Runoff from Confined Animal Facility Management and Irrigation Systems

Jacksonville Duval County 904-346-1266
St Augustine St Johns County 904-824-7144
Orange Park Clay County 904-264-6444
Jacksonville Beaches Duval County 904-246-3969
Fernandina Nassau County 904-277-3040
Macclenny Baker County 904-259-5091
Palm Coast Flagler County 386-439-5290
Daytona Volusia County 386-253-4911
Serving all of Florida and Georgia at 904-346-1266

EMAIL LARRY@1STPROP.COM (feel free to email your bidding packages here)

Runoff from Confined Animal Facility Management (Small Units)

Design and implement systems that collect solids, reduce contaminant concentrations, and reduce runoff to minimize the discharge of contaminants in both facility wastewater and in runoff that is caused by storms up to and including a 25-year, 24-hour frequency storm. Implement these systems to substantially reduce significant increases in pollutant loadings to ground water.

Manage stored runoff and accumulated solids from the facility through an appropriate waste utilization system.

1. Applicability

This management measure is intended for application by States to all existing confined animal facilities that contain the following number of head:

Head Animal Units (5)
Beef Feedlots 50-299 50-299
Stables (horses) 100-199 200-399
Dairies 20-69 28-97
Layers 5,000-14,999 50-149 (6)
165-494 (7)
Broilers 5,000-14,999 50-149 (6)
165-494 (7)
Turkeys 5,000-13,749 900-2,474
Swine 100-199 40-79

(5) See animal unit in Glossary.
(6) If facility has a liquid manure system.
(7) If facility has continuous overflow watering.

except those facilities that are required by Federal regulation 40 CFR 122.23(c) to apply for and receive discharge permits. 40 CFR 122.23(c) provides that the Director of an NPDES discharge permit program may designate any animal feeding operation as a concentrated animal feeding operation (which has the effect of subjecting the operation to the NPDES permit program requirements) upon determining that it is a significant contributor of water pollution. In such cases, upon issuance of a permit, the terms of the permit apply and this management measure ceases to apply.

Facilities containing fewer than the number of head listed above are not subject to the requirements of this management measure. Existing facilities that meet the requirements of Management Measure B1 for large units are in compliance with the requirements of this management measure. Existing and new facilities that already minimize the discharge of contaminants to surface waters, protect against contamination of ground water, and have an appropriate waste utilization system may already meet the requirements of this management measure. Such facilities may not need additional controls for the purposes of this management measure.

Under the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments, States are subject to a number of requirements as they develop coastal nonpoint programs in conformity with this measure and will have some flexibility in doing so. The application of management measures by States is described more fully in Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program: Program Development and Approval Guidance, published jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

A confined animal facility is a lot or facility (other than an aquatic animal production facility) where the following conditions are met:

* Animals (other than aquatic animals) have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period, and
* Crops, vegetation forage growth, or post-harvest residues are not sustained in the normal growing season over any portion of the lot or facility.

Two or more animal facilities under common ownership are considered, for the purposes of these guidelines, to be a single animal facility if they adjoin each other or if they use a common area or system for the disposal of wastes.

Confined animal facilities, as defined above, include areas used to grow or house the animals, areas used for processing and storage of product, manure and runoff storage areas, and silage storage areas.

Facility wastewater and runoff from confined animal facilities are to be controlled under this management measure (Figure 2-9). Runoff includes any precipitation (rain or snow) that comes into contact with any manure, litter, or bedding. Facility wastewater is water discharged in the operation of an animal facility as a result of any or all of the following: animal or poultry watering; washing, cleaning, or flushing pens, barns, manure pits, or other animal facilities; washing or spray cooling of animals; and dust control.

2. Description

The goal of this management measure is to minimize the discharge of contaminants in both facility wastewater and in runoff that is caused by storms up to and including a 25-year, 24-hour frequency storm by using practices such as solids separation basins in combination with vegetative practices and other practices that reduce runoff and are also protective of ground water.

The problems associated with animal facilities are the control of runoff, facility wastewater, and manure. For additional information regarding problems, see Section I.F.3. of this chapter.

Application of this management measure will greatly reduce the volume of runoff, manure, and facility wastewater reaching a waterbody, thereby improving water quality and the use of the water resource. The measure can be implemented by using practices that divert runoff water from upslope sites and roofs away from the facility, thereby minimizing the amount of water that must be managed (Figure 2-10). Runoff water and facility wastewater from the facility should be routed through a settling structure or debris basin to remove solids. If manure is managed as a liquid, all manure, runoff, and facility wastewater can be stored in the same structure and there is no need for a debris basin.

This management measure does not require manure storage structures or areas, nor does it specify required manure management practices. This management measure does, however, address the management of runoff from manure

storage areas. Manure may be stacked in the confined lot or other appropriate area as long as the discharge is minimized and any stored runoff is managed in accordance with this management measure. If manure is managed as a solid, any drainage from the storage area or structure should be routed to the runoff control practices.

When applied to agricultural lands, manure, stored runoff water, stored facility wastewater, and accumulated solids from the facility are to be applied in accordance with the nutrient management measure. An appropriate waste utilization system to minimize impacts to surface water and protect ground water may be achieved through implementation of the SCS Waste Utilization practice (633).

It is recognized that implementation of this measure may increase the potential for movement of water and soluble pollutants through the soil profile to the ground water. It is not the intent of this measure to address a surface water problem at the expense of ground water. Facility wastewater and runoff control systems can and should be designed to protect against the contamination of ground water. Ground-water protection will also be provided by minimizing seepage to ground water, if soil conditions require further protection, and by using the nutrient and pesticide management measures to reduce and control the application of nutrients and pesticides. While a nutrient management plan is not required to be implemented on the vegetative control practices themselves, ground water should be protected by taking extreme care to not exceed the capacity of the practices to assimilate nutrients.

When storage structures are used to meet the requirements of this management measure, seepage to ground water can be minimized by lining the runoff or manure storage structure with an earthen lining or plastic membrane lining, by constructing with concrete, or by constructing a storage tank. This is not difficult to accomplish and should be achieved in the initial design to reduce costs. For some soils and locations movement of pollutants to the ground water is not a concern, but each site must be evaluated and the appropriate action taken to protect the resources at the site.

Operation and Maintenance of This Measure


Holding ponds and treatment lagoons should be operated such that the design storm volume is available for storage of runoff. Facilities that have filled should be drawn down as soon as all site conditions permit the safe removal and appropriate use of stored materials. Solids should be removed from solids separation basins as soon as possible following storm events to ensure that needed solids storage volume is available for subsequent storms.


Diversions will need periodic reshaping and should be free of trees and brush growth. Gutters and downspouts should be inspected annually and repaired when needed. Established grades for lot surfaces and conveyance channels must be maintained at all times.

Channels must be free of trees and brush growth. Cleaning of debris basins, holding ponds, and lagoons will be needed to ensure that design volumes are maintained. Clean water should be excluded from the storage structure unless it is needed for further dilution in a liquid system.

3. Management Measure Selection

This management measure was selected for smaller-sized animal production facilities based on an evaluation of available information that documents the beneficial effects of improved management of confined livestock facilities. Specifically, the management measure reduces the amount of pollutants leaving a facility by using practices that reduce the amount of water that comes into contact with animal waste materials. It also uses solid removal and filtration of runoff water to remove a significant amount of the pollutants contained in the runoff waters. This can be accomplished without the expense of constructing a runoff storage structure and purchasing the equipment necessary to apply the stored water to the land.

This management measure also requires that stored runoff and accumulated solids from the facility are managed through an appropriate waste utilization system. The size limitations that define a small unit are based on EPA’s analysis of the economic achievability of the management measure.

4. Effectiveness Information

The effectiveness information presented for large units (Tables 2-9 and 2-10) also applies to this management measure.

Pollutant loads from runoff caused by storms up to and including the 25-year, 24-hour frequency storm can be reduced by decreasing the potential for runoff contamination (e.g., by keeping accumulations of manure off the open lots), and by removing the contaminants to the fullest extent practicable through vegetative and structural practices (e.g., solids separation devices, sediment basins, filter strips, and constructed wetlands). Pollutant loads can also be reduced by storing and applying the runoff to the land with any manure and facility wastewater in accordance with the nutrient management measure.

Table 2-12 shows reductions in pollutant concentrations that are achievable with solids separation basins that receive runoff from barnyards and feedlots. Concentration reductions may differ from the load reductions presented in Tables 2-9 and 2-10 since loads are determined by both concentration and discharge volume. Solids separation basins combined with drained infiltration beds and vegetated filter strips (VFS) provide additional reductions in contaminant concentrations. The effectiveness of solids separation basins is highly dependent on site variables. Solids separation; basin sizing and management (clean-out); characteristics of VFS areas such as soil type, land slope, length, vegetation type, vegetation quality; and storm amounts and intensities all play important roles in the performance of the system. Appropriate operation and maintenance are critical to success.

5. Confined Animal Facility Management Practices

As discussed more fully at the beginning of this chapter and in Chapter 1, the following practices are described for illustrative purposes only. State programs need not require implementation of these practices. However, as a practical matter, EPA anticipates that the management measure set forth above generally will be implemented by applying one or more management practices appropriate to the source, location, and climate. The practices set forth below have been found by EPA to be representative of the types of practices that can be applied successfully to achieve the management measure described above.

Combinations of the following practices can be used to satisfy the requirements of this management measure. The U.S. Soil Conservation Service (SCS) practice number and definition are provided for each management practice, where available. Also included in italics are SCS statements describing the effect each practice has on water quality (USDA-SCS, 1988).

* a. Waste storage pond (425): An impoundment made by excavation or earth fill for temporary storage of animal or other agricultural waste.

This practice reduces the direct delivery of polluted water, which is the runoff from manure stacking areas and feedlots and barnyards, to the surface waters. This practice may reduce the organic, pathogen, and nutrient loading to surface waters. This practice may increase the dissolved pollutant loading to ground water by leakage through the sidewalls and bottom.

* b. Waste storage structure (313): A fabricated structure for temporary storage of animal waste or other organic agricultural waste.

This practice may reduce the nutrient, pathogen, and organic loading to the surface waters. This is accomplished by intercepting and storing the polluted runoff from manure stacking areas, barnyards and feedlots. This practice will not eliminate the possibility of contaminating surface and ground water; however, it greatly reduces this possibility.

* c. Waste treatment lagoon (359): An impoundment made by excavation or earth fill for biological treatment of animal or other agricultural waste.

This practice may reduce polluted surficial runoff and the loading of organics, pathogens, and nutrients into the surface waters. It decreases the nitrogen content of the surface runoff from feedlots by denitrification. Runoff is retained long enough that the solids and insoluble phosphorus settle and form a sludge in the bottom of the lagoon. There may be some seepage through the sidewalls and the bottom of the lagoon. Usually the long-term seepage rate is low enough, so that the concentration of substances transported into the ground water does not reach an unacceptable level.

* d. Sediment basin (350): A basin constructed to collect and store debris or sediment.

Sediment basins will remove sediment, sediment associated materials and other debris from the water which is passed on downstream. Due to the detention of the runoff in the basin, there is an increased opportunity for soluble materials to be leached toward the ground water.

* e. Water and sediment control basin (638): An earth embankment or a combination ridge and channel generally constructed across the slope and minor water courses to form a sediment trap and a water detention basin.

The practice traps and removes sediment and sediment-attached substances from runoff. Trap control efficiencies for sediment and total phosphorus, that are transported by runoff, may exceed 90 percent in silt loam soils. Dissolved substance, such as nitrates, may be removed from discharge to downstream areas because of the increased infiltration. Where geologic condition permit, the practice will lead to increased loadings of dissolved substances toward ground water. Water temperatures of surface runoff, released through underground outlets, may increase slightly because of longer exposure to warming during its impoundment.

* f. Filter strip (393): A strip or area of vegetation for removing sediment, organic matter, and other contaminants from runoff and wastewater.

Filter strips for sediment and related pollutants meeting minimum requirements may trap the coarser grained sediment. They may not filter out soluble or suspended fine-grained materials. When a storm caused runoff in excess of the design runoff, the filter may be flooded and may cause large loads of pollutants to be released to the surface water. This type of filter requires high maintenance and has a relatively short service life and is effective only as long as the flow through the filter is shallow sheet flow.

Filter strips for runoff from concentrated livestock areas may trap organic material, solids, materials which become adsorbed to the vegetation or the soil within the filter. Often they will not filter out soluble materials. This type of filter is often wet and is difficult to maintain.

Filter strips for controlled overland flow treatment of liquid wastes may effectively filter out pollutants. The filter must be properly managed and maintained, including the proper resting time. Filter strips on forest land may trap coarse sediment, timbering debris, and other deleterious material being transported by runoff. This may improve the quality of surface water and has little effect on soluble material in runoff or on the quality of ground water.

All types of filters may reduce erosion on the area on which they are constructed.

Filter strips trap solids from the runoff flowing in sheet flow through the filter. Coarse-grained and fibrous materials are filtered more efficiently than fine-grained and soluble substances. Filter strips work for design conditions, but when flooded or overloaded they may release a slug load of pollutants into the surface water.

* g. Grassed waterway (412): A natural or constructed channel that is shaped or graded to required dimensions and established in a suitable vegetation for the stable conveyance of runoff.

This practice may reduce the erosion in a concentrated flow area, such as in a gully or in ephemeral gullies. This may result in the reduction of sediment and substances delivered to receiving waters. Vegetation may act as a filter in removing some of the sediment delivered to the waterway, although this is not the primary function of a grassed waterway.

Any chemicals applied to the waterway in the course of treatment of the adjacent cropland may wash directly into the surface waters in the case where there is a runoff event shortly after spraying.

When used as a stable outlet for another practice, waterways may increase the likelihood of dissolved and suspended pollutants being transported to surface waters when these pollutants are delivered to the waterway.

* h. Constructed wetland (ASCS-999): A constructed aquatic ecosystem with rooted emergent hydrophytes designed and managed to treat agricultural wastewater.

This is a conservation practice for which SCS has developed technical requirements under a trial program leading to the development of a conservation practice standard.

* i. Dikes (356): An embankment constructed of earth or other suitable materials to protect land against overflow or to regulate water.

Where dikes are used to prevent water from flowing onto the floodplain, the pollution dispersion effects of the temporary wetlands and backwater are decreased. The sediment, sediment-attached, and soluble materials being transported by the water are carried farther downstream. The final fate of these materials must be investigated on site. Where dikes are used to retain runoff on the floodplain or in wetlands the pollution dispersion effects of these areas may be enhanced. Sediment and related materials may be deposited, and the quality of the water flowing into the stream from this area will be improved.

Dikes are used to prevent wetlands and to form wetlands. The formed areas may be fresh, brackish, or saltwater wetlands. In tidal areas dikes are used to stop saltwater intrusion, and to increase the hydraulic head of fresh water which will force intruded salt water out the aquifer. During construction there is a potential of heavy sediment loadings to the surface waters. When pesticides are used to control the brush on the dikes and fertilizers are used for the establishment and maintenance of vegetation there is the possibility for these materials to be washed into the surface waters.

* j. Diversion (362): A channel constructed across the slope with a supporting ridge on the lower side.

This practice will assist in the stabilization of a watershed, resulting in the reduction of sheet and rill erosion by reducing the length of slope. Sediment may be reduced by the elimination of ephemeral and large gullies. This may reduce the amount of sediment and related pollutants delivered to the surface waters.

* k. Heavy use area protection (561): Protecting heavily used areas by establishing vegetative cover, by surfacing with suitable materials, or by installing needed structures.

Protection may result in a general improvement of surface water quality through the reduction of erosion and the resulting sedimentation. Some increase in erosion may occur during and immediately after construction until the disturbed areas are fully stabilized.

Some increase in chemicals in surface water may occur due to the introduction of fertilizers for vegetated areas and oils and chemicals associated with paved areas. Fertilizers and pesticides used during operation and maintenance may be a source of water pollution.

Paved areas installed for livestock use will increase organic, bacteria, and nutrient loading to surface waters. Changes in ground water quality will be minor. Nitrate nitrogen applied as fertilizer in excess of vegetation needs may move with infiltrating waters. The extent of the problem, if any, may depend on the actual amount of water percolating below the root zone.

* l. Lined waterway or outlet (468): A waterway or outlet having an erosion-resistant lining of concrete, stone, or other permanent material.

The lined section extends up the side slopes to a designed depth. The earth above the permanent lining may be vegetated or otherwise protected.

This practice may reduce the erosion in concentrated flow areas resulting in the reduction of sediment and substances delivered to the receiving waters.

When used as a stable outlet for another practice, lined waterways may increase the likelihood of dissolved and suspended substances being transported to surface waters due to high flow velocities.

* m. Roof runoff management (558): A facility for controlling and disposing of runoff water from roofs.

This practice may reduce erosion and the delivery of sediment and related substances to surface waters. It will reduce the volume of water polluted by animal wastes. Loadings of organic waste, nutrients, bacteria, and salts to surface water are prevented from flowing across concentrated waste areas, barnyards, roads and alleys. Pollution and erosion will be reduced. Flooding may be prevented and drainage may improve.

* n. Terrace (600): An earthen embankment, a channel, or combination ridge and channel constructed across the slope.

This practice reduces the slope length and the amount of surface runoff which passes over the area downslope from an individual terrace. This may reduce the erosion rate and production of sediment within the terrace interval. Terraces trap sediment and reduce the sediment and associated pollutant content in the runoff water which enhance surface water quality. Terraces may intercept and conduct surface runoff at a nonerosive velocity to stable outlets, thus reducing the occurrence of ephemeral and classic gullies and the resulting sediment. Increases in infiltration can cause a greater amount of soluble nutrients and pesticides to be leached into the soil. Underground outlets may collect highly soluble nutrient and pesticide leachates and convey runoff and conveying it directly to an outlet, terraces may increase the delivery of pollutants to surface waters. Terraces increase the opportunity to leach salts below the root zone in the soil. Terraces may have a detrimental effect on water quality if they concentrate and accelerate delivery of dissolved or suspended nutrient, salt, and pesticide pollutants to surface or ground waters.

* o. Waste utilization (633): Using agricultural wastes or other wastes on land in an environmentally acceptable manner while maintaining or improving soil and plant resources.

Waste utilization helps reduce the transport of sediment and related pollutants to the surface water. Proper site selection, timing of application and rate of application may reduce the potential for degradation of surface and ground water. This practice may increase microbial action in the surface layers of the soil, causing a reaction which assists in controlling pesticides and other pollutants by keeping them in place in the field.

Mortality and other compost, when applied to agricultural land, will be applied in accordance with the nutrient management measure. The composting facility may be subject to State regulations and will have a written operation and management plan if SCS practice 317 (composting facility) is used.

* p. Composting facility (317): A facility for the biological stabilization of waste organic material.

The purpose is to treat waste organic material biologically by producing a humus-like material that can be recycled as a soil amendment and fertilizer substitute or otherwise used in compliance with all laws, rules, and regulations.

* q. Commercial rendering or disposal services

* r. Incineration

* s. Approved burial site

6. Cost Information

The construction costs for large units (Table 2-11) also apply to this measure. The annual operation and maintenance costs average 4 percent of construction costs for diversions, 3 percent of construction costs for settlement basins, and 5 percent of construction costs for retention ponds (DPRA, 1992). Annual costs for repairs, maintenance, taxes, and insurance are estimated to be 5 percent of investment costs for irrigation systems (DPRA, 1992).