Evaluation of floating treatment wetlands in stormwater retention ponds on poultry farms to reduce nutrient loading
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viii, 70 pages
ProgramTowson University. Environmental Science and Studies Program
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Evaluation of floating treatment wetlands in stormwater retention ponds on poultry farms to reduce nutrient loading Best management practices (BMPs) such as stormwater retention ponds are implemented to collect runoff and drainage from poultry farms and provide a possible intervention point for water treatment. Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) are thought to remove pollutants from surrounding water columns. The majority of research conducted on FTWs focuses on nutrient removal via plant uptake. The results of prior studies conclude that plant uptake of nutrients alone is not a reliable source of nutrient removal because macrophytes and microalgae only temporarily immobilize N; this conclusion suggests that without periodic harvesting of plants, nutrient cycling would occur, while permanent removal of N is dependent upon denitrification. Floating treatment wetlands were evaluated to see if they could be used as a BMP. Denitrification potential was evaluated in the sediment and FTW through a denitrification enzyme assay by measuring the maximum potential of the microbial community at sample collection. Denitrification potentials among the FTWs were 5 to 7 times higher than rates found among pond sediments. Although significant denitrification was present, maximum nutrient removal could only take place if plants were harvested from FTWs in addition to microbial denitrification. The combination of plants and organisms within FTW matrices could potentially reduce nitrogen concentrations within stormwater retention ponds. Floating treatment wetlands provide a new tool that could assist in the uptake of nutrients, especially those associated with eutrophication. Floating treatment wetlands should be further analyzed but could potentially serve as a successful BMP in low flow systems within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.