CBP partnership, regular updates and communication with interested parties as the panel formulates its recommendations is extremely important to improve understanding and acceptance of final panel recommendations.

Future Plans

The Chesapeake Bay Program evaluates BMP effectiveness estimates as new research or new conservation and production practices become available. Thus, expert panels sometimes revisit BMPs that were previously reviewed, but new and innovative BMPs are also considered. The availability of resources and new research limit the frequency of these reviews in conjunction with the priorities of the CBP partnership. Given the CBP partnership’s interest in adaptive management and continually improving its scientific estimates of BMP effectiveness, there will continue to be BMP expert panels for the foreseeable future.

Corresponding author (name, title, affiliation)

Jeremy Hanson, Project Coordinator – Expert Panel BMP Assessment, Virginia Tech

Corresponding author email address

jchanson@vt.edu

Other Authors

Mark Dubin, Agricultural Technical Coordinator, University of Maryland Extension

Brian Benham, Professor and Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech

Each expert panel has at least several other authors and contributors, which is not practical for listing here. Each individual report identifies the panel members and other contributors for that specific panel.

Additional Information

The BMP Review Protocol is available online at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/publications/title/bmp_review_protocol

All final expert panel reports are posted on the Chesapeake Bay Program website under “publications”: http://www.chesapeakebay.net/groups/group/bmp_expert_panels

Acknowledgements

These BMP expert panels would not be possible without the generosity of expert panel members who volunteer their valuable time and perspectives. Staff support, coordination and funding for these panels is provided by the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, specifically through Cooperative Agreements with Virginia Tech and University of Maryland, with additional contract support from Tetra Tech as needed. The work of these expert panels is strengthened through the participation, review and comments of the CBP partnership.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Effectiveness of Livestock Exclusion in a Pasture of Central North Carolina


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*Do not make slides downloadable

Purpose 

Jordan Lake (Reservoir), located in central North Carolina, is a 5,650-ha impoundment with a 436,860-ha watershed of which 18% was urban, 20% agricultural, and 56% forested. Like many lakes in the eastern U.S., the use of this water resource is being threatened by excessive nutrient inputs. A proposed nutrient reduction strategy set overall nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) load reduction goals for the watershed at 8-35% for N and 5% for P. Because much of the agricultural land in the watershed was used for pasture, the initial focus of reduction efforts was on pastures with livestock exclusion fencing identified as having the most potential. The objective of this project was to document the effectiveness of a combination of livestock exclusion fencing and nutrient management implemented on a beef cattle pasture typical of pastures in the Jordan Lake watershed and of the Piedmont region of NC.

What did we do? 

figure 1aThe paired watershed experimental approach used in this project, required simultaneous monitoring of two watersheds (treatment and control), during a calibration and a treatment period. The calibration period was from 12/30/07 to 10/5/11 and the treatment period was from 10/6/11 to 12/18/15. During both periods, the rainfall and quantity and quality of discharge were monitored continuously. Land use information (number of cattle, fertilization, soil test results) was collected at least annually. The treatment watershed (Past-treat) encompassed 54.5 ha all but 7.3 ha of which was used for beef cow pasture. The control watershed (Past-cont) encompassed 78.1 ha 39.5 ha of which was pasture, while most of the remainder (27.5 ha) was wooded.

In the treatment watershed the exclusion fenceline was constructed in October, 2011 about 3 m from the top of the streambank on either side and was limited to the main stream channel only (fig. 1b). Nutrient management was also implemented which eliminated P application as soil tests showed that there was adequate P in the soil to support the growth of pasture grasses such as fescue. In the control watershed, beef cattle had unlimited access to the stream channel during the entire project (fig. 1a). Monitoring included collecting flow-proportional samples during storm events and analyzing them for total Kjeldahl (TKN), ammonia (NH3-N), and inorganic (NOx-N) nitrogen as well as total phosphorus (TP) and total suspended solids (TSS).

What have we learned?           

figure 1bStatistical analyses of storm event load data documented that during the post-fencing period, mass loading of TKN (34%), NH3-N (54%), TN (33%), TP (47%), and TSS (60%) was reduced significantly in the treatment relative to the control watershed, while storm discharge and NOx-N loads were not significantly different. These data showed that even a relatively narrow exclusion corridor implemented on only the main stream channel can significantly reduce the export of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment from a beef cattle pasture.

Future Plans   

Evaluate livestock exclusion fencing at another Piedmont site with a wider exclusion corridor.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation       

Daniel Line, Extension Specialist at NC State University

Corresponding author email    

dan_line@ncsu.edu

Other authors  

Deanna Osmond, Professor, NC State University

Additional information              

Published in J. Environmental Quality 45:1926-1932

Acknowledgements      

This project received support from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Integrated Water Quality Grant award 2011-0515 as well as funding from NCDEQ-DWR as pass-through funds from U.S. EPA 319.

Water Quality Regulations and Animal Agriculture Curriculum Materials

As livestock and poultry production has intensified it is no surprise that regulations have become a more prominent part of the business. This module introduces the Clean Water Act (CWA) and it application to animal agriculture. This material was developed for use in beginning farmer and extension programs, high school classrooms, and for self-study or professional continuing education.

Agriculture Professionals and Farmers

Check out this self-study module “Playing By the Rules“. This module is estimated to take 60 minutes and offers a certificate upon successful completion.

Teachers, Extension, Consultants

Educators are welcome to use the following materials in their classrooms and educational programs. More modules…

  • Instruction Guide – includes lesson plan, links to additional information, connections to national agriculture education standards (AFNR Career Content Cluster Standards), application to Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects, sample quiz/review questions, and enrichment activities.
  • Presentation – 36 slides, Powerpoint 97-2003 format. Annotated.

Acknowledgements

Author: Thomas Bass, Montana State University

Reviewers: Paul Hay, University of Nebraska, Lyle Holmgren, Utah State University, Jill Heemstra, University of Nebraska, Elizabeth Burns Thompson, Drake University (law student), Mary Catherine Barganier, NYFEA, Shannon Arnold, Montana State.

Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA) is a collaborative effort of the National Young Farmers Educational Association, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Montana State University. It was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) under award #2009-49400-05871. This project would not be possible without the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Community and the National eXtension Initiative.

Discharge Quality Water from Dairy Manure: A Summary of the McLanahan Nutrient Separation System

Why Study Dairy Manure Treatment?

Dairy manure has historically been land applied consistent with the agronomic requirements of growing crops.  Due to consolidation of the dairy industry over the last 40 years, animal density has increased dramatically creating logistical, storage and environmental challenges.  Also, environmental constraints and water scarcity is more recognized.  Manure maintains tremendous nutrient value; however, water comprises approximately 90% of the manure stream.  Development of new and innovative methods for extracting nutrients for beneficial reuse while preparing water for beneficial on-site reuse is of paramount importance to the future of the US dairy industry.

What Did We Do?

Figure 1. The 4 steps that make up the McLanahan Nutrient Separation System

Figure 1. Diagram of the four steps that make up the McLanahan Nutrient Separation System

Research was initiated in 2004 to evaluate the potential of coupling a traditional complete mix digester with an ultrafiltration system to create what is commonly referred to as an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR).

The AnMBR acts to separate hydraulic retention time from solid retention time while producing a high quality effluent. There are opposing views in the literature with respect to the impact of pump/membrane shear on biological activity and our objective was to add clarity.  An outcome of the research was that biogas production is negatively impacted by high shear forces but at practical flow rates, the impact is negligible. An additional finding, and the focus of this paper, is the recognition that the AnMBR is a logical starting point for a comprehensive nutrient recovery and water reuse process.

photo of pretreatment digester
Figure 2. Pretreatment Digester
photo of ultrafiltration
Figure 3. Ultrafiltration

Based on this early research, a comprehensive Nutrient Management System has been developed that seeks to improve the social and environmental sustainability of the dairy industry, while reducing the cost and liability associated with manure management.  In general, nutrients are separated and concentrated, allowing for application where and when they are needed. The separated water can be land irrigated, re-used or even discharged. The system is comprised of four steps (as depicted in Figure 1):  pretreatment under anaerobic conditions (Figure 2), ultrafiltration (UF) (Figure 3), air stripping (Figure 4) and reverse osmosis (RO) (Figure 5).

photo of air stripping equipment
Figure 4. Air Stripping

The pretreatment system (anaerobic digester) and UF system are coupled together (AnMBR).  The manure fed to the AnMBR first undergoes sand separation (only for dairies bedding with sand) followed by solid separation to remove coarse solids to prevent plugging of the UF system.    The digester portion of the AnMBR produces a homogeneous feedstock while producing biogas useful for energy production, although its production is a secondary concern of the process.   There are two outputs from the UF process: permeate and concentrate.  The permeate stream, often referred to as “tea water”, is devoid of suspended solids and contains the dissolved constituents found in manure including ammonia and potassium.  The concentrate stream contains 95%+ of the phosphorus and 88%+ of organic nitrogen with a total solid content of 6-7%.  Due to the shearing action of the pump/membrane system coupled with anaerobic degradation, the resulting concentrate stream is readily pumped and the solid fraction tends to stay in suspension.

photo of reverse osmosis equipment
Figure 5. Reverse Osmosis

Permeate from the UF flows to an air stripping process for ammonia removal.  The equilibrium relationship between un-ionized and ionized NH3+/NH4 is controlled by pH and temperature.  As a general rule, the air stripper is used to remove as much ammonia as practical through the addition of waste heat (such as from an engine generator set or biogas boiler).  The stripped ammonia is combined with dilute sulfuric acid to produce liquid ammonium sulfate (approximately 6% nitrogen and 7% sulfur).

The air stripped water is fed to a RO process which produces clean water suitable for direct discharge and a concentrated liquid fertilizer containing the potassium.  The clean water represents approximately 55% of the starting volume of manure.  As an option, a plate and frame press can be used to dewater UF concentrate to produce a solid product containing phosphorus and organic nitrogen.  Inclusion of this technology offers the potential of increasing the percentage of clean water produced by the complete process to more than 60% of the starting volume of manure.

What have you learned?

  • UF membrane excludes 95%+ of phosphorus and 88%+ of organic nitrogen.
  • Stable flux rates at operating total solid concentrations of 6.0-7.0%.
  • Ammonium sulfate concentrations of 28-30% were readily achieved.
  • Overall, approximately 55% of water is recovered as discharge quality
  • Through the use of solid-liquid separation, the potential exists to increase volume of recovered water to 60%+.

Impact of Technology

The technology is flexible and can be applied to meet farm specific goals objectives.  Separated and concentrated nutrients can be land applied where and when they are needed and the production of clean water creates new and improved opportunities for water management.  Overall, the process vastly improves the farmer’s control of the manure management process.

Authors

James Wallace, P.E., PhD, Environmental Engineer, McLanahan Corporation JWallace@mclanahan.com

Steven Safferman, P.E., PhD, Associate Professor, Michigan State University

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Identify and Synthesize Methods to Refine Phosphorus Indices from Three Regional Indexing Efforts

Purpose

This project was started to work with regional CIG projects to calibrate and harmonize Phosphorus Indices across the U.S., demonstrate their accuracy in identifying the magnitude and extent of phosphorus loss risk, and provide suggestions to refine or improve existing Indices. This research is important to provide consistency among state Phosphorus Indices and their subsequent recommendations.  

What did we do?

We will combine and compare results from each of the four regional and state Phosphorus Index CIG-funded projects, in order to synthesize, summarize, and describe the science-based information and lessons learned from the individual Phosphorus Index assessment projects (i.e., Chesapeake Bay Watershed, Heartland Region, Southern States and Ohio Lake Erie Basin) and build a harmonized framework that yields consistent Phosphorus-based risk assessment across the U.S. by doing this, we plan to ensure that the refinement of Phosphorus Indices is grounded in the best available science, reflects local environmental and agronomic conditions, anticipates impacts to water quality and farm management, and provides consistent recommendations within and across varied physiographic regions of the U.S.

What have we learned?

Despite the success of the Phosphorus Index concept in state-level nutrient management planning strategies as part of the NRCS 590 Standard, there remain concerns about the effectiveness of the Indexing approach for attaining water quality goals. Different versions of the Phosphorus Index have emerged to account for regional differences in soil types, land management, climate, physiographic and hydrologic controls, manure management strategies, and policy conditions. Along with this development, differences in Phosphorus Index manure management recommendations under relatively similar site conditions have also emerged. To date, we have learned that the individual projects with slightly differing objectives have shown there to be a paucity of field measured runoff, against which to reliably compare Index performance. Thus, several off-the shelf and pre-calibrated models (e.g., APEX) were tested to provide adequate phosphorus runoff information to validate Indices. Use of off-the-shelf models can provide unreliable estimates of phosphorus runoff, while calibrate models can provide more reliable estimates when given adequate site information.

Future Plans

It is planned to have extend the research for one more year to the end of 2016 to continue model assessment, compile field runoff databases, conduct statistical and uncertainty analyses, and compile cross project findings.

Authors

Andrew Sharpley, Distinguished Professor, Division of Agriculture University of Arkansas System sharpley@uark.edu

Deanna Osmond, Professor and Soil Science Department Extension Leader; David Radcliff, Professor; Peter Kleinman, Research Leader; Doug Beegle, Distinguished Professor of Agronomy; John Lory, Associate Professor of Extension; and Nathan Nelson, Professor.

Additional information

Sharpley, A.N., D. Beegle, C. Bolster, L. Good, B. Joern, Q. Ketterings, J. Lory, R. Mikkelsen, D. Osmond, and P. Vadas. 2011. Revision of the 590 Nutrient Management Standard: SERA-17 Recommendations. Southern Cooperative Series Bulletin No. 412. Published by SERA-IEG-17, Virginia Tech. University, Blacksburg, VA. Available at https://sera17dotorg.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/590-sera-17-recommendations.pdf 2011.

Sharpley, A.N., D. Beegle, C. Bolster, L. Good, B. Joern, Q. Ketterings, J. Lory, R. Mikkelsen, D. Osmond, and P. Vadas. 2011. Revision of the 590 Nutrient Management Standard: SERA-17 Supporting Documentation. Southern Cooperative Series Bulletin No. 412. Published by SERA-IEG-17, Virginia Tech. University, Blacksburg, VA. Available at https://sera17dotorg.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/590-sera-17-recommendations.pdf

Sharpley, A.N., D.G. Beegle, C. Bolster, L.W. Good, B. Joern, Q. Ketterings, J. Lory, R. Mikkelsen, D. Osmond, and P.A. Vadas. 2012. Phosphorus indices: Why we need to take stock of how we are doing. J. Environ. Qual. 41:1711-1718.

Osmond, D.L., A.N. Sharpley, C. Bolster, M. Cabrera, S. Feagley, B. Lee, C. Mitchell, R. Mylavarapu, L. Oldham, F. Walker, and H. Zhang. 2012. Comparing phosphorus indices from twelve southern USA states against monitored phosphorus loads from six prior southern studies. J. Environ. Qual. 41:1741-1750.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

 

 

Relationship between Surface Waters and Underlying Stream and Ditch Sediment in Selected Eagle Creek Tributaries


Why are stream and ditch sediment important to water quality?

Best management strategies implemented in most watersheds to reduce phosphorus (P) loads to surface waters have been successful, however, internal P loading within streams and ditches may still provide P to overlying water. Phosphorus retention and release by sediments is important for understanding sediment P status and buffering capacity and for determining the potential environmental fate of sediment bound P in flowing water systems.

What did we do?

Eight headwater streams and drainage ditches within Eagle Creek Watershed in central Indiana were selected to evaluate soluble P (SP). Stream and drainage ditch water and sediment were collected monthly from 8 selected locations within the Eagle Creek watershed in central Indiana for two consecutive years to estimate if there were any seasonal and/or land use trends. Sediments and water were analyzed for soluble P, and 24-hour P isotherms were performed to determine the P sorption capacity and to calculate the equilibrium P concentration (EPC0). The relationship between  EPC0 and SP in the water column allows for the prediction of the potential for sediments to either release P to or retain P from the water column.

What have we learned? 

Surface water P concentrations varied seasonally and were consistently greater during summer (P<0.05). Surface water SP concentrations increased with the percentage of land classified as urban (P<0.0001). Generally, we observed lower P concentrations in sediment during summer and greater P concentrations during winter and spring. We also observed greater P concentrations in areas that had a greater percentage of land used for agriculture and in some cases, sub-catchment area influenced the P content that was observed. Sediment EPC0 concentrations were not related to water column SP, however, when sediments were separated as ‘sinks’(r = 0.49) or ‘sources’(r = 0.65), a strong correlation was found between sediment EPC0 and water column SP (P<0.0001).

Future Plans    

Information from this study will assist managers and planners in targeting areas with the greatest potential for loss of P from sediments to overlying water. These results will also assist in improving nutrient criteria thresholds for the watershed.

Authors      

Candiss O. Williams, Research Soil Scientist, USDA NRCS Kellogg National Soil Survey Laboratory & Research Candiss.Williams@lin.usda.gov

Brad Joern, Professor, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University Douglas R. Smith, Research Soil Scientist, USDA ARS Grassland, Soil, and Water Research Laboratory

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Factors Affecting Household Use of Organic Fertilizer

Purpose         

New uses of manure can be win-win opportunities for livestock and poultry farmers, new users, and the environment. While there is increasing interest by crop farmers in using manure as a source of nutrients, another potential market is households. This study was conducted to look at factors that affect stated use of organic fertilizer, in order to enable producers and professionals to market this product to homeowners.

What did we do?

A survey of households in the Columbia, Missouri area was conducted in spring of 2014 in order to evaluate current lawn and garden practices with a goal of improving water quality in Hinkson Creek. The response rate was 44%. One question was whether they used an “organic fertilizer (OF, composted manure)”. About 26% of respondents said they used OF but when we excluded people who indicated it was not applicable because they either didn’t use fertilizer at all or used a lawn care company for fertilizer applications, the adoption rate was 32%. A logit regression with OF use as the dependent variable was conducted and results are presented below. The pseudo R2 for the regression was 0.21. Only statistically significant variables are discussed.

What have we learned?

People who indicated that they used soil tests, had installed rain gardens, or who had planted drought tolerant plants were more likely to use OF. These practices had been adopted by 12%, 33% and 3% of households, respectively.  People who fertilized their lawns three or more times per year were less likely to adopt OF.  Those who said they watered their lawns as needed to keep them green were more likely to use OF than people who watered infrequently or only in a drought.  Those who spent more than 10 hours (per month?) gardening were more likely to adopt than those spending less than 10 hours.  People who had heard of the term watershed and knew what it meant were more likely to use OF.  People aged 46-60, or over 60, were less likely to use OF than those in the 31-45 age range. People with household incomes over $75,000 as well as those earning under $25,000 were less likely to use OF than those in the $50-74,999 range. Those who strongly trusted information about water quality from environmental groups were more likely to use OF. Those who get information about fertilizer from the internet were more likely to use OF than those who obtained information from professionals or extension agents.  Users of OF thus seem to be younger, well-informed, serious gardeners that are also more concerned with environmental issues. 

Future Plans  

In the near term, dissemination of this research in a peer-reviewed journal is planned. Future research could examine the specific perceptions that homeowners have about this product to see whether marketing efforts can either counteract incorrect perceptions, or build on the perceived positive attributes of composted manure.

Authors

Laura McCann, Associate Professor at the University of Missouri McCannL@missouri.edu

Dong Won Shin, Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Missouri

Additional information             

Dr. Laura McCann, Associate Professor
212 Mumford Hall
Dept. of Agricultural and Applied Economics
Univ. of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

Acknowledgements      

This project was supported by National Integrated Water Quality Grant Program number 110.C (Award 2012-03652).

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.