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Design of a Monitoring System for Earthen Manure Storages

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Pp. 225-228 in Preferential Flow, Water Movement and Chemical Transport in the Environment, Proc. 2nd Int. Symp. (3-5 January 2001, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA), eds. D. D. Bosch and K. W. King. St. Joseph, Michigan: ASAE  701P0006.(doi:10.13031/2013.2097)
Authors:   T.A Fonstad, C.P. Maule, L.J. Ingram, H. Filson and S. Gibbard
Keywords:   monitoring, manure, seepage, ORP, contaminant transport

The University of Saskatchewan and the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration have undertaken to complete long term monitoring on several earthen manure storages (EMS) in Saskatchewan, Canada. This paper covers the design and installation of the monitoring system in a hope that it will be of assistance to others involved in similar projects. Three options were investigated. One involving simple gravel lysimeters beneath the liner, a second primarily intended for unsaturated soil conditions and a third involving relatively discrete point monitoring in saturated soil conditions. A review of several existing EMS showed that a groundwater mound formed within a short time of filling. This induced saturated conditions in the soils below the storage, thus Option III was chosen for installation. This system involves installation of monitoring bundles made up of pneumatic piezometers or standpipes for head measurement, suction tubes for water sampling, ORP probes, and thermocouples. No allowance was made for dissolved gas sampling. To date there have been three two-cell EMS instrumented with 50 to 60 bundles installed at each site. Preliminary results indicate that groundwater mounding does develop creating anaerobic conditions in the seepage path. Seepage as been limited to within 0.1 meters of the bottom of the storage and 0.6 meters of the sidewall of the storages in use for two years.

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