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Livestock producers should check manure storage


June 20, 2008
By Iowa Department of Natural Resources

manurelagoon02June 20, 2008, Des Moines, IA – As
rainfall continues to pummel Iowa, the Department of Natural Resources
cautions livestock producers to check their manure storage structures,
which could be threatened by saturated soils.

June 20, 2008, Des Moines, IA – As rainfall continues to pummel Iowa, the Department of Natural Resources cautions livestock producers to check their manure storage structures, which could be threatened by saturated soils.

manurelagoon02Both concrete and earthen structures could be endangered if groundwater levels rise higher than were expected when the structure was designed.

“The danger comes when a concrete manure storage structures is pumped out or has liquid levels lower than the groundwater level,” said Wayne Farrand, supervisor of the DNR’s wastewater engineering section. “That’s when high ground water levels put pressure on the sidewalls and flooring. They can easily collapse a wall or float the structure if the forces are too great.”

Farrand added that even structures that have a groundwater-lowering feature could be impacted. That would most likely happen if the drainage tiles are submerged, overcome or plugged.

If producers see walls or flooring on a below ground tank beginning to bow, they may want to fill the tank to equalize pressures and prevent total collapse.

Earthen basins can also be in jeopardy. Again, equalizing the inside liquid elevation to match the groundwater level may reduce the risk.

Normally the DNR’s field office staff will work with producers to minimize risks and impacts if an emergency exists. However, the DNR is asking producers in the eastern part of the state to contact a private consultant for assistance as field office staff is assisting municipalities.


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