Performance of a narrow buffer strip in abating agricultural pollutants in the shallow subsurface water flux

Environ Pollut. 2004 Sep;131(2):313-21. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2004.01.018.


The performance of a narrow buffer strip in abating dissolved P, electrical conductivity and herbicides (terbuthylazine, alachlor, nicosulfuron, pendimethalin, linuron) in subsurface water coming from cropland was tested in an experiment carried out on the low plains of the Veneto Region (NE Italy). The experiment lasted from December 1997 to June 1999, monitoring subsurface water quality entering and exiting a buffer composed of a grass strip (5 m wide) and 1 m wide row of trees. Dissolved phosphorus concentrations were reduced by almost 100% passing through the buffer and in most cases exiting water satisfied the limit for avoiding eutrophication. A positive effect was also detected on ECW (reduced by 20%), while pH was not significantly altered. Herbicide concentration abatement varied between 60 and 90%, depending on the chemical and the time elapsed since application.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture / methods*
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Fertilizers / analysis
  • Herbicides / analysis
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Phosphorus / analysis
  • Rain
  • Soil / analysis
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis
  • Temperature
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Pollution, Chemical / prevention & control*


  • Fertilizers
  • Herbicides
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Phosphorus