Agricultural Nonpoint Source Control Program for Lake Erie

by Stephen M. Yaksich, US Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo, NY, USA,
John R. Adams, US Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo, NY, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


The Lake Erie Wastewater Management Study was directed at identifying and quantifying sources of P and sediment entering the lake, developing a management control strategy, and projecting the economic impact of that management strategy. Lake Erie's water quality has undergone considerable degradation during the past half century. Point-source P loadings declined dramatically during the 1970s as a result of improved wastewater treatment. Total P loadings for the base year of 1980 were estimated at 16,500 t/yr. If wastewater treatment continues to improve as expected, loadings would decline to 15,000 t/yr. The target P load called for in the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the United States and Canada is 11,000 t/yr. This would reduce the area of anoxia in the Central Basin by 90% within a few years. This abstract proposes an accelerated program to increase the use of conservation tillage, by Lake Erie Basin farmers as a means of achieving the 1,700-t/yr reduction in diffuse P tributary loads required by the agreement.

Subject Headings: Lakes | Water quality | Agricultural wastes | Wastewater management | Load factors | Waste management | Water conservation | Water pollution | Great Lakes | Lake Erie | United States | Canada

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