Search National Agricultural Library Digital Collections
Back to Search
NALDC Record Details:
Assessment of phosphorus retention in irrigation laterals
Download [PDF File]
Irrigation laterals transport irrigation return flow, including water, sediment, and dissolved nutrients, such as phosphorus (P), back to surface water bodies. Phosphorus transformations during transport can affect both P bioavailability and the best management practices selected to minimize P inputs to waters of the United States. The objective of this study was to determine P retention in three irrigation laterals. Soluble reactive P (SRP) concentrations in lateral waters were increased from 0.08 to 0.25 mg L–1 (0.08 to 0.25 ppm) by constantly injecting a phosphate (PO4) solution for 2.5 hours. Bromide (Br) was used as a conservative tracer to determine dilution effects. Water was sampled at 10-minute intervals, beginning 30 minutes prior to injection and 120 minutes following injection, at one upstream location and various downstream locations to approximately 1,550 m (~1 mi) from injection sites. When at steady state, SRP concentrations only decreased by 5% over the lengths studied, equating to P uptake lengths of over 18 km (11.2 mi), which was one to two orders of magnitude greater than natural streams; the linear SRP uptake rate was 0.011 mg L–1 km–1 (0.018 ppm mi–1). Longer P uptake lengths and lower uptake rates in irrigation laterals, as compared to natural streams, may be due to the elevated sediment equilibrium P concentration, greater water velocities, and removal of vegetation causing a reduction in frictional resistance. Reducing water velocities should optimize irrigation lateral conditions to reduce uptake length and maximize P uptake.
J. A. Ippolito
N. O. Nelson
best management practices
Journal of soil and water conservation 2013 v.68 no.6
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
Agricultural Research Service
Web Policies and Important Links