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Dairy farm dirty water - seeking the best solutions to avoid pollution - LK0650

Although dirty water is less contaminated than most slurries, large volumes are produced on many UK farms and often, irrigation to land is the only practical disposal route. Consequently, on heavy soils, rapid movement through field drainage systems and/or surface run-off can cause water pollution. Various experimental treatment processes have been shown to reduce the polluting power of dirty water before land spreading, suggesting that costs can be reduced if subsequent soil activity can complete the process. However, an optimal technique has yet to be established to minimise costs whilst ensuring pollution avoidance. Hence, this three year project will identify, develop and assess the best practical means at minimal cost to reduce water pollution risks following the irrigation of dirty water to land with specific emphasis on: (a) nitrogen compounds(e.g. ammonia, ammonium ions, nitrates, etc; (b)organic matter (e.g. Biochemical Oxygen Demand); (c) phosphorus and (d) E. coli as a general indicator of pathogen load. Four pilot-scale treatment strategies (reedbeds, percolating soil plots, overland flow plots and settlement plus intensive aeration)will be evaluated in conjunction with measurement of the ability of various soils to achieve final purification after land spreading. The project aims to reduce the gap between pilot-scale research and full scale demonstration of results. It will deliver a specification for a full-scale treatment system to demonstrate the principles of efficient dirty water management. Dissemination of results will include demonstartion of the treatment processes to key representatives of the dairy farming industry; the process equipment supply industry; consultants and environmental regulators. The resulting Intellectual Property Rights will be shared by the members of the project consortium, which includes representatives of all key stakeholder groups.
Project Documents
• Executive Summary : Dairy Farm Dirty Water - Seeking the best solutions to avoid pollution   (605k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2005

Cost: £192,850
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Silsoe Research Institute (BBSRC), University - Cranfield, University - Birmingham, Institute of Grassland and Environment Research (IGER), Pallinghurst Farm Partners, ADAS UK Ltd., A.R.M. Ltd, Carier Pollution Control Ltd, Milk Development Council
Livestock Farming              
Sustainable Production              
Water Pollution