Real-time Control of On-farm Water Treatment Infrastructure to Enhance Biological Removal of Nonpoint Source Nitrogen Pollution 

The use of Internet of Things (IoT) tools in agricultural water quality management is a nascent field but holds great promise for innovating decentralized biological treatment systems geared for reducing nonpoint source nitrogen releases from excess fertilizer use. This project proposed to produce a first-of-its-kind testbed IoT-enabled denitrifying bioreactor that will produce novel data on the use of real-time control techniques to enhance nitrate load reductions under real-world conditions. This project aims to retrofit existing edge-of-field denitrifying bioreactors with sensors and actuators to enable real-time control of water levels and labile carbon concentrations in formerly static bioreactors. It will also serve to demonstrate the application of digital tools for agricultural water quality management – and address a critical sustainability challenge for agriculture and food production.

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