Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
The recent storms have caused runoff from my animal feeding operation. What should I do?
Rate This FAQ
The rain and snow of the last few weeks have been a welcome sight in much of our drought-ridden state. However, the precipitation has also brought about tragedies and challenges that have land and homeowners scrambling. In many areas, the amount of precipitation exceeded the 24-hour/25-year storm event.
Because of the precipitation, many farmers and ranchers are now dealing with runoff from animal feeding operations. Owners and operators should be aware that several scenarios can occur. Consider this information.
- Imminent discharge. In this situation, discharge has not yet occurred, but will likely occur within a short time if ignored. This generally happens when liquid or solid manure storages are nearing capacity or when manure has potential to run off an application field. In response, owner/operators should attempt to prevent the release of manure. If this is not possible, options include: adding soil to the berm, increasing the dam’s elevation, beginning an emergency utilization of manure by pumping it onto fields at acceptable rates, stopping all additional flow (waterers, flushing systems, etc.) to the storage, calling a pumping contractor, preventing surface water from entering the storage and maintaining grassland near the storage for emergency manure application. Initiate these activities before storages exceed their temporary storage level.
- Potential runoff from the application field is another problem. This could result from unexpected rains during the field application of manure. Again, try to prevent the release of manure to neighboring areas. To do this you can stop additional manure application, contain the manure on the field by creating a temporary diversion or berm and if possible, prevent further runoff by incorporating the manure.
- Pollution in progress. In this case, the storage or manure handling system is actively discharging. It is important to quickly stop the flow and minimize the discharge’s impact on the environment by doing the following: stop the flow into the pipe, pit or liquid storage; prevent additional discharge by turning off the recycle flushing system, close valves controlling outflows to prevent a siphon effect; dig a holding area or construct a berm to contain discharge waters; repair defective components such as berm leaks caused by animals; trap or remove animals and fill holes with compacted clay soil. Permanent repair of storage problems may require consulting someone who is experienced in manure storage design and installation.
- Pollution discovered after the fact. This occurs when s several days have passed before a discharge is discovered. Because the discovery was delayed, environmental impact may be increased. Thus, response should be swift to minimize damage. Stop additional discharge; contain spilled manure; attempt to apply spilled manure on cropland; notify agencies and local authorities; and assess the environmental impact of fish kills, surface water pollution, well water or groundwater impact, as well as the amount and duration of the manure released. If manure must be applied on fields, increase the application setback distance from water sources (rivers, streams, ponds, irrigation conveyance ditches, etc).
An emergency preparedness and response plan should be in place to mitigate the current or future discharge of manure and excess water. This is a basic, yet thorough, common-sense plan that will help you make the right decision during an emergency. Such a plan shows responsible preparation, protects you and others against environmental damage and should meet state requirements. Emergency preparedness and response plans are needed to minimize the environmental impact of manure spills, discharges or mishaps.
For more information on developing an emergency preparedness and response plan, contact your local Utah State University Cooperative Extension agricultural agent, the local USDA-NRCS or the local Utah Conservation District.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- What can I do to protect my animals from West Nile virus?
- I have a small flock of about 25 chickens. They range in age from 7-10 months. Recently I've had about 8 of them die. The first signs of a problem were blood on the outside of the egg shells. Then I noticed that several of them had bloody areas around the vent and under the tail. All but a couple of those with the symptoms have died. The few that recovered seem to be OK with 1 exception, and that hen no longer lays eggs, and has a very grungy appearance. After death, if you pick up the bird and examine it, the vent is wide open and you can see right down into the center of the bird. The last bird I found I could even see an egg yolk inside the body cavity. Could you give me a best guess as to what might be causing this and what steps I can take to relieve the problem? I noticed on one hen that I lost this week, that in the day or two before she died, she had a white runny diarrhea, didn't seem interested in eating or drinking and shortly before death she seemed to swell and have a puffy appearance. Another is the roosters, one has had all the smaller feathers around the tail pecked out, and has raw looking skin in that area, the other is missing most of the feathering on his breast. Several of the hens have no feathers in the vent area (probably from what you describe) and on the lower back just above the tail. The main thing I was wondering about is the diarrhea...when I noticed that, I did some research online, and kept coming up with pullorum, and I was wondering if that might be a problem. They say it's nearly eradicated, but occasionally shows up in a backyard flock. What are the chances of that, and what other symptoms should I watch for? If it was that, besides getting rid of the flock, what other steps would I need to take to make the coop safe for future use?
- How can I keep my pet safe in the dipping outdoor temperatures?
- How can I protect my animals against foot and mouth disease?
- As a consumer, I'm concerned about mad cow disease. Can you give me information?
- Do you have tips for pet care in the heat?
- Smelling skunk? Tips to achieving olfactory relief
- What can I do to prevent vole damage in my yard?