SERF Wetland


Title:  SERF wetland

Location:  Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm

Time Period:  2007-present

Research Team: Kristina TeBockhorst, Carl Pederson, and Matt Helmers

Project Description:  The purpose of this project was to demonstrate the reductions in nitrate-nitrogen concentrations that can be achieved with a constructed wetland.  The constructed wetland is located at the Southeast Research Farm near Crawfordsville, IA. It receives subsurface drainage from 30 acres of a drainage water management study. The wetland was constructed to have a water depth of 0 to 3 ft. Berms were constructed to force the water to follow a serpentine route as it flows through the wetland. The wetland was constructed to have a surface area of approximately one percent of the drained area. With 30 acres of subsurface coming into the wetland, it was sized with a surface area of 0.3 to 0.4 acres. Water levels in the wetland can be controlled with head control structure on the outlet of the wetland.  Because denitrification requires a growth of vegetation, cattail cuttings were planted in the spring of 2007. Good growth was achieved in 2007 with the cattails establishing well in 2008.Water flow rates into and out of the wetland were monitored using V-notch weirs and pressure transducers and water samples were taken by grab sampling inflow and outflow on a weekly basis for assessment of nitrate-nitrogen levels.


Funders:  The project was initially funded by a State Conservation Innovation Grant from USDA-NRCS. 

Disclaimer:  This is an active research site, please contact the research team prior to planning any site visits.