Assessment of simple filter systems for treating run-off from seasonal livestock areas
Cattle wintering sites and calving grounds are frequently located on dissected terrain. In many of these areas there is a high risk of contamination to stream headwaters from on-site run-off, particularly in the spring. A literature review suggested a number of small- or municipal-scale filter treatments that may have potential for treating run-off in terms of reducing nutrient and pathogen concentrations. If effective, such systems may provide a low-cost, low-maintenance system for treating run-off in these situations. A two-year bench scale trial was initiated in 2006 at two sites to test the effectiveness of four filter technologies. The technologies were chosen based on several criteria which included: capital and maintenance costs, simplicity, known effectiveness, space requirements, and the ability to scale down the technology. The four selected filters were: demand-operated slow sand filter, intermittent flow sand filter, intermittent flow wood chip filter, and continuous flow rock filter. The trial and filters are described and preliminary results obtained starting in July, 2006 are presented. First year results suggest that the slow sand filter is not a viable technology but the intermittent flow filters and the rock filter show promise.
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