Monitoring induced denitrification during managed aquifer recharge in an infiltration pond
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Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is a well-known technique for improving water quality and increasing groundwater resources. Denitrification (i.e. removal of nitrate) can be enhanced during MAR by coupling an artificial recharge pond with a permeable reactive layer (PRL). In this study, we examined the suitability of a multi-isotope approach for assessing the long-term effectiveness of enhancing denitrification in a PRL containing vegetal compost. Batch laboratory experiments confirmed that the PRL was still able to enhance denitrification two years after its installation in the infiltration pond. At the field scale, changes in redox indicators along a flow path and below the MAR-PRL system were monitored over 21¿months during recharge and non-recharge periods. Results showed that the PRL was still releasing non-purgeable dissolved organic carbon five years after its installation. Nitrate concentration coupled with isotopic data collected from the piezometer network at the MAR system indicated that denitrification was occurring in the saturated zone immediately beneath the infiltration pond, where recharged water and native groundwater mix. Furthermore, longer operational periods of the MAR-PRL system increased denitrification extent. Multi-isotope analyses are therefore proved to be useful tools in identifying and quantifying denitrification in MAR-PRL systems.
CitationGrau, A., Folch, A., Torrentó, C., Valhondo, C., Barba, M., Domènech, C., Soler, A., Otero, N. Monitoring induced denitrification during managed aquifer recharge in an infiltration pond. "Journal of hydrology", Juny 2018, vol. 561, p. 123-135.