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SOIL AND WATER QUALITY MONITORING TECHINIQUES Ramesh Kanwar Professor and Chair, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering Department Iowa State University,

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Presentation on theme: "SOIL AND WATER QUALITY MONITORING TECHINIQUES Ramesh Kanwar Professor and Chair, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering Department Iowa State University,"— Presentation transcript:

1 SOIL AND WATER QUALITY MONITORING TECHINIQUES Ramesh Kanwar Professor and Chair, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering Department Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa USA

2 Objectives of Soil and Water Monitoring 1.To determine the impact of any activity on the landscape (agriculture, chemicals, manure use, industry, human or industry waste etc) on surface or groundwater quality 2.To make sure our drinking water supplies are safe for human consumption.

3 World Water Supply 97.2% Saline 2.15% Icecaps & Glaciers 0.307% in Ground Water < 0.5mi deep 0.307% in Ground Water > 0.5mi deep 0.005% soil moisture 0.01% in surface waters & the atmosphere 2.8% Fresh

4 Water Quality Issues Related to Human Health Main compounds are - N, P, pathogens, and antibiotics Surface and groundwater pollution potential High NO 3 -N levels can cause blue baby syndrome (methemoglobinemia) High NO 3 -N can lead to etiology of stomach cancer (only limited evidence available) Bacteria and pathogens can be disease causing Antibiotics as feed supplements are finding ways to water

5 WATER QUALITY CONCERNS FROM ANIMAL WASTES Main concern is infant health –Nitrate/nitrite causes blue baby disease –Newborn babies essentially suffocate –Water Quality Standard for Nitrate-nitrogen is 10 mg/l SURFACE WATER WATER BODIES: –Ammonia > 2 mg/L Kills Fish –Phosphate > 0.05 mg/L promotes excess algae growth which leads to Fish Kills - Eutophication –BOD depletes oxygen which causes Fish Kills - Hypoxia

6 Agricultural Contribution: World Perspective 60% N and 25% P from European Ag to North Sea 48% of nutrient pollution in the former Czechoslovakia Significant levels flowing into the Adriatic Sea Eutrophication problems in Lake Erie


8 Water Quality Issue: HYPOXIA The worst hypoxic conditions are in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea Hypoxic conditions have been increasing since the 1960s The Gulf of Mexico, outside the delta of the Mississippi River is the worlds third largest hypoxic area 12400 sq. km. (4800 sq. mi)

9 Major Water Quality Issue: WORLD HYPOXIC ZONES

10 Current Status of Iowa Lakes Clear Lake Crystal Lake

11 Manure Characteristics and Production Estimates ( what does it contain) 6% of bodyweight per day (most species) 13 - 15 % solids 85 -87% liquid

12 Daily Manure Production Per Animal We have estimates of manure production –4.5 kg/day/hd for swine (liquid manure) –45-50 kg/day/hd for dairy cow (liquid) –25-30 kg/day/hd for beef cow (liquid) Solid portion ~ 13-15% of total

13 Animal Waste Nutrient Utilization Scenario Swine Confinement Facility 4000 animals @ 61 kg / animal Nutrient Content in kg/ day / 1000 kg 0.52 kg N / day / 1000 kg animal wt. 0.18 kg P / day / 1000 kg animal wt. 0.29 kg K / day / 1000 kg animal wt.

14 Manure Characteristics In general… –Nitrogen (ammonia) is in urine –Phosphorus is in feces In the U.S. were working on ways to keep urine and feces separate

15 Manure Management Issues Animal manure is a liability in high density livestock production areas where fertilizers are cheap Animal manure is an asset if fertilizers are unavailable or expensive Odor and ammonia emission to air-global warming Odor issues are serious in residential areas Pollution of soil and water resources-water quality Hypoxia problems in international water

16 Nitrogen Is mobile in some forms (NO 3 ) –not in others (organic, NH 4 ) Does not carryover like P Is not determined by soil test

17 Negative Environmental Impacts Nitrogen - Nitrates leaching to tilelines and/or groundwater - Ammonia runoff into surface water causing fish kills

18 Negative Environmental Impacts Phosphorus Loss with soil erosion Eutrophication (algae growth) of surface waters

19 Phosphorus Is bound to the soil particles Remains in the soil year to year Moves if soil erodes Is determined by soil test Does not volatilize like nitrogen

20 Manure Nutrient Planning Determine the hectares needed to maximize nutrient use and minimize negative environmental impacts

21 Question 1 Which Nutrient should I use for planning... Nitrogen? Phosphorus?

22 U.S. Manure Law says... Use nitrogen for nutrient planning - Results in least land area needed - May not be best use of nutrients because phosphorus is overapplied - Laws in U.S. are changing to require P planning

23 N:P Ratio of Manure N:P ratio is different for different types of manure N:P Cattle ratio… ~ 2:1 Swine ratio… ~ 1.5:1 Poultry ratio… ~ 1:2

24 Phosphorus Planning Requires more hectares Results in lower application rates Maximize economic value of manure Depends on crop & manure application frequency Requires additional commercial N fertilizer

25 Question 2 How much of the nutrient should I apply??

26 Plant Nutrient Utilization Plant utilization –Corn uses 0.7 lb/bu N 0.4 lb/bu P 2 O 5 –Beans use 3.8 lb/bu N 0.8 lb/bu P 2 O 5 Plant fertilization –Corn needs 1.2 lb/bu N 0.4 lb/bu P 2 O –Beans need 0.0 lb/bu N 0.8 lb/bu P 2 O

27 Steps in Manure Nutrient Management 1. Determine crop nutrient needs 2. Determine manure nutrients available 3. Calculate hectares needed for the manure 4. Calculate manure volume to apply

28 Summary - Manure Planning Not difficult to do Economically advantageous Manure can replace purchased fertilizer Using manure correctly is good for the environment

29 Potential Pathways Phosphorus Surface water runoff Pathogens Surface water runoff Organic Matter Surface water runoff PollutantPathway 1. Nitrate – NLeaching & Runoff 2. Ammonium – NSurface water runoff & Aerial deposition

30 Soil and Water Quality Monitoring Techniques Soil sampling Surface water sampling Surface runoff Open ditch or irrigation canals Small or large rivers Ponds, lakes, reservoirs Ocean, sea Wetlands Groundwater Shallow groundwater Deep groundwater


32 Soil Monitoring and Sampling Must know the objectives why to sample? What to sample for? When to sample? Number of soil sampling? Variability in sampling? From various soil depths – Objectives?

33 Soil Monitoring What to sample for? NO 3 -N, pesticides, organic matter, metals, organics, pathogens, micro-organisms, N, P, K, micro-nutrients.

34 When to Sample? Once a week, month, or year. As a function of cropping system or season. As a function of weather cycle.

35 Number of samples per field – function of cost? Spatial variability. Minimum three samples per plot. Several depths. Composite to cut down cost.

36 Soil Sampling Techniques Soil augers Soil probes Back saver Zero contamination tube Hydraulic probes

37 Problems During Soil Sampling and Transportation Cross-contamination Separation, collection Storage, transportation, temperature control Timely analyses in lab Laboratory techniques/interpretation

38 Quantity Control/Quality Assurance Sending duplicate samples to recognized laboratories Manual on laboratory procedures All steps on how to collect soil samples and lab analyses.

39 Water Quality Monitoring Point sources of pollution (manure storage platforms, spills) Non point sources (agriculture)

40 Monitoring Needs Surface water Groundwater

41 Surface water Monitoring Field runoff Open ditches/drains Irrigation canals Ponds/Lakes/reservoirs Wetlands Streams, rivers (Danube River) Ocean, Sea (Black sea)

42 Groundwater Monitoring At what depth would you like to collect water samples? Shallow depth < 3 m. Deep groundwater > 3 m. Monitor at depth increments 5, 10, 15, … 50 m??

43 Groundwater Monitoring Techniques Piezometers Water table wells Deep ground water wells


45 Construction of Groundwater Wells

46 2.Glass bottles VS plastic bottles. 3.Temperature control during transportation. 4.Acidify samples if used for NO 3 -N analysis. 5.Store samples at 4 o C until analyzed. 6.EPA protocol is to analyze within 15 days of collection.

47 When to collect Groundwater Samples? Weekly, monthly, 3-4 time in a year?? Define objectives For drinking water wells – weekly/monthly (weekly for public wells, monthly/six month for industrial wells) Quality VS quantity

48 Vadose Zone Monitoring Water content and Chemical conc. Soil moisture potential – Tensiometers Soil water contents Soil salinity Temperature Soil pore water sampling



51 Soil Pore Water Sampling Soil samples Extract them for either NO 3 -N or pesticides Suction lysimeters Caissiosn lysimeters Trench lysimeters Drainage systems Piezometers Single or multiple sampling wells

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