Coastal and freshwater eutrophication continues to accelerate at sites around the world despite intense efforts to control agricultural P loss using traditional conservation and nutrient management strategies. To achieve required reductions in nonpoint P over the next decade, new tools will be needed to address P transfers from soils and applied P sources. Innovative remediation practices are being developed to remove nonpoint P sources from surface water and groundwater using P sorbing materials (PSMs) derived from natural, synthetic, and industrial sources. A wide array of technologies has been conceived, ranging from amendments that immobilize P in soils and manures to filters that remove P from agricultural drainage waters. This collection of papers summarizes theoretical modeling, laboratory, field, and economic assessments of P removal technologies. Modeling and laboratory studies demonstrate the importance of evaluating P removal technologies under controlled conditions before field deployment, and field studies highlight several challenges to P removal that may be unanticipated in the laboratory, including limited P retention by filters during storms, as well as clogging of filters due to sedimentation. Despite the potential of P removal technologies to improve water quality, gaps in our knowledge remain, and additional studies are needed to characterize the long-term performance of these technologies, as well as to more fully understand their costs and benefits in the context of whole-farm- and watershed-scale P management.
Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.