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Lusk, Ma, .; Lusk, Ma, .
University of Florida
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1. Conduct a comprehensive review of the literature regarding the use of reclaimed water (RW) for irrigation purposes in urban landscapes in Floridaa. This preliminary objective will provide baseline data on the existing and potential sources of RW in Florida, its current usage, and any existing information about RW nutrient concentrations. This will enable the creation of a database on RW providers and the content of the RW they produce. This will in turn allow us to identify areas of the state where RW is most used for residential irrigation and make estimates about nutrients loads from RW usage to local waters.2. Develop a dataset on regional RW nutrient concentrations by sampling RW used for irrigation in at least 6 locations in each Florida water management district.a. The need for this objective is based on the understanding that the nutrient load of RW varies by location and by season. This objective will allow us to create a baseline description of expected nutrient concentrations in water applied via RW to Florida's urban residential landscapes.3. Quantify the annual load of contaminants present in RW used for environmental and landscape applications.a. Based on results from Obj. 1 and Obj. 2, we will be able to estimate annual loads of nutrients and other contaminants from RW usage to local water bodies. This objective is important because it sets a baseline of where we are currently and allows us to put RW in context with other potential sources of nutrient contamination to Florida waters. With this baseline data, we can set goals and management directives for improved sustainable use of RW.4. Determine if, given the nutrient loads in RW, can recommended fertilizer application rates be reduced without negatively affecting other aspects of residential landscapes?a. All RW contains some nutrient load and may potentially offset fertilizer applications to urban residential lawns. As such, a frequently suggested BMP for RW is to account for the nutrients it contains and decrease fertilizer application amounts accordingly. However, we have no data on how much of the nutrients in RW can actually be taken up by lawn vegetation (primarily turfgrass). This objective is important because it will provide science-based evidence as to whether or not accounting for RW nutrients in lawn nutrient management plans is appropriate.5. Investigate the extent to which contaminants (nutrients, pharmaceuticals) associated with RW may be transported to surface water and groundwater of Florida.a. The rationale behind this objective is to place RW in context with other potential sources of contaminants to waters in Florida. While it anecdotally makes sense that runoff generated by RW over-irrigation may be one contaminant transport mechanism to local waters, we have no data on this in Florida. This objective will provide evidence of the extent to which this process takes place in select locations and will aid in developing appropriate BMPs.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Chemical Contaminants