Phytoremediation of Nitrate in Groundwater

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Liquid Fertilizer Manufacturer

Long-term leakage of liquid fertilizer from manufacturing equipment caused ammonia and nitrate soil and groundwater pollution.

Sand County Environmental planted 3.5 acres of hybrid poplar and willow trees. The shallow groundwater was contaminated with up to 7,000 ppm ammonia-N. Over the course of several years, the trees grew to over 25 feet, removing significant quantities of water and nitrogen from the aquifer and thereby sharply reducing off-site migration of nitrogen-impacted groundwater.

Significant aspects of this project:

  • Successful feasibility testing of various poplar and willow clones
  • Training of the fertilizer manufacturer employees on operational aspects of the poplar and willow stand, allowing them to do their own O&M, saving O&M consulting costs
  • Cost-effective solution to an otherwise expensive remedial task