State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2009NY121B
Title: The fate of non point sources of nitrate in lawn maintenance
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 6/ 1/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: 1
Focus Categories: Nitrate Contamination, Non Point Pollution, Water Quality
Principal Investigators: Hanson, Gilbert; Bokuniewicz, Henry
Federal Funds: $ 10,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 20,164
Abstract: Quantifying nitrate leaching from fertilizer practices of turfgrass lawns is essential to keep concentrations in groundwater below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standard of 10 mg/L especially in areas which use septic tanks for domestic sewage treatment (Baier and Rykbost, 1976; Flipse and Bonner, 1985; Flipse et al., 1984; Kimmel, 1984; Porter, 1980). It is an especially sensitive problem on Long Island, NY where all potable water is derived from the local groundwater aquifers, the potential for nitrate leaching to the groundwater is high due to the sandy soils, and 25% of the land has been classified as lawns, i.e. turfgrass (Koppelman, 1978). Although results from investigations elsewhere are, of course, useful, it is necessary to examine regional conditions and practices to determine the impact to groundwater reserves (Petrovic, 1990). Also needed are long-term studies in order to capture both interannual variability and maturation of the turfgrass systems. Such long-term monitoring studies provide information that will allow other studies both in New York State and elsewhere to design more effective monitoring programs.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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