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Design and Construction of Phosphorus Removal Structures for Improving Water Quality


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction to phosphorus and water quality1.1. The role of phosphorus in ecosystems1.1.1. Eutrophication

1.1.2. Cultural and Political Response to Eutrophication Issues1.2. Sources of phosphorus transported to surface waters1.2.1. Point Sources (Wastewater Treatment Plants)1.2.2. Non-point phosphorus sources and forms1.3. Best management practices and dissolved phosphorus losses1.4. References2. Reducing Phosphorus Transport: An Overview of Best Management Practices2.1. Dealing with eutrophication: treat the symptoms or the cause?2.2. Incidental vs. legacy phosphorus losses2.3. Legacy phosphorus2.3.1. Preventing legacy P from occurring2.3.2. Containment of legacy phosphorus losses2.3.3. Remediation of legacy phosphorus2.4. References3. Phosphorus Removal Structures as a Short-Term Solution for the Problem of Dissolved Phosphorus Transport to Surface Waters3.1. Purpose, Concept, and General Theory of Phosphorus Removal Structures3.1.1. How the phosphorus removal structure works for removing the target pollutant: dissolved phosphorus3.1.2. Choosing the most efficient target locations for a phosphorus removal structure 3.2. Examples and applications of phosphorus removal structures3.2.1. Modular box3.2.2. Ditch-filter3.2.3. Surface confined bed 3.2.4. Cartridges3.2.5. Pond filter3.2.6. Blind/surface inlets3.2.7. Bio-retention cell3.2.8. Subsurface tile drain filter3.2.9. Waste-water treatment structures3.2.10. Treatment at confined animal feeding operations3.2.11. Treatment at silage bunkers3.3. Summary of P removal structure styles3.4. References4. Phosphorus sorption materials (PSMs): the heart of the phosphorus removal structure4.1. What are PSMs?4.1.1.< Examples of PSMs4.1.2. Choosing a PSM4.2. What makes a material an effective PSM?4.2.1. P sorption capacity and kinetics of P removal4.2.2. Physical properties important to PSMs4.2.3. Safety considerations of PSMs4.3. The paradox of many PSMs4.3.1. Potential solutions for PSMs with insufficient hydraulic conductivity4.3.2. A note on the use of steel slag and chemical treatment4.4. References5. Characterization of PSMs5.1. Measuring and estimating P removal: flow-through vs. batch tests5.2. The P removal design curve5.2.1. Method for direct measurement of the design curve: flow-through experiment5.2.2. Indirect estimation of the P design curve through characterization of PSMs5.3. Methods of physical characterization of PSMs necessary for designing a P removal structure5.3.1. Measurement of bulk density5.3.2. Measurement of porosity and particle density5.3.3. Measurement of saturated hydraulic conductivity5.4. Methods of safety characterization of PSMs5.4.1. Total metal concentration by digestion5.4.2. Method for water soluble metals5.4.3. Synthetic precipitation leaching procedure (SPLP)5.5. References6. Designing a Phosphorus Removal Structure6.1. Designing structures to achieve target P load removal and lifetime6.1.1. Use of the design curve and governing equations for designing structures6.1.2. Determining the required mass of PSM for a P removal structure6.2. Site characterization inputs required for conducting a design6.2.1. Average annual dissolved P load6.2.2. Peak flow rates6.2.3. Hydraulic head and maximum area for structure6.3. Drainage of the P removal structure: balancing flow rate with retention time6.3.1. Water flow through the P removal structure6.3.2. Retention time6.3.3. Drainage of the P removal structure6.4. General procedure for conducting a structure design and information obtained6.4.1. General design procedure6.4.2. General results from conducting a proper design6.5. Optional: total and particulate P removal with sediment reduction6.5.1. Estimating sediment load reduction6.5.2. Estimating total P and particulate P reductions from sediment removal within the structure6.6. Further considerations in design and construction6.6.1. Free drainage6.6.2. Using a "cap layer" for fine-textured PSMs6.6.3. Use of flow control structures6.6.4. Overflow6.7. References7. Using the Phrog software7.1. Designing a P removal structure vs. predicting performance of an existing structure7.2. Two broad styles for P removal structures: bed vs. ditch structure7.3. Specific inputs required for design of a P removal structure7.3.1. Chemical and physical characteristics of PSM to be used7.3.2. Site characteristics, constraints, and target P removal goals7.3.3. Additional inputs for predicting performance of an existing structure7.3.4. Optional inputs for estimating total and particulate P removal7.4. General output from Phrog software when conducting a design7.4.1. Output: physical construction specifications7.4.2. Output: predicted structure performance and guidance in obtaining a suitable design 7.5. Case studies using Phrog to design or predict7.5.1. Design a ditch structure: details of Phrog use and example of how to simultaneously meet the target flow rate and retention time7.5.2. Predict performance of an existing ditch structure7.5.3. Design a subsurface bed structure for treating tile drainage7.5.4. Predict the performance of a blind inlet and demonstration of predicting particulate and total P removal7.5.5. Bio-retention cells7.5.6. Design a confined bed located on a CAFO7.5.7. Wastewater treatment plant tertiary P treatment and example use of direct input of design curve coefficients7.6. References8. Disposal of Spent Phosphorus Sorption Materials8.1. Use of spent PSMs as a P fertilizer8.1.1. Testing PSMs to determine potential for P release to plants or runoff after land application to soil8.2. Extraction of P from spent PSMs and potential recharge8.2.1. Stripping P from spent PSMs: is it worth it?8.3. Land application of spent PSMs to soils for benefits other than P fertilizer8.3.1. Safety considerations in land application of spent PSMs8.4. Alternative to land application of spent PSMs 8.5. 8.5 References

About the Author

Dr. Chad Penn is a soil, agricultural, and environmental chemist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Before joining the ARS, he served as a professor of soil and environmental chemistry at Oklahoma State University for eleven years. He received his B.S. in soil science at Penn State University (1998) and M.S. in environmental soil science (2001). He earned his Ph.D. in environmental soil chemistry at Virginia Tech (2004). Dr. Penn has constructed over twenty phosphorus removal structures throughout the U.S., and helped to design many more in the U.S. and internationally. With his thirteen years of experience in conducting research on removing dissolved phosphorus from runoff, Dr. Penn created the software, "Phosphorus Removal Online Guidance" (Phrog), in an effort to disseminate the technology and enable the lay-person to more easily design and construct phosphorus removal structures. He has been a member of the National Academy of Inventors since 2015 and the American Society of Agronomy since 1997. Dr. Penn continues to help people around the world design phosphorus removal structures. Mr. James Bowen is pursuing a Ph.D. in the plant and soil sciences department with a concentration in soil fertility at the University of Kentucky. His research focuses on the spatial variability of soil phosphorus critical thresholds in agricultural systems. He has a BS in environmental science and an MS in soil science from Oklahoma State University. Mr. Bowen earned his M.S. degree under Dr. Penn while conducting research focused on design and quantification of phosphorus removal structures. He is a co-creator of the Phrog software.

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