Development of a Management Tool for Vegetative Filter Strips
Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are widely advocated as a BMP to safeguard and /or remediate water quality in streams. This study provides management tools for specification of vegetative filter strips based on the site-specific soil, land use, land management, and topography of the upland area. The developed computer models will be useful to consulting engineers, extension engineers and other water management specialists working with farmers and other landowners to reduce the discharge of pollutants into adjacent streams and creeks.
Comprehensive field experiments VFS have been conducted to quantify the performance of VFS under different flow conditions, pollutant loads, and vegetation covers (Gharabaghi et al., 2000a, 2000b, 2001a, and 2001b). An agricultural non-point source pollution model is adapted and validated for Ontario conditions to determine different cropland runoff, sediment, nutrients and bacteria loads from upland agricultural areas based on their individual characteristics. A vegetative filter strip model is being validated for Ontario conditions; it describes the transport of sediment, nutrients and bacteria through VFS. The non-point source pollution model will be combined with the VFS model to form a design tool for vegetative filter strips to achieve management objectives for reduction of non-point source pollution. A user-friendly, interactive version of the computer management tool being developed is suited to use by agricultural and environmental field personnel.
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