Evaluation of vegetative filter strips (VFS) to treat beef feedlot and dairy yard runoff in Ontario final report

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Toombs, Michael R.
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Agriculture Canada

The vegetative filter strip (VFS) is a low-cost innovative approach for treating contaminated runoff from livestock yards. Five VFS have been constructed across the province on behalf of the Ontario Cattlemen's Association, through the Rural Conservation Clubs Program funded under the Canada-Ontario Agriculture Green Plan. The VFS system treats contaminated runoff through settling, filtration, infiltration, absorption and dilution of runoff. Monitoring included measurement, sampling and analysis of influent and effluent runoff for nitrates, ammonia, P, K, total dissolved solids, faecal coliform and BOD. Results revealed no accumulation of nutrients in the soil profile and no change in groundwater samples from preconstruction levels. Surface removal rates, soil profile results and groundwater monitoring results when taken together, establish that the VFS system is an environmentally sound treatment system for feedlot and barnyard runoff.

Green Plan
Conservation Clubs
vegetated filter strips, treatment, runoff, contamination, livestock