JWARP  Vol.5 No.6 , June 2013
Phosphorus Mass Balance of the Illinois River Watershed in Arkansas and Oklahoma

Water quality degradation in the Illinois River Watershed (IRW) has been linked to excess nutrients, primarily phosphorus (P). A mass balance study was performed on the IRW in Oklahoma and Arkansas to quantify the magnitude of P entering the watershed between the closure of Lake Tenkiller’s dam in 1954 to 2006. Results showed that a substantial mass of P was, and is, being imported into the watershed relative to the mass of P leaving the watershed. The study demonstrated that poultry production has been the major contributor of P imported to the watershed since 1964, and is currently responsible for more than 76% of the net annual P additions to the IRW. Between 1949 and 2002, more than 200,000 tonnes of P was added to the IRW. A P delivery ratio for the IRW was computed from the mass balance results and observed loads indicating that 4% of annual P applied to the IRW landscape reached Lake Tenkiller between 1999 and 2006. Allocation of P loads from 1949 to 2002 to Lake Tenkiller computed with the delivery ratio showed that wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharges were responsible for more than 50% of P reaching Lake Tenkiller in 1949, followed by dairy cattle (32% of loads). Poultry contribution to P reaching Lake Tenkiller was 5% in 1949 but increased rapidly to become the largest source in 1969 at approximately 49%, and in 2002 at 54%. Both dairy and WWTP portions of the loads declined from 1949 levels with less than 4% attributable to dairy and less than 34% assigned to WWTP in 2002.

Cite this paper
B. Engel, M. Smith, J. Fisher, R. Olsen and L. Ahiablame, "Phosphorus Mass Balance of the Illinois River Watershed in Arkansas and Oklahoma," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 6, 2013, pp. 591-603. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.56060.
[1]   OSRC (Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission), “The Illinois River Management Plan—1999. Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission,” 1998.

[2]   S. L. Nolen, J. H. Carroll, D. L. Combs, J. C. Staves and J. N. Veenstra, “Limnology of Tenkiller Ferry Lake, Oklahoma, 1985-1986,” Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Sciences, Vol. 69, 1989, pp. 45-55.

[3]   S. Haraughty, “Comprehensive Basin Management Plan for the Illinois River Basin in Oklahoma,” Oklahoma Conservation Commission, 1999.

[4]   OWRB (Oklahoma Water Resources Board), “Justification for Adding Nutrient Limited Watershed Designations to Waterbodies, Appendix A,” 2005. http://www.owrb.ok.gov/util/rules/pdf_rul/new_nlws_tenkiller_tbird.pdf

[5]   W. J. Andrews, M. F. Becker, S. J. Smith and R. L. Tortorelli, “Summary of Surface-Water Quality Data from the Illinois River Basin in North Oklahoma, 1970-2007,” US Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report, 5182, 2009, 39 p.

[6]   R. P. Richards, F. G. Calhoun and G. Matisoff, “The Lake Erie Agricultural Systems for Environmental Quality Project: An Introduction,” Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2002, pp. 6-16. doi:10.2134/jeq2002.0006

[7]   USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) Region 6 and Department of Environmental Quality State of Oklahoma. “Water Quality Modeling Analysis in Support of TMDL Development for Tenkiller Ferry Lake and the Illinois River Watershed in Oklahoma,” 2001, EPA Contract EP-C-06-029, WA 3-36.

[8]   D. E. Storm, M. J. White and M. D. Smolen, “Illinois River Upland and In-Stream Phosphorus Modeling,” Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma City, 2006.

[9]   D. R. Gade, “An Investigation of the Sources and Transport of Nonpoint Source Nutrients in the Illinois River Basin in Oklahoma and Arkansas,” Ph.D. Thesis, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, 1998.

[10]   N. A. Slaton, K. R. Brye, M. B. Daniels, T. C. Daniel, R. J. Norman and D. M. Miller, “Nutrient Input and Removal Trends for Agricultural Soils in None Geographic Regions in Arkansas,” Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 33, No. 5, 2004, pp. 1606-1615. doi:10.2134/jeq2004.1606

[11]   J. B. Fisher, R. Hight, R. van Waasbergen, B. Engel and M. Smith, “Estimates of the Mass Generated, Disposal Timing and the Spatial Distribution of Disposal Sites within the Illinois River Watershed (Oklahoma and Arkansas, United States),” Proceedings of the 20 International Symposium on Environmental Science and Technology, Shanghai, 2-5 June 2009, pp. 1238-1247.

[12]   G. W. Malone, “Evaluation of Litter Materials Other than Wood Shavings,” Proceedings of the National Poultry Waste Management Symposium, National Poultry Waste Management Symposium Committee, Auburn, 1992, pp. 274-284.

[13]   P. A. Moore Jr., “Best Management Practices for Poultry Manure Utilization That Enhance Agricultural Productivity and Reduce Pollution,” In: J. L. Hatfield and B. A. Steward, Eds., Animal Waste Utilization: Effective Use of Manure as a Soil Resource, Ann Arbor Press, Chelsea, Michigan, 1998, pp. 89-124.

[14]   J. B. Fisher, R. L. Olsen, F. M. Soster, B. Engel and M. Smith, “The History of Poultry Waste Contamination in the Illinois River Watershed as Determined from Sediment Cores Collected from Tenkiller Ferry Reservoir (Oklahoma, United States),” Proceedings of the 2009 International Symposium on Environmental Science and Technology, Shanghai, 2-5 June 2009, pp. 1222-1238.

[15]   B. P. Jackson, M. Bertsch, M. L. Cabrera, J. J. Camberato, J. C. Seaman and C. W. Wood, “Trace Element Speciation in Poultry Litter,” Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2003, pp. 535-540.

[16]   C. M. Williams, J. C. Barker and J. T. Sims, “Management and Utilization of Poultry Wastes,” Reviews of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology, Vol. 162, 1999, pp. 105-157. doi:10.1007/978-1-4612-1528-8_3

[17]   C. M. Williams, “Poultry Waste Management in Developing Countries,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Poultry Development Review, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, Animal Production and Health Division, 2011. http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/themes/documents/poultry/PDR_environment_main.pdf

[18]   R. L. Tortorelli and B. E. Pickup, “Phosphorus Concentrations, Loads, and Yields in the Illinois River Basin, Arkansas and Oklahoma, 2000-2004,” US Geological Survey Scientific Investigations, 2006.

[19]   B. E. Pickup, W. J. Andrews, B. E. Haggard and W. R. Green, “Phosphorus Concentrations, Loads and Yields in the Illinois River Basin, Arkansas and Oklahoma, 1997-2001,” US Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 03-4168, USGS, Reston, 2003.

[20]   R. Runkel, C. G. Crawford and T. A. Cohn, “Load Estimator (LOADEST): A Fortran Program for Estimating Constituent Loads in Streams and Rivers 2004,” US Geological Survey Techniques Methods, Book 4, Chap. A5, 2004.

[21]   M. A. Nelson, K. L. White and T. S. Soerens, “Illinois River Phosphorus Sampling Results and Mass Balance Computation. Proceedings AWRC Annual Research Conference, Arkansas Water Resources Center, Fayetteville, 2002.

[22]   E. M. Bennett, T. Reed-Andersen, J. N. Houser, J. R. Gabriel and S. R. Carpenter, “A Phosphorus Budget for the Lake Mendota Watershed,” Ecosystems, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1999, pp. 69-75. doi:10.1007/s100219900059

[23]   M. A. Mallin and L. B. Cahoon, “Industrialized Animal Production—A Major Source of Nutrient and Microbial Pollution to Aquatic Ecosystems,” Population and Environment, Vol. 24, No. 5, 2003, pp. 369-385. doi:10.1023/A:1023690824045

[24]   C. Stow, M. Borsuk and D. Stanley, “Long-Term Changes in Watershed Nutrient Inputs and Riverine Exports in the Neuse River, North Carolina,” Water Research, Vol. 35, No. 6, 2001, pp. 1489-1499. doi:10.1016/S0043-1354(00)00402-4

[25]   N. A. Jaworski, P. M. Groffman, A. A. Keller and J. C. Prager, “A Watershed Nitrogen and Phosphorus Balance: The Upper Potomac River Basin,” Estuaries, Vol. 15, No. 1, 1992, pp. 83-95. doi:10.2307/1352713

[26]   G. McMahon and M. D. Woodside, “Nutrient Mass Balance for the Albemarle-Pamlico Drainage Basin, North Carolina and Virginia, 1990,” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol. 33, No. 3, 1997, pp. 573-589. doi:10.1111/j.1752-1688.1997.tb03533.x

[27]   D. A. Harned, J. B. Atkins and J. S. Harvill, “Nutrient Mass Balance and Trends, Mobile River Basin, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi,” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol. 40, No. 3, 2004, pp. 765-793. doi:10.1111/j.1752-1688.2004.tb04458.x

[28]   R. C. Fluck, C. Fonyo and E. Flaig, “Land-Use-Based Phosphorus Balances for Lake Okeechobee, Florida, Drainage Basins,” Applied Engineering in Agriculture, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1992, pp. 813-820.

[29]   P. A. Vadas, P. J. A. Kleinman, A. N. Sharpley and B. L. Turner, “Relating Soil Phosphorus to Dissolved Phosphorus in Runoff: A Single Extraction Coefficient for Water Quality Modeling,” Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2005, pp. 572-580. doi:10.2134/jeq2005.0572

[30]   P. A. Vadas, R. D. Harmel and P. J. A. Kleinman, “Transformations of Soil and Manure Phosphorus after Surface Application of Manure to Field Plots,” Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, Vol. 77, No. 1, 2007, pp. 83-99. doi:10.1007/s10705-006-9047-5

[31]   M. Daniels, T. Daniel, D. Carman, R. Morgan, J. Langston and K. Van Devender, “Soil Phosphorus Levels: Concerns and Recommendations,” Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas, FSA1029-500-3-04R, 2004.

[32]   J. T. Sims, “The Role of Soil Testing in Environmental Risk Assessment for Phosphorus,” In: A. N. Sharpley, Ed., Agriculture and Phosphorus Management: The Chesapeake Bay, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2000, pp. 57-80.

[33]   A. N. Sharpley, T. C. Daniel, J. T. Sims and D. H. Pote, “Determining Environmentally Sound Soil Phosphorus Levels,” Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Vol. 51, No. 2, 1996, pp. 160-166.

[34]   A. N. Sharpley, S. Herron and T. Daniel, “Overcoming the Challenges of Phosphorus-Based Management in Poultry Farming,” Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Vol. 62, No. 6, 2007, pp. 375-389.

[35]   D. Tarkalson and R. A. Mikkelsen, “A Phosphorus Budget of a Poultry Farm and a Dairy Farm in the Southeastern US, and the Potential Impacts of Diet Alterations,” Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, Vol. 66, No. 3, 2003, pp. 295-303. doi:10.1023/A:1024435909139

[36]   R. L. Kellogg, C. H. Lander, D. C. Moffitt and N. Gollehon, “Manure Nutrients Relative to the Capacity of Cropland and Pastureland to Assimilate Nutrients: Spatial and Temporal Trends for the United States,” Animal Residuals Management, Vol. 140, 2000, pp. 18-157.

[37]   R. L. Kellogg, “Potential Priority Watersheds for Protection of Water Quality from Contamination by Manure Nutrients,” Animal Residuals Management Conference 2000, Kansas City, 12-14 November 2000, pp. 646-665.

[38]   M. J. Bowes, J. H. Gordon, P. Irons and D. D. Hornby, “The Relative Contribution of Sewage and Diffuse Phosphorus Sources in the River Avon Catchment, Southern England: Implications for Nutrient Management,” Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 344, No. 1-3, 2005, pp. 67-81. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.02.006

[39]   G. Hanrahan, M. Gledhill, W. A. House and P. J. Worsfold, “Phosphorus Loading in the Frome Catchment, UK: Seasonal Refinement of the Coefficient Modeling Approach,” Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 30, No. 5, 2001, pp. 1738-1746. doi:10.2134/jeq2001.3051738x

[40]   P. J. Johnes, “Evaluation and Management of the Impact of Land Use Change on the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Load Delivered to Surface Waters: The Export Coefficient Modelling Approach,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 183, No. 3-4, 1996, pp. 323-349. doi:10.1016/0022-1694(95)02951-6

[41]   K. Daly, P. Mills, B. Coulter and M. McGarrigle, “Modeling Phosphorus Concentrations in Irish Rivers Using Land Use, Soil Type, and Soil Phosphorus Data,” Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2002, pp. 590-599. doi:10.2134/jeq2002.0590

[42]   J. G. Winter and H. C. Duthie, “Export Coefficient Modeling to Assess Phosphorus Loading in an Urban Watershed,” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol. 36, No. 5, 2000, pp.1053-1061. doi:10.1111/j.1752-1688.2000.tb05709.x

[43]   P. J. Johnes and A. L. Heathwaite, “Modelling the Impact of Land Use Change on Water Quality in Agricultural Catchments,” Hydrological Processes, Vol. 11, No. 3, 1997, pp. 269-286. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1085(19970315)11:3<269::AID-HYP442>3.0.CO;2-K

[44]   R. D. von Bernuth and G. Salthouse, “Manure and Fertilizer Nutrient Balance: A Methodology Applied to Michigan,” Applied Engineering in Agriculture, Vol. 15, No. 6, 1999, pp. 695-700.

[45]   D. R. Gill and K. S. Lusby, “Feeding High Protein Range Cubes,” Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service, Stillwater, 2003.

[46]   USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), “Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook,” USDA-Soil Conservation Service, Washington, DC, 1992.

[47]   ASAE (American Society of Agricultural Engineers), “Manure Production and Characteristics,” American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, 2005.

[48]   J. L. Weidhaas, W. Macbeth, R. L. Olsen, M. J. Sadowsky, D. Norat and V. J. Harwood, “Identification of a Brevibacterium Marker Gene Specific to Poultry Litter and Development of a Quantitative PCR Assay,” Journal of Applied Microbiology, Vol. 109, No. 1, 2010, pp. 334-347.

[49]   J. L. Weidhaas, T. W. Macbeth, R. L. Olsen and V. J. Harwood, “Correlation of Quantitative PCR for a Poultry-Specific Brevibacterium Marker Gene with Bacterial and Chemical Indicators of Water Pollution in a Watershed Impacted by Land Application of Poultry Litter,” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 77, No. 6, 2011, pp. 2094-2102. doi:10.1128/AEM.02555-10

[50]   K. Willett, D. Mitchell, H. Goodwin, B. Vieux and J. Popp, “The Opportunity Cost of Regulating Phosphorus from Broiler Production in the Illinois River Basin,” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 49, No. 2, 2006, pp. 181-207. doi:10.1080/09640560500507884

[51]   G. D. Cooke, E. B. Welch and J. R. Jones, “Eutrophication of Tenkiller Reservoir, Oklahoma, from Nonpoint Agricultural Runoff,” Lake and Reservoir Management, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2011, pp. 256-270. doi:10.1080/07438141.2011.607552

[52]   R. J. Stevenson, B. J. Bennett, D. N. Jordan and R. D. French, “Phosphorus Regulates Stream Injury by Filantous Green Algae, Thresholds, DO, and pH,” Hydrobiologia, Vol. 695, No. 1, 2012, pp. 25-42. doi:10.1007/s10750-012-1118-9

[53]   B. Engel, “Poultry Waste Generation and Land Application in the Illinois River Watershed and Phosphorus Loads to the Illinois River Watershed Streams and Rivers and Lake Tenkiller,” Report in Case No. 05-CU-329-GKF-SAJ, United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Tulsa, 2008.

[54]   R. L. Olsen, R. W. Chappell and J. C. Loftis, “Water Quaty Sample Collection, Data Treatment and Results Presentation for Principal Components Analysis: Literature Review and Illinois River Watershed Case Study,” Water Research, Vol. 46, No. 9, 2012, pp. 3110-3122. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2012.03.028