Pollutants Removal by Vegetative Filter Strips Planted with Different Grasses
ASAE/CSAE Annual International Meeting , 042177 , 2004

Goel, P.K., Rudra, R.P., Gharabaghi, B., Das, S. , Gupta, N.

Over the last few years, increasing occurrence of deadly pathogens and presence of various pollutants (nutrients, pesticides, other chemicals, and sediments) above the prescribed limit in water systems, clearly indicate alarmingly deteriorating quality of water resources. As a result, farming systems that are known to be the main non-point or diffuse pollution source are being reviewed microscopically. Vegetative Filter Strip (VFS) is considered to be one of the best management practices (BMPs) for effective control sediment and nutrient transport over agricultural lands. Many laboratory and field scale studies have also indicated the limited usefulness of VFS to control movement of bacteria in surface runoff. However, design of VFS under field conditions still remains a challenge due to variation in upland hydrological parameters and factors effecting movement of pollutants through VFS such as type of vegetation cover and density, width of strip, and land slope. Determination of trapping efficiency of VFS for bacteria is more complex due to the complex interaction of various factors governing the die-of and re-growth of bacteria under field condition, and release of bacteria from soil reserve. An extensive field experiment is being conducted at the research farm of University of Guelph in Southern Ontario, Canada, to evaluate to effectiveness of VFS under different vegetation cover, ground slope, width of filter strip, and in various seasons. Concentration of sediment reduced an average by 88.3% and almost 94.3% sediment mass was trapped in various filter strips. Higher trapping efficiencies for mass were observed for sediment bound nutrients (94.5% and 93.9% for N and P, respectively) compared to soluble forms (57.0% and 77.3% for N and P, respectively). Results for bacteria (Total Coliforms, Fecal Coliforms, and E. Coli) through VFSs were encouraging but not conclusive. In the present paper, experiment and results of the study are presented and discussed in details.