Published on March 7, 2014
Solid Solutions for Your Pit Sponsored by Elanco Animal Health Ted Funk, PhD, PE Funktioneering.com
Introduction What’s a “deep” pit and why should I care? What could possibly go wrong? How can I make my pits work better? How can I maintain biosecurity for my buildings with pits? How can I maximize the fertilizer benefits from my pits? Some new pit construction booboos
A “deep pit” is: A container for a liquid that must be regarded as a potential pollutant A reservoir that allows for timely placement of nutrients on cropland A conservation component that preserves the quality and quantity of manure nutrients for use by crops A structure that acts as a foundation for building floors and walls A component of a building’s ventilation system
“Timely” placement? Who’s asking?
Foundation for…what? Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Slats showing their age? Not like diamonds…they don’t last forever. Slat end cracks Flaking or spalling Slat Cracks exposing reinforcing steel Beam Beam ledge failure
Pit ventilation?—I’ll get back to you on that…
The bigger the reservoir, the bigger the problem, if…. Sure, this is a dairy, but the issues apply to us all.
Priorities in pit management Safety & indoor air quality • Protect animals and workers from toxic gases, maintain good atmosphere in building Environmental protection • Inspect pits, monitor levels, manage capacity Best use of nutrients • 4 R’s of nutrient management: Right type, right amount, right time, right placement
Safety issues Good ventilation of deep pits Agitation and gas emissions Foaming pits
Pit ventilation: How good is it? Practical limits to fan “reach”—15 feet? Structure limits on fan placement Ventilation stages may limit number of fans running Variable speed fans are REALLY variable…and unpredictable Underfloor ducts—impractical? …bottom line: pit ventilation is not really that efficient. Put in plenty.
Pit ventilation—the critical times Low contribution to whole vent rate • Small pigs, cold weather Manure level high, close to floor • Near time to pump out pit Very high concentrations of toxic and/or combustible gases • Pit agitation prior to, during pumping • Also possible when there is deep foam present
Death by pit gas: We study and study, but still lose animals every year…. Zhao et al., 2005. Ventilating Confined Manure Storages: Progress Report, ASABE Paper No. 055019.
Agitation and Pumping Keep people out of building Ignition sources off Gas supply turned off Ventilate properly Fans on 20-30 cfm/pig Curtains closed if wind not blowing Ceiling inlets open Pumpouts sealed Mixing fans if available No agitation . . . if possible No agitation until manure is 2’ below slats If possible, agitate intermittently No rooster tailing
Foaming pits—an old problem, and a whole ‘nuther topic
Foam contains biogas. Go ahead—try this at home!
…so where’s your pit ventilation now?
Tough luck, poor planning, whatever…. The pit’s full, and it’s August. What’s your plan?
Biosecurity measures Well, we thought we were pretty good at biosecurity. Then PEDV….
Biosecurity—general information Biosecurity Guide for Pork Producers National Pork Board website
Details: Manure pit pumpout port. Management during manure removal? Sealed lid, liquid trap panel at wall
Manure samples info Best sampling done during land application Stratification of solids, nutrients: why not sample the pit without agitating it? top middle bottom Phosphorus as P2O5, lb/1000 gal 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0
Pit level monitoring and management Water management—see NPB study “Water Consumption and Conservation Techniques Currently Available for Swine Production”, NPB #09-128 80% of the water used in a building is drinking water, so– Use good drinkers Stop the leaks Save big $$ on manure spreading costs
Pit level monitoring and management Electronic liquid level—what are you using? Mechanical liquid level Weekly level monitoring required by regulation (US EPA)—how are you doing that? Water meters and what they can do for you
Recordkeeping Water metering—not just for noting leaks Decreased intake: Onset of disease in the building? Insufficient intake with large pigs, hot weather: Indications of plumbing restrictions? Photo: www.edcheung.com
Why ASSUME you have room in the pit? Check water meters daily and log the readings Measure manure depth in pit weekly, and record AFTER pumpdown, check for solids & unrecoverable liquids remaining
Tools for updating and managing your NMP Smart phone apps? UMO nutrient management software and MMP extensions
Manure nutrient economics: Valuing liquid manure Fertilizer component replacement? Target field fertility requirements—don’t count $$ for something that is not needed Use realistic haul & apply cost credits http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G9330
Pit additives? Claims: Reduce manure odor Reduce manure toxic gases Manage solids and crust Retain nutrients and make more plant available Show me.
New construction What can go wrong with pouring a pit? Construction—see Illinois Dept of Ag examples Perimeter tiles Wall penetrations Water stops
Concrete mix and placement quality control—choose your contractor carefully Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Honeycombing Prevent by vibrating or rodding during placement Use proper mix Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Waterstop “Blowout” Exposed Waterstop Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Improper installation:Expandable waterstops placed in standing water Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Pouring in the rain – Standing Water. They’ll probably get to do this one over. Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Debris in a poured wall—Guess who gets to dig this one out! 2x4 Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Cold Weather / Snow Plan for conditions Proper Mix Protect Pour Blankets Leave Forms Speed up the curing process Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Floor Caps—If at first you don’t succeed…. Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Perimeter Drainage Tubing— required in some situations Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Perimeter Drainage Tubing Sampling port Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Floor cracked by heavy equipment. “Secure” liquid container? Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Penetration by water pipe. Don’t look now, but that grout is going to disappear, and then…so is the manure! Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Proper Backfill—one of the required details, sign of a good contractor Photo credit: Illinois Department of Agriculture
But enough about construction. Back to managing what you have:
Summary—your priorities for deep pit management Safety & indoor air quality • Protect animals and workers from toxic gases, maintain good atmosphere in building Environmental protection • Inspect pits, monitor levels, manage capacity Best use of nutrients • 4 R’s of nutrient management: Right type, right amount, right time, right placement
Last words Be safe Track freeboard Have a contingency plan for land application Take credit for nutrients Sponsored by Elanco Animal Health
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