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How to avoid expensive lagoon cleanout

How to avoid expensive livestock lagoon cleanout – January 15th, 2021.  A lagoon cleanout on a dairy farm can be quite labor and time extensive. It’s not uncommon that farms have to clean out their lagoon every other year, sometimes every year. And these costs add up. But did you know there are ways to minimize lagoon cleanouts or even eliminate them completely for an extended time?

LEVEL OF SOLIDS SEPARATION

Many dairy farmers use some form of manure treatment before they send the manure slurry to storage. The goal is to achieve some level of solid-liquid separation. The more oxygen-demanding solids are removed beforehand, the lower will the solids buildup be in the lagoon. And the longer is the lagoon capable of maintaining its designed storage capacity.

manure pit - avoid lagoon cleanout
Image: High solids manure entering a storage lagoon.

For example, slope screens or rotary drum separators are a popular choice for primary manure separation. However, the effluent from this treatment still contains approx. 3.5% TS. It may not sound like much, but over the course of a few months it can be enough solids to create a serious storage problem for the farm. Often, the lagoon cleanout then becomes the only viable option to mitigate the problem.

FINE PARTICLES IN MANURE

In recent years modern dairy operations have adopted secondary treatment options to improve their manure and lagoon management. When looking at the organic particles in manure, especially paying attention to the size distribution, it becomes clear why a relatively high amount of solids passes through the primary treatment stage. Nearly half of the suspended solids in manure are less than 50 µm in size. Too small to be effectively captured by traditional mechanical separators.

The Wave Separator and DAF System are both proven fine-solids separators that are capable of producing effluent with less than 0.5% Total Suspended Solids. In other words; only a very small fraction of the solids remain in the effluent. The majority is captured and eliminated from entering the lagoon. Due to the lagoon cleanout cost savings the farm sees payoffs within a very short time frame.

To learn more about manure management options that benefit your operation, call our team at 1-800-799-3740. Should you plan to attend the World Ag Expo Online, please feel free to stop by and connect with us.

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