Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015NY218B

Environmental Research

Institute: New York
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $3,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $1,650

Principal Investigators: Susan Riha, Brian Rahm

Abstract: Nitrogen loading in streams and rivers is a significant issue across the country, in part because of municipal sewage discharge. Our preliminary observations at several POTW discharge points indicate that nitrate concentrations downstream can actually be lower than upstream concentrations, potentially suggesting more rapid and complete nitrate processing than current models predict. We speculate that in-stream denitrification may be carbon limited, and that organic carbon discharged along with nitrogen species from POTWs can supply needed electron donor. Our goal is to identify siting and management practices that POTWs could use to encourage rapid nitrate processing, not just in the plant, but in-stream as well.