Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Monitoring Surface Drainage and Water Quality from Closed Depressions.

Stanley J. Livingston, Douglas Smith, Gary C. Heathman, and Chi-hua Huang. USDA-ARS, National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory, 275 S. Russell St., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2077

The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), in conjunction with many other interested stakeholders, are taking part in the Source Water Protection Initiative (SWPI) and the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) within the St Joseph River Watershed in northeastern Indiana. SWPI and CEAP are programs to assess the environmental benefits of current conservation practices and to develop and document the effects of new Best Management Practices (BMP’s). The Cedar Creek sub watershed has been selected for detailed monitoring. A significant percentage of the landscape within the Cedar Creek sub watershed is dominated by closed depression drainage systems. These systems normally include a tile riser or blind inlet for surface water removal. The contribution of surface inlets to water quality issues is being investigated. In this study, two adjacent field sized depressions (2.5ha) have been selected for monitoring of surface runoff to 2 different types of inlet structures. Blind inlets and tile risers have been installed in each depression and are controlled by gate valves. In-line monitoring of flow and sample extraction have been installed. A full suite of weather and soil sensors have been installed to monitor environmental and hydrologic conditions. Comparisons can be made between different management schemes or drain types. Continuous flow measurements have been taken since April 2005. Samples are dependant on runoff events and time of year. Schematics of the sample station design as well as flow and water quality data from each watershed will be presented.

Handout (.pdf format, 2860.0 kb)