Location of Repository

Impact of farm waste stores on groundwater quality. Final report

By D.C. Gooddy, A.G. Hughes, A.C. Armstrong, A.T. Williams, K.J. Griffiths, R.A. Nicholson, J.W. Williams, H.K. Jones and P.J. Chilton

Abstract

This report details the findings of a three year study into the impacts of farm waste stores on\ud groundwater quality. This is a joint project between the British Geological Survey and ADAS and\ud began in April 1997. Funding has been from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food,\ud Environment, Fisheries and International Science Division, under contract number WA0517 as part of\ud their ongoing research and development programme into farm wastes.\ud Unlined earth-banked farm slurry stores pose a particular threat to groundwater since recent research\ud suggests that the waste and its constituents is able to leach from the bottom of these stores. After\ud investigating a potential 68 sites, we have undertaken a detailed field programme at 3 sites on the\ud Chalk and 5 sites on the Permo-Triassic Sandstone, the two principal aquifers in the UK, beneath\ud unlined slurry stores. Seven of the sites (2 Chalk and 5 Permo-Triassic) concentrated on unlined\ud cattle slurry lagoons whilst one site examined the effects of a turkey manure store.\ud Boreholes were drilled at an angle of 45° so as to obtain material from directly beneath the stores at\ud several of the sites. In addition, a vertical hole was often drilled adjacent to the slurry stores so as to\ud assess the degree of lateral spreading. Vertical boreholes were also drilled through the centre of the\ud turkey litter store since the management of solid manure heaps left a period of the year where the\ud storage area was free from waste. Cores from the boreholes were centrifuged so as to extract the\ud interstitial waters and selected samples were taken for microbial examination. At one Sandstone site\ud and one Chalk site, specially designed gas samplers were installed beneath the slurry lagoons to\ud investigate the aquifer gas composition.\ud Cores taken from beneath the two cattle slurry store Chalk sites showed visual staining from slurry\ud material along fracture faces in the rock. In addition, porewaters from all of the Chalk sites and one of\ud the Sandstone sites showed distinct coloration. These samples showed very high concentrations of\ud nitrate, ammonia, organic carbon, potassium and chloride. The cores taken from beneath two cattle\ud slurry lagoons situated on Chalk exhibited different chemical characteristics with the inference that\ud the least contaminated of these two had formed a sealed base. Gas samplers installed at this Chalk\ud site showed very high rates of denitrification. The physical and chemical properties of the different\ud aquifers were also shown to impact on contaminant movement and attenuation.\ud Microbial studies showed contamination from clostridia in all of the sites studied, however this\ud contamination extended to a depth of 18 m in the two Chalk sites beneath cattle slurry lagoons.\ud Cryptosporidia was found in cattle slurry from five sites, whereas E.coli O175 was found in cattle\ud slurry from just one of the six sites tested for these pathogens. Neither Cryptosporidia nor\ud E.coli O157 was found in any of the rock samples taken for microbiological examination. This may\ud however relate to the small sample size and limits of detection rather than their absence.\ud Taking data obtained from the field site investigation, we attempted to model mathematically the\ud impact on local groundwater concentrations as a result of a leaking farm waste store. Modelling\ud studies showed that concentrations in theoretical nearby production boreholes would be expected to\ud rise only very slightly, typically by 0.5 mg/L for nitrate.\ud Two maps assessing the risk to the principal aquifers in England and Wales have been generated by\ud overlaying the volume of slurry stored in a given region over the aquifer outline and combining this\ud with either the HOST classification system of soils or the geological drift map. These maps identify\ud the Chalk outcrop of the Dorset and small parts of the Permo-Triassic Sandstone in the West\ud Midlands as the regions most at risk from farm waste stores. Areas with a shallow water table are\ud also considered to be at higher risk to groundwater contamination from unlined slurry lagoons

Publisher: British Geological Survey
Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:12692

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (1988). 15N isotope biogeochemistry and natural denitrification process in groundwater: application to the chalk aquifer of northern France.
  2. (1989). A
  3. (1987). A 1982. Laplace transform solutions for solute transport in fissured aquifers.
  4. (1975). A and Vaigneur H 0 1975. Dairy lagoon system and groundwater quality. In 'Managing livestock wastes',
  5. (1997). A M, Morris BLand Lilly A
  6. (1988). A modular three-dimensional finite-difference ground water flow model.
  7. (1998). Analysis of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 survival in ovine or bovine manure and munure slurry.
  8. (1997). and Williams A T 1998b. Impact of fann waste stores on groundwater quality:
  9. (1994). Applied hydrogeology (3rd ed).
  10. (1998). Behaviour and impact of cow slurry beneath a storage lagoon: I. Groundwater contamination
  11. (1998). Behaviour and impact of cow slurry beneath a storage lagoon: II. Chemical composition of chalk porewater after 18 years.
  12. (1973). Changes in seepage rate from an unlined cattle waste digestion pond.
  13. (1998). Code of Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water (The Water Code). Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
  14. (1991). Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations
  15. (1997). Controls on stable isotope profiles in the Chalk aquifer of north-east Norfolk, UK, with special reference to dissolved sulphate.
  16. (1999). Denitrification in the unsaturated zones of the British Chalk and Sherwood Sandstone aquifers. British Geological Survey
  17. (1982). Denitrification. In 'Methods of Soil Analysis',
  18. (1997). Digest of Environmental Statistics. Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.
  19. (1989). Documentation of computer programs to compute and display pathlines using results from the U S Geological Survey modular three-dimensional finite-difference gound water flow model.
  20. (1997). Estimates of volumes and exposed surface areas of stored animal manures and slurries in England and Wales.
  21. (1983). Extraction and chemical analysis of interstitial water from soils and rocks.
  22. (1995). Field-based partition coefficients for trace elements in soil solutions.
  23. (1997). Gas compositions and processes in the unsaturated zone of the Chalk and Triassic Sandstone aquifers,
  24. (1999). Groundwater nitrate concentrations in the Sherwood sandstone aquifer of South Yorkshire. British Geological Survey Report WD/99/38C.
  25. (1999). Groundwater pollution by cattle slurry stored in unlined lagoon.
  26. (1995). Hydrology of soil types: a hydrologically-based classification of the soils of the United Kingdom.
  27. (1999). Impact of farm waste stores on groundwater quality: Second annual report 1998-1999. British Geological Survey
  28. (1998). Inactivation of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts by ammonia.
  29. (2000). Increase in bacterial community diversity in subsurface aquifers receiving livestock wastewater input.
  30. (1986). Kinetics of calcite precipitation in the presence of water-soluble organic-ligands.
  31. (1992). Policy and Practice for the Protection of Groundwater.
  32. (1979). Pollutant movement to shallow ground water tables from anaerobic swine waste lagoons.
  33. (1999). Potential health risks associated with the persistence of Eschericia coli 0157 in agricultural environments.
  34. (1985). Self sealing of earthen liquid manure storage ponds: ll. Rate and mechanism of sealing. doi
  35. (1985). Self-sealing earthen liquid manure storage ponds:!. A case study.
  36. (1994). Shallow groundwater denitrification. doi
  37. (1992). Storage - Guidelines for Construction
  38. (1997). The physical properties of the major aquifers in England and Wales.
  39. (1994). The prevalence of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in dairy and beef cattle in Washington State. Epidemiology and Infection,
  40. (1994). to 1998. Policy and practice for the protection of groundwater: Groundwater vulnerability 1: 100 000 series,
  41. (1989). Trace element occurrence in British Groundwaters. British Geological Survey Research Report SD/89/3.
  42. (1995). Transport behaviour in groundwater protozoa and protozoan sized microspheres in sandy aquifer sediments.
  43. (2000). Use of 234U and 238U isotopes to identify fertilizer derived uranium in the Florida Everglades. doi
  44. (1990). Use of isotopic fractionation of sulphate-sulphur and sulphate oxygen to assess bacterial desulphurication in a sandy aquifer.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.