Start Date

3-12-1992 12:00 AM

Description

Groundwater is a very important natural resource which directly affects many human lives. In the United States, groundwater is the source of about 22 percent of the freshwater used. About 53 percent of the total population and 97 percent of the rural population use groundwater supplies for their drinking water (Moody, 1990). Although contamination of groundwater can occur naturally, agriculture is considered to be one of the most widespread nonprofit sources of groundwater contamination. Among agricultural chemicals, nitrogen-fertilizer has been used most extensively, especially by com producers. About one million tons of nitrogen-fertilizer are used annually in Iowa. In some studies, more than 50 percent of the applied fertilizer nitrogen is not removed by the crop or stored in the soil, and leaching as a form of nitrate is thought to be a major reason for the losses (Blackmer, 1987). Leached nitrate may enter groundwater supplies. Nitrate-nitrogen concentrations found in unsaturated soil below the rootzone of agricultural fields are in the range of 5 to 100 mg!L (Bouwer, 1990). Nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in tile drainage below row crops often exceed 10 mg/L, the U.S.A. drinking water standard (Gast et al., 1978; Baker and Johnson, 1981; Timmons and Dylla, 1981; Baker et al., 1985).

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Dec 3rd, 12:00 AM

Subsurface Flow Barriers to Reduce Nitrate Leaching

Groundwater is a very important natural resource which directly affects many human lives. In the United States, groundwater is the source of about 22 percent of the freshwater used. About 53 percent of the total population and 97 percent of the rural population use groundwater supplies for their drinking water (Moody, 1990). Although contamination of groundwater can occur naturally, agriculture is considered to be one of the most widespread nonprofit sources of groundwater contamination. Among agricultural chemicals, nitrogen-fertilizer has been used most extensively, especially by com producers. About one million tons of nitrogen-fertilizer are used annually in Iowa. In some studies, more than 50 percent of the applied fertilizer nitrogen is not removed by the crop or stored in the soil, and leaching as a form of nitrate is thought to be a major reason for the losses (Blackmer, 1987). Leached nitrate may enter groundwater supplies. Nitrate-nitrogen concentrations found in unsaturated soil below the rootzone of agricultural fields are in the range of 5 to 100 mg!L (Bouwer, 1990). Nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in tile drainage below row crops often exceed 10 mg/L, the U.S.A. drinking water standard (Gast et al., 1978; Baker and Johnson, 1981; Timmons and Dylla, 1981; Baker et al., 1985).