Subsurface infiltration and surface bioretention systems composed of engineered and/or native soils are preferred tools for stormwater management. However, the disturbance of native soils, especially during the process of adding amendments to improve infiltration rates and pollutant removal, may result in releases of nutrients in the early life of these systems. This project investigated the nutrient release from two soils, one disturbed and one undisturbed. The disturbed soil was collected intact, but had to be air-dried, and the columns repacked when soil shrinkage caused bypassing of water along the walls of the column. The undisturbed soil was collected and used intact, with no repacking. The disturbed soil showed elevated releases of nitrogen and phosphorus compared to the undisturbed soil for approximately 0.4 and 0.8m of runoff loading, respectively. For the undisturbed soil, the nitrogen release was delayed, indicating that the soil disturbance accelerated the release of nitrogen into a very short time period. Leaving the soil undisturbed resulted in lower but still elevated effluent nitrogen concentrations over a longer period of time. For phosphorus, these results confirm prior research which demonstrated that the soil, if shown to be phosphorus-deficient during fertility testing, can remove phosphorus from runoff even when disturbed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering