Soil Cleans

(1st Female) What you see with respect to the transition of the landscape from a rural, more natural system, to an urban area is that much of the natural landscape then has been converted to parking lots and streets and buildings. And as we go through that transition of natural land that has the ability to soak up and move water into the soil profile, we see much more runoff in the urban areas where there’s more impervious surface. And that increased runoff generates a lot more soil erosion. And so our urban stream channels tend to be highly degraded due to excess water hitting the channel at a much quicker pace, and then that energy that is increased by that excess water and rapid speed generates more erosion in the urban environment. And the pollutants themselves tend to be fairly similar between the rural and urban landscape. One of the major pollutants in Kansas that we deal with are fertilizers, or nitrogen and phosphorus from animal waste. And so as that water is filtered through the soil, the soil micro organisms and the plant communities that are supported by the soil system are able to use those nutrients as a food source and the water that then flows all the way through the system, has been purified by the entire ecosystem of the soil. (2nd Female) Soils are a critical part of on-site waste water treatment systems in that they are… we don’t call it a disposal, but rather a treatment system because the water enters the soil in some way, there’s several different kinds of systems. But it is dispersed into the soil and the systems are all sized based on those soil characteristics. The main things are the sand, silt and clay. But also the structure of the soil. So, the soil feels very well structured. It can accept water we call it the acceptance rate. It can accept water more readily. (1st Female) The Urban Water Institute was formed just a few years ago in the fall of 2001. The Institute really focuses on understanding the development of economies on available water. The Urban Water Institute represents 60 faculty across Kansas State University campuses. All of us conducting research in different areas with respect to water protection and management. And working then through the extension to get that out across the state and into the stake holders that need this information to protect our water system.

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