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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 3, p. 621-627
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Feb 22, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): Anthony.Buda@ars.usda.gov
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Emerging Technologies for Removing Nonpoint Phosphorus from Surface Water and Groundwater: Introduction

  1. Anthony R. Buda *a,
  2. Gerwin F. Koopmansbc,
  3. Ray B. Bryanta and
  4. Wim J. Chardonb
  1. a USDA–ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit, Building 3702, Curtin Rd., University Park, PA 16802
    b Soil Science Centre, Alterra, Wageningen Univ. and Research Centre (WUR), P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
    c Dep. of Soil Quality, Wageningen Univ., WUR, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen, The Netherlands. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Assigned to Associate Editor Rory Maguire


Coastal and freshwater eutrophication continues to accelerate at sites around the world despite intense efforts to control agricultural P loss using traditional conservation and nutrient management strategies. To achieve required reductions in nonpoint P over the next decade, new tools will be needed to address P transfers from soils and applied P sources. Innovative remediation practices are being developed to remove nonpoint P sources from surface water and groundwater using P sorbing materials (PSMs) derived from natural, synthetic, and industrial sources. A wide array of technologies has been conceived, ranging from amendments that immobilize P in soils and manures to filters that remove P from agricultural drainage waters. This collection of papers summarizes theoretical modeling, laboratory, field, and economic assessments of P removal technologies. Modeling and laboratory studies demonstrate the importance of evaluating P removal technologies under controlled conditions before field deployment, and field studies highlight several challenges to P removal that may be unanticipated in the laboratory, including limited P retention by filters during storms, as well as clogging of filters due to sedimentation. Despite the potential of P removal technologies to improve water quality, gaps in our knowledge remain, and additional studies are needed to characterize the long-term performance of these technologies, as well as to more fully understand their costs and benefits in the context of whole-farm- and watershed-scale P management.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.