Performance of an Agricultural Drainage Tile Filter

Agricultural drainage tiles are designed to simply remove excess water but do little to remove dissolved nutrients. Adding a sand filter below the drainage tile could remove suspended solids, but enhancing those filters with adsorption media could remove dissolved phosphorus. The objective of the research is to determine the effectiveness of an innovative drainage tile filter that has the potential to remove phosphate from runoff. The design of the filter will utilize a sand/iron combination beneath the drainage tiles. As iron oxidizes to form rust, phosphate binds to these iron oxides by surface adsorption. The results will make our lakes and streams cleaner at relatively low cost.

Project Staff: 

John Gulliver, Andrew Erickson, and Peter Weiss