Champaign, IL, July 20, 2020 – Agriculture and water quality. Farmers hear a lot about the impacts production agriculture practices can have on water and all the natural resources, aquatic life, and wildlife dependent on water. Many farmers work hard to use techniques and management tactics that effectively reduce issues like soil erosion and runoff of excess nutrients from fields. For more than 80 years, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has worked alongside farmers to design and install conservation practices on the land that protect both soil and water.
According to Ivan Dozier, State Conservationist, “One practice, called a Constructed Wetland, has been around for a long time. It’s a tried and true technology for treating water. Now you can learn all the details, see the engineering standards and specifications for Conservation Practice Standard 656 on the NRCS website or you can watch this new short video and learn all about it.” The video is the latest in the Illinois NRCS Conservation Under Construction video series, and is appropriately entitled “Building a Constructed Wetland.” Find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O93YuK-p-hw
Last summer, NRCS worked with Illinois Central College, The Wetlands Initiative, and the Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association (ILICA) to plan, design, and install a constructed wetland. That wetland—which you’ll see being built in the video—is now part of the College’s system of water quality practices on their demonstration farm at the campus in East Peoria.
With the help of the Peoria County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), this video gives an inside look at what it takes to construct this conservation solution. In the last few years, this practice has become more popular as an effective way to remove nitrates and other nutrients from tile drainage water. “If more farmers use practices like this—or so many other options—Illinois can reduce our negative contributions to our water bodies,” Dozier adds.
The video, along with the others in the series, are located on the Illinois Engineering Videos link of the Illinois NRCS engineering website, under “Conservation Practice Guidance.” To discuss if this solution will work on your farm, contact your local NRCS office and make an appointment today.
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