WQFS Layout & Design

The WQFS facility, developed on a gently sloping 10-acre site, consists of 54 individually tiled and instrumented plots. Forty-eight plots are constructed to be isolated drainage lysimeters. The remaining six plots are built on three standard tile spacings.

Inside the sheds...

Inside collection huts for the drainage lysimeter plots, six tiles each flow over Purdue tipping bucket flow meters. The flow meters are connected to a datalogger which controls automatic samplers (ISCOs). When an appropriate amount of flow (or time, if desired) has occurred, the sample pump removes a sample from the tile and stores it. The volume of flow is recorded hourly, as are local rainfall from rain gauges and time of each sample collection. The data systems and automatic sample pumps have been very reliable and easy to maintain. They are powered solely by solar panels charging a 12-volt deep-cycle marine battery.

Drainage Lysimeters...

The WQFS includes 48 drainage lysimeter plots. The test plots are 10 meters by 48.5 meters (32 x 158 feet), large enough for a tractor with standard equipment.
Each plot contains a drainage lysimeter, a clay box surrounding a tile-drained area of soil 24 meter long and 10 meter wide. The tile is perforated only within the clay box, and leads directly to a hut with collection equipment. The lysimeter plots allow measuring, monitoring, and subsurface water sampling as rainfall on the plot flows through the soil column. The volume of water and concentrations of transported chemicals can be determined for each plot as frequently as desired.

Tile Spacing Plots...

The drainage spacing experiment will facilitate scale-up of lysimeter data to match standard agricultural drainage practices. The plots are laid out on three standard tile spacings - 10, 20 and 30 meter widths (33, 66, 99 ft.). A colored plot map shows the layout of the tiles within the plots.