By some estimates there are over 200 billion gallons of animal waste disposed of each year onto farmland or into nearby waterways. Concerns over pollution and water contamination has lead to a growing number of lawsuits filed by environmental groups against local feedlot operators.
Given that a single cow can produce as much waste per day as twenty humans, it is not surprising that waste disposal is a huge issue. In fact, a large industrial dairy or feedlot operation can generate as much waste as a mid-sized city. While cities spend millions of dollars each year to process and dispose of municipal waste, feedlot owners cannot afford such expenditures. Factory farms are thus limited to disposing the manure in uncovered manure lagoons, or else spreading it on surrounding land.
The sheer magnitude of the waste often leads to its over-application onto nearby fields. The predictable result is a threat to the safety of the air as well as ground and surface water sources. The contaminants of concern are disease pathogens such as E.coli and salmonella, and a host of air pollutants such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter. In addition there are concerns over antibiotics, metals, and toxic substances in the waste.
Feedlot owner/operators use one of two methods to process animal waste. These methods are anaerobic digestion and aerobic digestion. Byproducts of anaerobic digestion include high odor, formaldehyde, mercaptans, aldehydes, and other compounds that can harm crops or soil. In contrast, aerobic digestion results in a liquid compost that can be highly beneficial to crops and soils.
The main function of an anaerobic lagoon is to remove, destroy, and stabilize organic matter, but not to “purify” the water. The advantage of this system is in its ability to concentrate solid wastes. High levels of gas and odor are evident near these types of lagoons. These systems are characterized by a relatively solids-free liquid zone located above a layer of bottom sediment.
The end products of aerobic digestion are mainly carbon dioxide and water. Virtually any degree of processing can be obtained in an aerobic lagoon since digestion is a function of time, oxygen availability, and carbon content.
Aerobic lagoons can be in the form of oxidation ponds or mechanically aerated ponds. Oxidation ponds depend upon naturally occurring dissolved oxygen from the air or from algae in the water. Because the oxygen demand is so high in a manure lagoon, the surface area of an oxidation pond must be large to enhance the air exchange at the water surface.
Mechanical aeration seems to be the more practical mode of treatment in a waste lagoon. The advantage of aerobic digestion is a reduction in volatile organic compounds, a reduction or elimination of odors, and a reduction of solids which are turned into carbon dioxide gas. Furthermore, oxygen is known to kill harmful pathogens. Aerobic digestion is said to turn the wastewater into a form of compost tea making it not only fit, but highly beneficial for spraying onto crop fields.
The level of aeration needed to turn a lagoon from anaerobic to aerobic will vary greatly from farm to farm. A pond is considered to be aerobic when the level of dissolved oxygen equals at least two milligrams per liter. It takes this level of oxygen to adequately support aerobic bacteria. Because of the size of many lagoons, and the huge burden of waste, it can take a multitude of aerators to reach this level of dissolved oxygen.
O2-TURBINE® Aerator represents a family of innovative and ecological products in the arena of water or liquid aeration. The primary advantage of this product is a rotating turbine aerator having no internal moving parts. As the turbine rotates beneath the surface, it pushes atmospheric air into the water or liquid after first shearing the air into microscopic bubbles.
The O2-TURBINE® Aerator with no moving parts internally, thus obtaining a great advantage in terms of reliability and energy efficiency. Fine bubble aeration is an efficient way to transfer oxygen to a water body. The O2-TURBINE® outperforms any water aerator on the market today.
The O2-TURBINE® combines the physics principles of precession (applied to the rotation of fluids) and centrifugal force. Using precession, the rotating sub-surface disc creates a low pressure zone within its internal chamber. This zone is then filled with air forced down an air tube by surface air pressure. As this air is gathered within the disc, it is immediately expelled by centrifugal force into the surrounding water.
It is virtually impossible for the Turbine to clog, even in an animal waste lagoon. The motor warranty is passed to the user, and all of the other parts are guaranteed for life. The Turbine is ideal for any animal waste lagoon.