Paper No. 13
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
ANALYSIS OF NUTRIENT CONCENTRATIONS IN SURFACE WATER ADJACENT TO A DAIRY FARM IN THE FINGER LAKES REGION
In the Finger Lakes region of central New York, one of the most pressing water quality problems is the migration of nutrients, particularly phosphate, into the lakes. The increased nutrient load can lead to eutrophication and impairment of the lake ecosystem. Dairy farming is the largest agricultual activity in the region and therefore monitoring surface runoff near farms is important to understanding their role in this problem. In this study, we chose to investigate the water quality adjacent to a smaller-scale farm that is not subject to discharge permits that are required for large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). We present the nutrient concentrations, specifically nitrogen species and phosphate, surrounding a dairy farm near Cayuga Lake. Samples were taken weekly over a six month period, then analyzed for anions and cations using ion chromatography. Compared to control water bodies uphill from the farm, water draining downhill from the farm consistently shows much higher levels of nitrate, nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate.