Natural Resources, School of


First Advisor

Tiffany L. Messer

Date of this Version



Keilhauer, M. G. (August 2019). Nitrate Removal and Placement of Floating Treatment Wetlands in the Midwest (Master's thesis, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, USA).


A Thesis Presented of the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Natural Resource Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professor Tiffany L. Messer Lincoln, NE: August, 2019

Copyright (c) 2019 Mary G. Keilhauer


The Midwestern United States is vulnerable to eutrophic conditions from high nutrient concentrations. Recommendations for nonpoint source pollution management include runoff treatment (i.e., filter strips, riparian buffers) and in-situ lake treatment practices (i.e., aluminum sulfate (alum) treatments, aeration, up/downdraft pumping, floating treatment wetlands). Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) are an innovative wetland design for nutrient removal from nonpoint sources and provide a unique in-situ treatment. Best management practice studies have commonly focused on adjacent to water practices, which have resulted in a gap for guidance for in-situ treatment placement and design. Therefore, the objectives of this project were to (1) Quantify nitrate removal for Midwestern floating treatment wetlands during the establishment year and (2) develop a lake mapping method utilizing chemical and physical water sensors in conjunction with visualization software to characterize the dynamics of a nutrient enriched lake in Lancaster County, NE. This study provides new insight on the impacts of water quality treatment of floating treatment wetlands based on growing season, plant species, and carbon amendments for nitrate-N removal performance during the establishment year and presents a novel monitoring assessment technique for in-situ best management practice implementation within waterbodies.

Advisor: Tiffany L. Messer