Nitrate pollution has been identified as a major water quality issue in the UK. The aim of this project is to research the rate of nitrate leaching to groundwater that arises from construction works. The study area is situated in Nottingham UK, which is situated on the Triassic Sandstone aquifer. Soil samples up to a depth of 2.50 m were taken from three sites under construction and other land use. The results have shown a high variability in the concentrations of soil-nitrate. The reasons for this variability include soil type, past land use, soil treatment and type of vegetation prior to construction works. The average nitrogen load was 65 kg N ha−1 which is higher than the nitrate leaching observed when temporary grassland is ploughed during autumn. The highest nitrate concentrations were observed in an allotment site (133 kg N ha−1) due to the high amount of manure applied at this location. The construction practice of top soil stripping can produce a reduction of nitrate leaching because it removes the part of the soil that contains most of the potentially mineralizable nitrogen.

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