Error message

Image resize threshold of 10 remote images has been reached. Please use fewer remote images.

Denitrifying Bioreactor

Denitrifying Bioreactor

Photo by Louie, Ben and Blake

Denitrifying Bioreactor

Location: Tesdell Century Farm, South of Slater, IA
Featuring: Family Farmer Lee Tesdell

Helping nature break down nitrate in the soil, before it reaches waterways.

An edge of field structure, usually a subsurface trench containing a carbon source such as wood chips, that denitrifies subsurface agricultural drainage flows to reduce nitrate levels and improve water quality.

Step 1: Drainage Control Box – The tile water enters through the drainage control box, which offers a bypass if the water volume gets too high.

Step 2: Filtering – The water then filters through a bed of woodchips, colonized by naturally occurring bacteria. In the woodchips the bacteria catalyze a series of anaerobic reactions that break down and remove nitrates from the water, releasing nitrogen gas and small amounts of nitrous oxide.

Step 3: Drainage Control Box II – The water flows through a second box that can change the water level in the woodchip bed and flows out the tile outlet.

“I’m spending money most farmers wouldn’t."

Posts nearby

Location: Lee Tesdell's Farm, South of Slater, IA Featuring: Family Farmer Lee Tesdell “Five hundred years from now we might realize that we shouldn’t have been farming this way,” Lee Tesdell... Read more
1 follower
Location: ISU Agronomy Farms, West of Ames, IA Featuring: Dr. Kathleen Unlike their counterparts in conventional agriculture, organic farmers can't use synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. Using... Read more
By The Scientist, Sep 10
1 follower
Location: ISU Boyd Farm, Outside Ames, IA Featuring: Dr. Tom Kaspar, Plant Physiologist, USDA/ARS Can plant scientists help farmers adopt farming practices that maximize the benefits of nitrogen... Read more
By The Scientist, Aug 27
1 follower