The Effectiveness and Feasibility of Using Ochre as a Soil Amendment to Sequester Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus in Runoff

O. Fenton, L. Kirwan, D. O. Huallachain, M. G. Healy

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    15 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Incidental losses of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) to a surface waterbody originate from direct losses during land application of fertilizer, or where a rainfall event occurs immediately thereafter. Another source is the soil. One way of immobilising DRP in runoff before discharge to a surface waterbody, is to amend soil within the edge of field area with a high phosphorus (P) sequestration material. One such amendment is iron ochre, a by-product of acid mine drainage. Batch experiments utilising two grassland soils at two depths (topsoil and sub-soil), six ochre amendment rates (0, 0.15, 1.5, 7.5, 15 and 30 g kg−1 mass per dry weight of soil) and five P concentrations (0, 5, 10, 20 and 40 mg L−1) were carried out. A proportional equation, which incorporated P sources and losses, was developed and used to form a statistical model. Back calculation identified optimal rates of ochre amendment to soil to ameliorate a specific DRP concentration in runoff. Ochre amendment of soils (with no further P inputs) was effective at decreasing DRP concentrations to acceptable levels. A rate of 30 g ochre kg−1 soil was needed to decrease DRP concentrations to acceptable levels for P inputs of ≤10 mg L−1, which represents the vast majority of cases in grassland runoff experiments. However, although very quick and sustained metal release above environmental limits occurred, which makes it unfeasible for use as a soil amendment to control P release to a waterbody, the methodology developed within this paper may be used to test the effectiveness and feasibility of other amendments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1249-1261
    JournalWater Air and Soil Pollution
    Volume223
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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