Agricultural Treatment Basins

Agricultural Treatment Basins

Innovative experimental agricultural runoff treatment options provided unique comparisons for this ongoing research project that was featured in the November 2008 issue of Corn and Soybean Digest. Working closely with the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center three pairs of treatment basins were developed. These basins were designed to be able to test the nutrient loading and amount of water that drains into and out of each basin. One pair, called the Horizontal Treatment Basin, uses aggregate which treats subsurface flow as it flows through the basin. Another pair, the Vertical Treatment Basin, forces water through the natural soil to treat agricultural runoff. The third pair of basins, called Surface Treatment Basins, use maintained surface water to treat agricultural runoff.

These basins are being testing for effectiveness on removing phosphorus and nitrogen from the agricultural runoff. If successful, the basin design could be duplicated on agricultural drainage systems throughout the Upper Midwest.


  • November 2008 issue of Corn and Soybean Digest


  • University of Minnesota



  • Agricultural Treatment Basins

  • Animal Feedlots

  • Blue Earth County Ditch No. 25

  • Blue Earth County Ditch No. 57

  • Blue Earth County Ditch No. 77

  • Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

  • Drainage District No. 15

  • Drainage District No. 65

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  • Judicial Ditch No. 38 Improvement

  • MDA Conservation Drainage

  • Nagel Drainage District

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