Effects of an urban wetland on sediment and nutrient loads in runoff
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An urban wetland in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area was found to retain sediment and nutrient loads in runoff routed through the wetland. Sediment and nutrient loads in runoff were measured during 1982 at the inlet and outlet of the 6.4-bectare urban wetland. Comparison of annual loads entering and leaving the wetland showed that retention of incoming loads in the wetland was 97 percent of nonvolatile suspended solids, 76 percent of volatile suspended solids, 48 percent of total phosphorus, 4 percent of dissolved phosphorus, 3 percent of dissolved nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen, 1 percent of total ammonia nitrogen, and 47 percent of total organic nitrogen. Flow volume was increased on an annual average basis by 5 percent between the wetland inlet and oulet. Most retention of sediment and nutrient loads occurred between late April and mid-July.
Retention of sediment and nutrient loads in the wetland was associated with sedimentation processes. Dissolved nutrients generally were not retained in the wetland because the residence time of water passing through was not long enough for removal by biological processes. Effectiveness of the wetland in retaining sediment and nutrient loads in runoff varies annually. Long-term and short-term impacts of the retention of sediment and nutrients in the wetland on wetland flora and fauna are unknown.
KeywordsTotal Phosphorus Suspended Solid Nutrient Load Nitrate Nitrogen Volatile Suspended Solid
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