The Farm Roadway Visual Assessment Booklet
This handbook aims to describe visual assessment indicators that can be used to identify the extent of connectivity between roadway runoff and waters; and examine the structure and configuration of the entire roadway network and evaluate its pollution risk potential.
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On farms in Ireland, internal roadways come in many shapes and sizes, with a variety of hard surfaces. These farm roadways often facilitate surface water flow along them for short periods during and after rainfall; this is termed roadway runoff. Unfortunately farm roadway runoff can also transport significant deposits of animal manure, urinate and machinery contamination and discharge them to adjacent waters such as streams and ditches. Such pollutant loads contain suspended sediment, dissolved nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and bacteria such as E. coli and can result in significant deterioration of surface water quality. From a human health perspective, bacterial contamination of watercourses is a significant issue, particularly in the context of drinking water and bathing water quality. To safeguard water quality therefore, farm roadway runoff should be prevented from directly entering waters.
This handbook aims to describe visual assessment indicators that can be used to…
a) Identify the extent of connectivity (direct or indirect) between roadway runoff and waters. This is of upmost importance as roadways near waters are potentially a high pollution risk and need to be identified and assessed as a priority;
b) Examine the structure and configuration of the entire roadway network and evaluate its pollution risk potential.
All visual indicators can be used to document areas where future farm roadway management will be needed. Routine assessment of farm roadways allows for improved management and maintenance; it is hoped that this handbook will provide a practical and useful guide for the management of any internal farm roadway network.
Owen Fenton1, Karen Daly1, Paul Rice1; Patrick Tuohy2; John Murnane3
1Environmental Research Centre, Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Co., Wexford.
2Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co., Cork.
3School of Engineering, University of Limerick, Limerick.
The objective of the ROADRUNNER project is to evaluate the extent, connectivity and nature of roadways and their role in nutrient transport. Find out more here