Nonpoint source pollution (NPS) of surface waters is a significant issue in agricultural lands, and best management practices (BMPs) are often used to reduce these impacts. Since the effectiveness of a BMP depends on a large number of widely varying factors, it is important to continue to develop BMPs in order to provide designers with more tools to use to maximize NPS removal. The contour weep berm is a new structural BMP constructed out of earth and subsequently vegetated. It is a linear BMP that is used in combination with a down-gradient vegetated filter strip or forested riparian buffer. Preliminary field evaluations of the contour weep berm indicate it is effective at reducing runoff volumes and peaks, promoting infiltration, and reducing sediment concentrations in runoff. Procedures for designing a contour weep berm are presented along with a design example. Linear BMPs, such as the contour weep berm, can provide producers with another means of effectively controlling NPS.

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Published in Applied Engineering in Agriculture, v. 29, no. 4, p. 521-528.

Copyright 2013 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

The copyright holder has granted permission for posting the article here.

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