Reducing Phosphorus Export through Farmed Pothole Surface Inlets with P Filters and Blind Inlets

Aug 2020


Much of Iowa contains landscape features known as prairie potholes – landscape depressions with little natural surface drainage and soils that limit infiltration. Many of these features that occur in farmed areas have artificial subsurface drainage installed, with a surface inlet to drain away standing water. Past observations into the water quality of the standing water in these features indicate that phosphorus levels in this ponded water can be high, making the drainage system a source of phosphorus export from the field.


This project will study approaches for intercepting and treating phosphorus before it moves out of the field through the drainage network.


Specifically, investigators will research the potential for specially designed filter materials placed within the surface inlet to capture phosphorus while transmitting the drainage water.

Award Number: 

Project Updates

Note: Project reports published on the INRC website are often revised from researchers' original reports to increase consistency.

December 2020

Due to difficulties recruiting graduate students on short notice during the pandemic, we did not bring on a student for this project in Fall 2020. Rather, we have a student who will begin in January, and we will initiate related project activities (installation of the blind inlet, most notably) in early spring 2020.