Main content area

Movement of Lagoon-Liquor Constituents below Four Animal-Waste Lagoons

DeSutter, Tom M., Pierzynski, Gary M., Ham, Jay M.
Journal of environmental quality 2005 v.34 no.4 pp. 1234
water pollution, water quality, waste lagoons, waste liquors, cattle manure, pig manure, nitrogen content, seepage, soil chemical properties, Kansas
Movement of liquor constituents from animal-waste lagoons has the potential to degrade ground water quality. The depth of movement and concentrations of lagoon-liquor constituents in the soil underlying three cattle ()-waste retention lagoons and one swine ()-waste lagoon were determined. Samples were taken by using a direct-push coring machine, dissected by depth, and analyzed for total N, organic C, CaCO, pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), texture, and extractable NO, NH, P, Cl, Ca, Mg, K, and Na. Ammonium N concentrations were greatest in the upper 0.5 m of soil under all four lagoons with concentrations ranging from 94 to 1139 mg kg Organic N was determined to make up between 39 and 74% of the total N beneath all lagoons. The swine lagoon had 2.4 kg N m in the underlying soil whereas the cattle lagoon with highest quantity of N had 1.2 kg N m in the underlying soil. Although N concentrations decreased with depth, N was greater than expected background levels at the bottom of some cores, indicating that the sampling efforts did not reach the bottom of the N plume. Nitrate N concentrations were generally less than 5 mg kg immediately below the lagoon floor. In the uppermost 0.5 m of soil underlying the swine and three cattle lagoons, NH occupied 44% and between 1 and 22% of the soil cation exchange sites, respectively. The depth of movement of N under these lagoons, as much as 4 m, may pose remediation difficulties at lagoon closure.