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Springfield Plastics hosts research site tour


March 20, 2014
By Drainage Contractor administrator
Attendees learned about the saturated buffer system at Springfield Plastics. On March 7

March 20, 2014, Illinois – On March 7, representatives from The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, City of Bloomington and the University of Illinois arrived at Springfield Plastics, Inc., for field demonstrations at two of the company’s research sites. Leading the tour was Steve Baker, president of Springfield Plastics, who spoke about new initiatives and techniques on managed drainage.

The attendees were treated to a first-hand look at two systems: drainage water management (DWM) and saturated buffer systems. DWM is the practice of using a water control structure in a main, sub-main or lateral drain. DWM allows the farmer to manage the timing and amount of water discharged from agricultural drainage systems. Water quality benefits are possible by minimizing unnecessary tile drainage and reducing nitrate amounts that leave fields. DWM systems can also retain water needed for crop production. It allows producers to control water delivery by holding water in root zones when crops need it and draining it when there’s too much.

A saturated buffer system has a control structure that diverts the flow from the outlet to a lateral distribution line in a buffer strip. The lateral distribution line runs parallel to the buffer and as the water is diverted to this line a saturation occurs from this line. As this saturation or lateral water movement through the buffer occurs the vegetation naturally removes the nutrients in the water. According to a press release from Springfield Plastics, a test site in Northern Iowa showed that after two years, the producer was able to divert 55 per cent of the drainage outflow to a buffer system. Of that 55 per cent of water, they saw a 100 per cent reduction in nitrates.

For more information, visit www.spipipe.com


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