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Comparison of Measured to Predicted Estimations of Nonpoint Source Contaminants Using Conservation Practices in an Agriculturally-Dominated Watershed in Northeast Arkansas, USA

Abstract

In efforts to reduce nonpoint source runoff and improve water quality, Best Management Practices (BMPs) were implemented in the Outlet Larkin Creek Watershed. Farmers need to make scientifically informed decisions concerning BMPs addressing contaminants from agricultural fields. The BMP Tool was developed from previous studies to estimate BMP effectiveness at reducing nonpoint source contaminants. The purpose of this study was to compare the measured percent reduction of dissolved phosphorus (DP) and total suspended solids to the reported percent reductions from the BMP Tool for validation. Similarities were measured between the BMP Tool and the measured water quality parameters. Construction of a sedimentation pond resulted in 74 %–76 % reduction in DP as compared to 80 % as predicted with the BMP Tool. However, further research is needed to validate the tool for additional water quality parameters. The BMP Tool is recommended for future BMP implementation as a useful predictor for farmers.

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Acknowledgments

This study was made possible with financial support from the partnership between the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission and the St. Francis County Conservation District. Other funding for this project was provided by University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, A-State Ecotoxicology Research Facility, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Special thanks to Rebecca Cooper, Chuck Vaughan, Jennifer Cobb, and Joshua Cook for their assistance in sampling. A special thanks goes to Pat Perry for her enthusiasm and information given for this project.

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Correspondence to Sarah K. Frasher.

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Frasher, S.K., Woodruff, T.M. & Bouldin, J.L. Comparison of Measured to Predicted Estimations of Nonpoint Source Contaminants Using Conservation Practices in an Agriculturally-Dominated Watershed in Northeast Arkansas, USA. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 96, 762–766 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-016-1823-6

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Keywords

  • Agricultural best management practices
  • Water quality
  • BMP Tool
  • Sediment loading