California Group Seeks Dairies to Participate in Lagoon Performance Project

November 17, 2010 02:47 PM

Source: Western United Dairymen Weekly Update

Western United Dairymen (WUD) is looking for a handful of dairies to participate in a project to demonstrate a water balance approach to perform lagoon sealing measurements for dairy manure storage ponds.
This important project seeks to demonstrate a practical, cost-effective methodology to prove that dairy lagoons seal and are protective of groundwater.
Five Central Valley dairies are needed this winter for technology demonstrations which will entail stopping inflow to and outflow from the lagoons for a period of about 12 hours overnight during which time the engineering team will track micro measurements of climate and lagoon levels.
“This project will demonstrate technology anticipated to help dairy producers find a more economical method to demonstrate that manure lagoons are not leaking and are protective of groundwater,” said Paul Martin, WUD’s director of environmental services.
While the project has the goal of assisting Central Valley dairies dealing with groundwater nitrate levels as required by the Waste Discharge Requirements, the technology could be useful for dairies in other regions as well.
The identities of participating dairies and producers will be kept confidential; however, participating producers will be informed of results of data collection on their lagoons. Project participants will benefit from early knowledge of how their ponds are functioning. Additionally, the project will benefit the dairy industry as a whole by demonstrating a cost-effective and minimally disruptive methodology for measuring lagoon performance.
This technology demonstration project is being funded by USDA-NRCS through a Conservation Innovation Grant and through contributions from the California dairy industry. WUD is partnering on the project with UC Davis, Dairy Cares, and Luhdorff and Scalmanini Consulting Engineers.
Producers interested in participating are asked to contact their WUD field representative in the coming week or call the WUD office at (209) 527-6453.

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