A quicker way to measure lagoon seepage
Kansas State University
researchers developed a method several years ago to measure the seepage
rate of animal waste lagoons. Now they’re testing an even faster way.
Apr. 28, 2008, Manhattan, Kan. – Kansas State University researchers are studying a faster method for measuring the seepage rate of animal waste lagoons.
To protect groundwater and nearby natural systems, Kansas State University researchers developed a method several years ago to measure the seepage rate of animal waste lagoons. Now they’re testing an even faster method, said Jay Ham, professor of agronomy.
“With current measuring technology, environmental consulting firms must measure a lagoon’s seepage rate over a five-day period,” explained Ham, a micrometeorologist with K-State Research and Extension. “We’re working to shorten the time required to conduct the tests.”
Facility operators can have a hard time holding back waste for five days to keep it from emptying into the lagoon, he said. Also, unexpected weather events can interfere or prolong the longer testing period, thus raising consultants’ travel expenses.
“To solve these issues, we are developing a more efficient way to measure lagoon seepage,” he said. “The ‘overnight’ method is now being tested at two separate swine sites in Kansas. The new seepage test takes 24 hours instead of five days. So far, the results are encouraging. We are now refining the details and making it more user-friendly.”
The K-State team developed the new technology in 2007 and hopes to pass it on to consulting firms this spring.