Agricultural Runoff and Treatment Methods

Agricultural Runoff and Treatment Methods

Yeek-Chia Ho (Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia), Boon-Chin Lim (Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia) and Jun-Wei Lim (Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0369-0.ch023
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Increasing global population intensifies the food demand pressure while meeting the increasing environmental legislation. To cater for such demand, agriculture sector shifts for mass food production accompanied with the use of a large amount of agrochemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones. As a result, these agrochemicals' residues pollute the ecosystem and environment through surface runoff. It has been a great challenge in treating agricultural runoff due to its contaminant loadings and wide variability of different compounds in the wastewater to meet the stringent standards in an economically feasible manner. This chapter delineates the current state-of-the-art of wastewater treatment methods for agricultural runoff.
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Agricultural Runoff Characteristics

Agricultural runoff is identified as one of the main diffuse and non-point sources of pollution. It is typically enriched with sediments, nutrients, phosphorus, pathogens, pesticides, steroid, heavy metals, hormone and antibiotics (Kato et al., 2009; Lefrancq et al., 2017; Zhu et al., 2015). Globally, the leaching and runoff from agricultural activities such as dairy, potato processing, sugar processing and so on has contributed to the most widespread environmental threat in recent years (Kim et al., 2014). The runoff severity is closely linked with hydrological conditions (rainfall frequency and rainfall magnitude), anthropogenic alterations (types and changes in land use) and the interactions (Li et al., 2015; Zhu et al., 2015).

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