A water quality assessment of the import of turfgrass sod grown with composted dairy manure into a suburban watershed
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Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have caused water quality concerns in many rural watersheds, sometimes forcing the State of Texas to conduct Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) assessments of stream nutrients such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). One suggested Best Management Practice (BMP) is the export of phosphorus (P) through turfgrass sod produced with composted dairy manure from an impaired rural watershed to an urban watershed. The manure-grown sod releases P slowly and would not require additional P fertilizer for up to 20 years in the receiving watershed. This would eliminate P application to the sod and improve the water quality of urban streams. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to model a typical suburban watershed that would receive the transplanted sod. The objective of the modeling was to determine the water quality changes due to the import of sod transplanted from turf fields and grown with composted dairy manure. The SWAT model was calibrated to simulate historical flow and sediment and nutrient loading to Mary's Creek. The total P stream loading to Mary's Creek was lower when manure-grown sod was imported instead of commercial sod grown with inorganic fertilizers. Yet, flow, sediment yield, and total N yield increased equally for both cases at the watershed outlet. The SWAT simulations indicate that a turfgrass BMP can be used effectively to import manure P into an urban watershed and reduce in-stream P levels when compared to sod grown with inorganic fertilizers.
urban water quality
Richards, Chad Edward (2004). A water quality assessment of the import of turfgrass sod grown with composted dairy manure into a suburban watershed. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from