Comprehensive Manure & Milking Parlor Wastewater Management
|Figure 1: Filter strip lined bioretention channel under construction.|
|Figure 2: Constructed wetland nearing completion of installation.|
Critical Design Decisions Important design considerations documented during the planning and construction of the system included the following:
1. Technologies require a minimum depth between the water discharge level and ground water table elevation. Consequently, the seasonal high ground water elevations must be accurately determined.
2. Coordination with NRCS technical service providers is crucial as other conservation practices planned for a farm, such as barn guttering, milking facility wastewater storage, and manure stacking, greatly impact the design and layout of the settling basin, wastewater treatment, strip and the constructed wetland.
3. Designs must account for farm operational and management changes. Examples include, increasing milkings from 2 to 3 times a day, increasing the herd size, and relocating feeding operation and silo storage.
4. Layout of treatment technologies should maximize gravity fluid flow and minimize disruption of day-to-day farm activities. However, set back distances are required from protected features, such as creeks, regulated natural wetlands, and water supply wells.
5. Clean water should be kept clean by keeping it away from manure and feed impacted surfaces so that the filter strip size can be minimized. This often requires the installation of diversion structures such as barn gutters and physical curbs and barriers around manure storage locations.
6. Financial planning, including grant opportunities, needs to be fully explored in advance of design.
This project is part of a research theme relating to milking facility wastewater treatment systems for small to medium sized farms. Progress has been documented in the Michigan Dairy Review. The first article discussed characteristics of milking facility wastewater (Safferman, 2008). Another article examined the utility of aerobic units to treat milking facility wastewater (Larson and Safferman, 2008). A technical article titled “Aerobic Treatment Unit Performance on Milking Parlor Wash Water” by Larson and Safferman was published in Transactions of the ASABE, Volume 53, Number 3, in June 2009. The bark filter mound was the subject of another article (Davis et al., 2009). An additional demonstration project on this technology started during the summer of 2009. Updates on research concerning all of these technologies will continue to be included in the Michigan Dairy Review.
This project is funded by the Michigan Milk Producers Association. Lloyd Rozema, owner of Aqua Technologies, donated the design and specialty equipment needed for the wetland and his travel expenses and time associated with its construction. Leila Saber Gaughran, Jason Schneemann, Jason Smith, and Adrienne Varney participated in the construction of the systems and Dana Kirk and Rebecca Larson participated in systems design.
Cleary, D., S., Safferman, T, Fritz., G., and Ledebuhr, D. 2009. “Milking Center Wastewater Management – Bark Filter Mound.” Michigan Dairy Review. 14, 2: 11-13.
Larson, B. and Safferman, S. I. 2008. “Potential of Two Aerobic Units to Treat Milking Facility Wash Water.” Michigan Dairy Review. 13, 3: 6-9.
Livestock Wastes Subcommitte, Midwest Plan Service, Livestock Waste Facilities Handbook. 1985. MWPS – 18, Second Edition, Midwest Plan Service, Ames, IA.
Safferman, S. 2008. “Milking Facility Wash Water: Facts and Figures”. Michigan Dairy Review, 13, 1: 1-2.
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