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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Savoy Experimental Watershed: Water Quality Assessment of a Basin Dedicated to Interdisciplinary Animal Waste Management Research

item Sauer, Thomas
item Brahana, John - USGS
item Kresse, Tim - ADEQ
item Compston, Scott - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Winters, Debra - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Vendrell, Paul - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 13, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The Savoy Experimental Watershed (SEW) is a collaborative effort by the University of Arkansas, USDA-ARS, USGS, and ADEQ to establish a site for long-term studies of animal waste impacts on surface and subsurface water quality. The most intense monitoring activities have been directed at Basin 1, a 147 ha watershed immediately adjacent to the Illinois River. Weirs have been permanently installed on two continuously flowing springs (Langle and Copperhead) and at the basin outlet to measure flow and water quality parameters. Over 20 shallow, 5-cm diameter monitoring wells have been installed primarily in alluvial areas while 3 deep (>30m) wells allow sampling of the shallow aquifer above the regional confining layer. Additionally, samples from several small springs (seeps), a nearby tributary (Clear Creek) and the Illinois River have been analyzed for several water quality parameters including nitrate (NO3-N), ammonia (NH3-N), dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP), and fecal bacteria. Nitrate and DRP concentrations are consistently higher for Copperhead Spring as compared to Langle Spring, a trend that may be related to higher animal waste loads in the Copperhead recharge basin. Concentrations for NO3-N and DRP range from 1 to 11 mg L**-1 and from 0.005 to 0.2 mg L**-1, respectively. For the groundwater, nutrient concentrations tended to be higher at shallow depths, indicating some enrichment of the shallow perched aquifer. Limited fecal bacteria sampling has indicated significant populations in the spring water following rainfall events, but also a rapid return to bacterial counts below the contact standard within several days.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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