Contribution Of Spray Irrigation Of Wastewater To Groundwater Contamination In The Karst Of Southeastern Minnesota, USA

Howard D Mooers, E. C. Alexander,

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

A vegetable- and meat-canning facility located in the karst of southeastern Minnesota disposes ≈2.85×105 m3 yr-1 of wastewater by spray irrigation of an 83.7-ha field located atop the local groundwater divide. Cannery effluent contains high levels of chloride and nitrogen (organic and ammonia), in excess of 7000 mg/l and 400 mg/l, respectively. Nitrate-nitrogen concentrations are generally < 5 mg/l. Agricultural, domestic, and municipal sources of chloride and nitrate are common in the region, and water supplies frequently exceed the drinking-water limit for nitrate-nitrogen of 10 mg/l. Fifty-two area wells and thirteen surface-water locations were sampled and analyzed for five ionic species, including: chloride (Cl), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), sulfate (SO4), nitrite-nitrogen (NO2-N), and phosphate (PO4). Two distinct chloride plumes flowing outward from the groundwater divide were identified, and 65% of the wells sampled had nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in excess of 10 mg/l. The data were divided into two groups: one group of samples from wells located near the canning facility and another group from outside that area. A correlation coefficient of R2= 0.004 for Cl vs. NO3-N in the vicinity of the irrigation fields indicates essentially no relationship between the source of Cl and NO3. In areas of agricultural and domestic activities located away from the cannery, an R2 of 0.54 suggests that Cl and NO3 have common sources in these areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-44
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Hydrogeology
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Contribution Of Spray Irrigation Of Wastewater To Groundwater Contamination In The Karst Of Southeastern Minnesota, USA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this