Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm
Denitrification bioreactors, also known as woodchip bioreactors, are a new strategy for improving drainage water quality before these flows arrive at local streams, rivers, and lakes. A bioreactor is an excavated, woodchip-filled pit that is capable of supporting native microbes that convert nitrate in the drainage water to nitrogen gas. The idea of these edgeof-field treatment systems is still relatively new, meaning it is important for investigations to be made into how to design these “pits” and to determine how drainage water moves through the woodchips. Because the bioreactor at the ISU Northeast Research Farm (NERF) is one of the best monitored bioreactor sites in the state, it provided an ideal location to not only monitor bioreactor nitrate-reduction performance, but also to investigate design hydraulics.
Iowa State University
Christianson, Laura E.; Helmers, Matthew J.; and Pederson, Carl H., "Hydraulic Performance of the Denitrification Bioreactor" (2012). Iowa State Research Farm Progress Reports. 78.