Water Quality

Water quality problems result from movement of nutrients from manure moving into nearby waters from either the production site, manure storage, or manure application site. Water quality problems are associated primarily with manure storage or application and can be either nutrients or pathogens (Table 1). Leakage from manure storage systems has been assumed to be a source of water quality problems; however, Ham demonstrated on several lagoons in Kansas that seepage from swine lagoons ranged from 200 to 5000 kg ha-1 yr-1, while in beef cattle feedlots, the seepage rate averaged 385 kg ha-1 yr-1.[3] In spite of these seepage rates, the concentrations of organic-N, ammonium-N, and phosphorus were at background levels at 3 m below the lagoon. Management of manure storage systems to reduce the risk of water movement from overflowing manure storage systems will greatly reduce the risk of environmental pollution.

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