Effluent storage is a critical part of the process allowing ‘deferred irrigation’ and typically the biggest infrastructure investment when considering a new effluent system. Therefore it is firstly important to get the capacity of the storage facility right and ensuring you have an accredited Storage Calculation which will stand the test of time.
The right storage calculation will consider a range of key inputs ranging from your soil type, climate, existing irrigation capability, and where the system could be developed in the future. You may need to consider extra storage for added flexibility or management objectives.
It is also important to consider the various options available such as ponds, tanks, and bladders, as these can lend themselves to the site in different ways. One option is often more practical and/or cost-effective than the other for a given site. The team at Effluent and Irrigation can drill down the capacity and best options for your farm – do it once and do it right!
Accredited Effluent Storage Calculations
The industry standard for determining dairy effluent storage requirements for an individual dairy farm is using the Dairy Effluent Storage Calculator.
It is a very robust tool developed by Massey University and with other professional industry input. It works by looking at a farm’s inputs such as soil type (risk), catchment areas, feed-pads, water use, rainfall, irrigation capability, etc.
Storage requirements in the past have been a confusing topic for some. Before the calculator was developed there were recommendations in certain regions for ‘90 days’ storage, which was then assumed to be the case in other areas. The fact is every farm is different. Soil types can vary dramatically across a region. It's important to make sure you have a well thought out accredited calculation completed when investing in storage infrastructure. Having this on record will also ensure the facility is fit for purpose into the future.
Soil Risk Verification
Out in the paddock is where it all starts with effluent design. Soil type plays a key part in determining the land’s ability to absorb effluent and keep it in the root zone. This is how nutrient retention (and utilisation) can be maximised and creating the best farm practice.
In the storage calculator, the soil is split into ‘low’ or ‘high’ risk. It’s important to get this right as it will have a significant impact on the storage calculation and effluent design. The national soil mapping database will show the effluent risk for some areas. This is generally used as a guideline only – the information isn’t always an accurate up to date reflection of the soil on site.
Soils can vary across an area and there may be both high and low-risk soil types on the same property. There is an accredited process we follow to assess the soil characteristics, including the infiltration rate on site. This allows us to verify the different soil types, assess what are most suitable for effluent application, and ensure we get the risk profile right.
We know it can get confusing. We are here to help you.
The Team at Effluent & Irrigation Design understands the concerns relating to how much work managing a dairy farm and its systems can be.
We are here to help.
Get in touch today.
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GOVERNMENT & COUNCIL COMPLIANCE IS EVOLVING.
Knowing everything about getting your farm compliant can be scary, especially when it comes to ticking all the right boxes. We are here to help!
Effluent and Irrigation are industry-leading experts in the management of these instrumental farming systems.
As INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS we look at your farm and your setup to work out what is best for you.
We will work with you to ensure all compliance is met or exceeded, and that your effluent is managed in a sustainable manner.
IT'S WHAT WE DO
Effluent and Irrigation DesignTM provide an independent consultancy service that analyses your specific farming needs & current process to design the ideal system to suit your land and the way you farm.