Conservation Drainage Seminar

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The U.S. EPA has recently identified concerns of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorous loads that are coming out of the Mississippi River watershed which comprises 13 Midwestern states.

These loads are a primary cause of the hypoxia zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The State of Louisiana has filed a federal lawsuit identifying this area as a contributor to this problem. A committee led by the Illinois EPA and Department of Agriculture has developed a plan which is being presented to the U.S. EPA which establishes a voluntary program to reduce these contaminates over a set time period for the state. One of the primary contributors to nitrogen from non-point sources is crop fields with extensive tile drainage. Nitrogen when in the nitrate form becomes unstable and leaches through the soil profile entering subsurface tile drainage systems and enters rivers and streams. The Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation District will be holding an information meeting for farmers to learn about the latest in biological filters that can reduce nitrogen and phosphorous levels by up to 45% prior to the water leaving the tile systems into open waters. The Conservation Drainage Seminar is scheduled for March 5th at 8:00 a.m. at the Town and Country Restaurant in Aledo. Jim Baker with Springfield Plastics will speak on Drainage Water Management, Saturated Buffers and Bioreactors. To make reservations, call the SWCD office at (309) 582-5153 ext. 3