The effectiveness of management practices in improving quality of runoff from agricultural land areas has been reported based primarily on results from plot- and field-scale studies. There is limited information available on watershed scales, particularly when the dominant agricultural land use is pasture. The objective of this study was to determine whether a program of Best Management Practice (BMP) implementation in the Lincoln Lake watershed of northwestern Arkansas was effective in reducing storm stream flow concentrations and mass transport of nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N), ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), ortho-phosphorus (PO4-P), total phosphorus (TP), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and total suspended solids (TSS). Storm flow quality of the two main tributaries to Lincoln Lake was monitored from September 1991 to April 1994. Significant decreases (from 23 to 75% per year) in both concentrations and mass transport of NO3-N, NH3-N, TKN, and COD occurred concurrently with BMP implementation. The decreases in nitrogen and COD concentrations and mass transport are attributed to BMP implementation, and the BMP most responsible for these decreases is most likely nutrient management.

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Published in Transactions of the ASAE, v. 40, issue 5, p. 1311-1319.

© 1997 American Society of Agricultural Engineers

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This report was prepared as part of Project No. 95-05-095 of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the Director of the Station as a contribution to Regional Research Project S-273.