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Livestock Mortalities Burial Leachate Chemistry after Two Years of Decomposition

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

Citation:  2009 Reno, Nevada, June 21 - June 24, 2009  095705.(doi:10.13031/2013.26941)
Authors:   Dyan L Pratt, Terrance A Fonstad
Keywords:   Livestock burial, animal mortalities, livestock burial leachate, decomposition leachate chemistry, swine burial, bovine burial, poultry burial

A study was performed to determine the chemical composition of animal mortality leachate arising in a burial setting. Three species of livestock were used: bovine, swine and poultry. Leachate collected from lined burial pits over two years of decomposition was analyzed for major and minor ions. Livestock mortality leachate contains on average, concentrations of 12,600 mg/L of ammonium-N, 46,000 mg/L alkalinity (as bicarbonate), 2,600 mg/L chloride, 3,600 mg/L sulphate, 2,300 mg/L potassium, 1,800 mg/L sodium, 1,500 mg/L phosphorus along with relative lesser amounts of iron, calcium and magnesium. Maximum concentrations of select samples had concentrations of ammonium-N and bicarbonate up to 50% higher than these average values. The pH of the leachate was near neutral. In comparison to earthen manure storages and landfills, the strength of the leachate was 2-4 times higher.

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