• Evaluation of the Effect of Pump and Fertilize on Nitrate Reduction in Groundwater
  • Yuhoon Yeum1·Young Kim1·Moon-su Kim2·Sunhwa Park2·Kyungjin Han3*

  • 1Department of Environmental Engineering, Korea University
    2Soil and Groundwater Research Division, National Institute of Environmental Research
    3Department of Environmental Engineering, Korea National University of Transportation

  • 지하수 관개 시비의 지하수 내 질산성질소 저감 효과 평가
  • 염여훈1·김 영1·김문수2·박선화2·한경진3*

  • 1고려대학교 환경시스템공학과
    2국립환경과학원 토양지하수연구과
    3한국교통대학교 환경공학과

  • This article is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this study, the pump and fertilize (PAF) was applied to reduce nitrogen infiltration into groundwater at three corn cultivation sites over a three-year period, and its effectiveness was evaluated. PAF involves pumping nitrate-contaminated groundwater and using it for irrigation, thereby replacing the need for chemical fertilizers. This method not only substitutes chemical fertilization, but also reduces nitrogen infiltration into groundwater through root zone consumption. To confirm PAF’s effectiveness, an equal amount of nitrogen was applied in each cultivation plot, either through chemical fertilizer or irrigation with nitrate-contaminated groundwater. Regular monitoring of infiltrating pore water and groundwater was conducted in each cultivation plot. The linear regression slope for nitrate concentration in the pore water after repeated application of PAF ranged from -3.527 to -8.3485 mg-N/L/yr, confirming that PAF can reduce nitrate concentration in the pore water. With an increasing proportion of PAF, the infiltrating nitrate mass in pore water was reduced by 42% compared to plots fertilized with chemical fertilizer. Additionally, the linear regression slope of nitrate concentration in groundwater was calculated as -2.2999 and -9.2456 mg-N/L/yr. Therefore, continuous application of PAF in rural areas is expected to significantly contribute to reducing nitrate concentration in groundwater.

Keywords: Groundwater, Nitrate, Non-point source, Pump and fertilize

This Article

  • 2024; 29(1): 18-27

    Published on Feb 29, 2024

  • 10.7857/JSGE.2024.29.1.018
  • Received on Jan 9, 2024
  • Revised on Jan 13, 2024
  • Accepted on Jan 21, 2024

Correspondence to

  • Kyungjin Han
  • Department of Environmental Engineering, Korea National University of Transportation

  • E-mail: rudwls1009@ut.ac.kr