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Open-File Report 2012–1047

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Risk Management Research Laboratory

Characterization of Nutrients and Fecal Indicator Bacteria at a Concentrated Swine Feeding Operation in Wake County, North Carolina, 2009–2011

By Stephen L. Harden, Shane W. Rogers, Michael A. Jahne, Carrie E. Shaffer, and Douglas G. Smith

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Hydrologic and water-quality data were collected during October 2009–January 2011 to characterize nutrient and bacteria concentrations in stormwater runoff from agricultural fields that receive wastewater originating at a swine facility at North Carolina State University's Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory (LWRFL) in Wake County, North Carolina. The swine facility consists of six swine houses, two wastewater storage lagoons, and wastewater spray fields. The data-collection network consisted of 11 sampling sites, including 4 wastewater sites, 3 in-field runoff sites, and 4 stream sites. Continuous precipitation data were recorded with a raingage to document rainfall conditions during the study.

Study sites were sampled for laboratory analysis of nutrients, total suspended solids (TSS), and (or) fecal indicator bacteria (FIB). Nutrient analyses included measurement of dissolved ammonia, total and dissolved ammonia + organic nitrogen, dissolved nitrate + nitrite, dissolved orthophosphate, and total phosphorus. The FIB analyses included measurement of Escherichia coli and enterococci. Samples of wastewater at the swine facility were collected from a pipe outfall from the swine housing units, two storage lagoons, and the spray fields for analysis of nutrients, TSS, and FIB. Soil samples collected from a spray field were analyzed for FIB. Monitoring locations were established for collecting discharge and water-quality data during storm events at three in-field runoff sites and two sites on the headwater stream (one upstream and one downstream) next to the swine facility. Stormflow samples at the five monitoring locations were collected for four storm events during 2009 to 2010 and analyzed for nutrients, TSS, and FIB. Monthly water samples also were collected during base-flow conditions at all four stream sites for laboratory analysis of nutrients, TSS, and (or) FIB.

First posted April 16, 2012

For additional information contact:
U.S. Geological Survey
North Carolina Water Science Center
3916 Sunset Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC 27607

North Carolina Water Science Center

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Suggested citation:

Harden, S.L., Rogers, S.W., Jahne, M.A., Shaffer, C.E., and Smith, D.G., 2012, Characterization of nutrients and fecal indicator bacteria at a concentrated swine feeding operation in Wake County, North Carolina, 2009–2011: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1047, 31 p.





Purpose and Scope

Description of the Study Area



Water Stage and Discharge

Wastewater, Soil, and Water Sampling

Laboratory Analysis

Data Summary

Nutrient and Bacteria Concentrations in Swine Wastewater Samples

Bacteria Concentrations in Spray-Field Soil Samples

Hydrologic and Water-Quality Data for Field Runoff and Stream Sites

References Cited

Appendix 1. Daily total precipitation measured by the U.S. Geological Survey at site ST1A at the Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory study area in North Carolina during October 2009 to January 2011

Appendix 2. Daily mean discharge at sites BR1, SR1, SR2, ST1A, and ST1D at the Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory study area in North Carolina during October 2009 to January 2011

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