Nonpoint source controls were installed in a 1215 ha agricultural watershed in northeastern Wisconsin in the late 1970. Changes were made in handling of animal wastes and cropping practices to reduce runoff of sediment and nutrients. Modelling results predicted a reduction in phosphorus runoff of 30 percent. The water quality of White Clay Lake has worsened since the installation of NPS controls. The lake's phosphorus concentration has increased from a mean of 29 µg L−1 in the late 1970s to 44 µg L−1 in recent years. Water clarity has declined from 2.7 to 2.1 m and the mean summer chlorophyll levels have increased from 9 to 13 µg L−1 with peak values exceeding 40 µg L−1. Increased phosphorus loading is not the result of elevated precipitation but instead the failure of the control measures to sufficiently reduce P loading. Most of the effort was placed on structural changes while most of the P loading comes from cropland runoff. Further, soil phosphorus concentrations have increased because of artificial fertilizers and manure spreading. The White Clay Lake experience is discouraging since the majority of the polluters in this watershed utilized some NPS control practices, including 76 percent of the farms which installed waste management control facilities.
Long-Term (15 Years) Results of NPS Controls in an Agricultural Watershed upon a Receiving Lake's Water Quality
Paul J. Garrison, Timothy R. Asplund; Long-Term (15 Years) Results of NPS Controls in an Agricultural Watershed upon a Receiving Lake's Water Quality. Water Sci Technol 1 August 1993; 28 (3-5): 441–449. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.1993.0447
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