Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020ND078B

Rejuvenation of Urban Streams in Cold Climate Regions Using Hydroponic Systems: A Case Study on English Coulee in Grand Forks, North Dakota

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-02-29 End Date: 2021-02-27
Total Federal Funds: $8,262 Total Non-Federal Funds: $16,524

Principal Investigators: Yeo Howe Lim

Abstract: Agriculture is a vital economic force in North Dakota. About 90 percent of the state’s land is used for agriculture, totaling 40 million acres devoted to farming and ranching [H]. The disposal of un-rinsed pesticide containers and agricultural chemical residues in landfills and open dumps has been one of the most serious hazardous waste problems in the state. Nutrients from agricultural waste and lawn chemicals, such as nitrogen and phosphorous are impacting streams in North Dakota. Most of these nutrients promote and support the growth of algae and results in poor odor and colorization of water. The development and proliferation of algal blooms likely result from a combination of environmental factors including available nutrients, temperature, sunlight, ecosystem disturbance (stable/mixing conditions, turbidity), hydrology (streamflow and water storage levels) and the water chemistry (pH, Dissolved Oxygen, and Biochemical Oxygen Demand). The low dissolved oxygen level, excessive growth of cattail plants, water flow, and high nutrient content may be the causing factor of algal blooms, poor odor, and decolorization of water bodies. In this research, the English Coulee stream is used as a study area to understand the causing factors of water quality in an urban stream in North Dakota. Once we have a thorough understanding of water quality management in the English Coulee, the bioremediation methods used can be applied to similar issues in other North Dakota water bodies. In this proposed research, a primary study of agricultural waste nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen are studied in the English Coulee stream passing through Grand Forks. An increase in Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels is achieved using aerators, and the excess nutrients are utilized by floating hydroponic plants. Therefore, the excessive growth of the cattails or other weeds will be controlled.