It is very easy to overload an existing effluent system with a new feed pad. To check, ask yourself these questions and seek expert advice:
  • Is our current effluent pond crusted or heavily sludged? If yes, it may already be undersized?
  • Does the current sump or solids trap have enough capacity to handle extra water/runoff?
  • Is the existing pump sufficient to carry additional effluent to the storage ponds?
  • Are existing ponds sited to maximise access to pasture to ensure an even distribution of nutrients?
  • Will there be more pipe blockages?
To get answers to these questions check out:

Drainage, pipes

Good drainage will allow all-weather access, the collection of effluent run-off and reduce odour.

  • Use gravity wherever you can
  • Incorporate drains or diversion banks, an area to remove solids from liquid effluent and catch drains to carry storm water run-off
  • Aim for 2% – 4% slopes – less than 2% will inhibit drainage, while steep slopes may speed up the run-off and cause erosion
  • If flood washing or dry scraping on a concrete surface, use a 3% slope
  • Remove solids before they enter pipes for fewer blockages
  • Make sure pad surface is well compacted and pipes are laid at appropriate depth – this will avoid pipe collapse and leaking joints

 

Sizing & storage

Get expert advice when sizing effluent storage ponds – see List of Accredited Advisers

The following should be considered:

Rainfall

Take account of rain falling on roofs, the feed pad and loafing areas.

Storage period

The period you need to be able to collect and store effluent until it can be safely re-used on pasture and crops. Periods can range from 92 days in dry regions to 180 days in wetter areas.

Irrigation season

Recommended storage period includes May to August when there is no irrigation water available for shandying.