BREE 327 Final Project:
Use of Artificial Wetlands to Reduce Nitrogen Loading in Tile-Drained Land
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The Big Ditch watershed is an extremely flat, tile-drained agricultural area in Illinois, used primarily for row crops. A variety of edge-of-field management practices are available to reduce nitrogen loads without disturbing existing cropland. One of these is the construction of artificial wetlands, which increase denitrification by increasing plant nitrogen uptake and reducing the drainage flow rate from surface runoff and tiles. By implementing an artificial wetland in Sub-basin 15 of the Big Ditch watershed, the nitrogen load can be greatly reduced, improving the water quality in the region.