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Sediment and nutrient retention in ponds on an agricultural stream: evaluating effectiveness for diffuse pollution mitigation

Sediment and nutrient retention in ponds on an agricultural stream: evaluating effectiveness for diffuse pollution mitigation
Sediment and nutrient retention in ponds on an agricultural stream: evaluating effectiveness for diffuse pollution mitigation
The creation of ponds and wetlands has the potential to alleviate stream water quality impairment in catchments affected by diffuse agricultural pollution. Understanding the hydrological and biogeochemical functioning of these features is important in determining their effectiveness at mitigating pollution. This study investigated sediment and nutrient retention in three connected (on-line) ponds on a lowland headwater stream by sampling inflowing and outflowing concentrations during base and storm flows. Sediment trapping devices were used to quantify sediment and phosphorus accumulations within ponds over approximately monthly periods. The organic matter content and particle size composition of accumulated sediment were also measured. The ponds retained dissolved nitrate, soluble reactive phosphorus and suspended solids during baseflows. During small to moderate storm events, some ponds were able to reduce peak concentrations and loads of suspended solids and phosphorus; however, during large magnitude events, resuspension of deposited sediment resulted in net loss. Ponds filtered out larger particles most effectively. Between August 2019 and March 2020, the ponds accumulated 0.306 t ha−1 sediment from the 30 ha contributing area. During this period, total sediment accumulations in ponds were estimated to equal 7.6% of the suspended flux leaving the 340 ha catchment downstream. This study demonstrates the complexity of pollutant retention dynamics in on-line ponds and highlights how their effectiveness can be influenced by the timing and magnitude of events.
Constructed wetlands, Natural flood management, Nitrate, On-line ponds, Organic matter, Particle size, Phosphorus, Suspended sediment, Water quality
2073-4441
Robotham, John, Nicholas Peter
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Old, Gareth
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Rameshwaran, Ponnambalam
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Sear, David
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Gasca-Tucker, David
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Bishop, James
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Old, Joanne
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McKnight, David
59962b42-95a0-4f66-8de9-70acd57e33e9
Robotham, John, Nicholas Peter
ad3fdc4e-850f-42a2-894c-be00c05d613d
Old, Gareth
397059a3-8a29-4c33-85db-0cc52f8dd991
Rameshwaran, Ponnambalam
30b98e53-7aa3-4491-9d9b-befb5a16b426
Sear, David
64ab36c3-acfd-4691-a196-e4c422b35c2e
Gasca-Tucker, David
9856f94c-68c3-4d47-b01d-bdef254c8d7f
Bishop, James
e52d32a4-0c4f-45d8-9a85-8c790812304f
Old, Joanne
745bdcdb-4248-40d5-ace0-75f8a4f9a914
McKnight, David
59962b42-95a0-4f66-8de9-70acd57e33e9

Robotham, John, Nicholas Peter, Old, Gareth, Rameshwaran, Ponnambalam, Sear, David, Gasca-Tucker, David, Bishop, James, Old, Joanne and McKnight, David (2021) Sediment and nutrient retention in ponds on an agricultural stream: evaluating effectiveness for diffuse pollution mitigation. Water, 13 (12), [1640]. (doi:10.3390/w13121640).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The creation of ponds and wetlands has the potential to alleviate stream water quality impairment in catchments affected by diffuse agricultural pollution. Understanding the hydrological and biogeochemical functioning of these features is important in determining their effectiveness at mitigating pollution. This study investigated sediment and nutrient retention in three connected (on-line) ponds on a lowland headwater stream by sampling inflowing and outflowing concentrations during base and storm flows. Sediment trapping devices were used to quantify sediment and phosphorus accumulations within ponds over approximately monthly periods. The organic matter content and particle size composition of accumulated sediment were also measured. The ponds retained dissolved nitrate, soluble reactive phosphorus and suspended solids during baseflows. During small to moderate storm events, some ponds were able to reduce peak concentrations and loads of suspended solids and phosphorus; however, during large magnitude events, resuspension of deposited sediment resulted in net loss. Ponds filtered out larger particles most effectively. Between August 2019 and March 2020, the ponds accumulated 0.306 t ha−1 sediment from the 30 ha contributing area. During this period, total sediment accumulations in ponds were estimated to equal 7.6% of the suspended flux leaving the 340 ha catchment downstream. This study demonstrates the complexity of pollutant retention dynamics in on-line ponds and highlights how their effectiveness can be influenced by the timing and magnitude of events.

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water-13-01640 - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 9 June 2021
Published date: 11 June 2021
Keywords: Constructed wetlands, Natural flood management, Nitrate, On-line ponds, Organic matter, Particle size, Phosphorus, Suspended sediment, Water quality

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449801
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449801
ISSN: 2073-4441
PURE UUID: a10e2eb5-a6cd-4c2c-a50d-becb9a36c46d

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Date deposited: 17 Jun 2021 16:35
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 20:42

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Contributors

Author: Gareth Old
Author: Ponnambalam Rameshwaran
Author: David Sear
Author: David Gasca-Tucker
Author: James Bishop
Author: Joanne Old
Author: David McKnight

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