Better Effluent Management with Weeping Walls

September 25, 2015 Phil Gatehouse

Bad management of dairy farm effluent has drawn attention over the years, but new advances in dispersal methods means that the idea of ‘Dirty Dairy’ can be a thing of the past.

RX Plastics Weeping Wall systems separate valuable components from Farm Dairy Effluent (FDE) , making them easier to manage and distribute, which in turn can make a huge difference to a farm’s bottom line.

How do weeping walls work?

Weeping walls are a non-mechanical method of separating solids from liquids. Usually they separate two long and skinny concrete bunkers, at least four times longer than they are wide.

In the process, the liquid in the waste filters down through the fibres of the sludge, drying the solid portion of the effluent whilst allowing liquid to run off to be collected and dispersed efficiently (by K-Line effluent irrigators for example).

Being a passive system, they require no moving parts and are cost-efficient as they require no daily maintenance.

Advantages of RX Plastics Weeping Walls

RX Plastics weeping wall systems are different from traditional weeping walls that in the past were assembled using timber or metal. Being made of PVC means they will not swell nor rot like timber, nor will they corrode or rust like metals.

wooden weeping wall

Traditional wooden weeping wall

Their smooth surfaces and triangle bar shape allow the weeping walls to be self-cleaning. And being made of PVC means high UV stability and product longevity.

RX Plastics weeping walls are available in three different spacing sizes, with gaps of 4, 6 and 8mm to allow for different uses.

For example a 4mm gap may be an appropriate size if the effluent flow has a high water content, such as that coming off a hosed dairy yard, whereas an 8mm gap may be more suitable for a feedlot with high fibrous material and low water content waste going into the system.

RX Plastics weeping wall

Benefits to the Bottom Line and Triple-Bottom Line

Benefits of a weeping wall are both environmental and financial. Weeping wall separation of FDE solids has been shown to remove up to 45% of nitrogen from effluent.

Not only that, but once one of the drying beds has enough liquid removed, the dried sludge can then be applied to paddocks as fertilizer full of nutrients.

As much of the nitrogen content has been removed, greater yield of phosphates and potassium can be achieved per kilo of effluent than would be possible by applying unprocessed effluent (due to restriction in nitrogen loadings).

Designing your system

There are plenty of factors to consider in designing your weeping wall system, but our handy brochure outlines many of the different types of approaches and some examples of how these can be applied.

Any weeping wall system requires engineered design, but our brochure will help your engineer work out what’s best for your installation.

Don’t forget the K-Line effluent pods and sprinklers are perfect for low-rate application of your effluent to the ground. Check out the K-Line brochure to see how easy it is to build a cost-effective effluent dispersal system to meet the individual needs of your farm.

About the Author

Still rivers run deep with Phil, our technical product manager. He is a hands-on kinda guy who has been known to not only get out on the farm to demonstrate products to our customers, but also to turn his considerable skills to whipping up a company brochure or designing a piece of software when the occasion demands it.

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