Effluent reuse system
2019 Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grant
|Grant Recipient:||Matt Henry|
|Project Name:||Effluent reuse system|
For 100 years the Henry family have operated a dairy farm near Hodgsonvale a town located in the scenic Queensland Darling Downs. Matt Henry continues the family tradition maintaining a 150 head dairy herd.
As part of the dairy shed maintenance, Matt hoses the yards and equipment, however this requires 6,000 litres of fresh water every day. This is a significant amount of water, particularly in the dry season.
To cut down on his daily use of fresh water Matt decided to install an effluent pump in the pond to capture waste and create a source of recycled water.
As a supplier to Lion Dairy supplier, Matt applied for and was successful in obtaining a 2019 Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grant that provided partial funding for the investment required.
Project Overview, Purpose and Goals
Before work could begin, Matt engaged contractors to survey the land in order to work out what pump would be able to efficiently move the effluent from the nearby pond to the dairy. This was achieved by measuring the distance between the pond and the dairy as well as the rate of fall.
Once installed the effluent pump would be able to recycle water that was safe to hose down the yard and dairy platform. Matt said he expected once operational the effluent pump would cut his daily water use to 3,500 litres or 60 percent.
Matt explained this significant cut in water would benefit the operation by making it more sustainable and making better use of water which is a vital resource particularly in dry seasons.
Matt said the project was an opportunity to collaborate with contractors who were able to provide the technical support needed to calculate the best pump for the dairy, as well as coordinate labour from earthworks to electrical.
A trench was dug between the dairy and the effluent pond so a water pipe and power line could be laid as well as high-pressure hose connection to clean down the yards and platform without the need for scrubbing. Testing was undertaken to make sure the system was working optimally.
In addition to the water savings, Matt said the high-pressure hose cut down on the time needed to clean down the yards and the dairy platform.
Now that the pump is in operation, Matt reflected on the installation pointing out it was overwhelmingly beneficial.
“The installation of the pump was a positive experience because it has created both environmental and practical benefits for the dairy operation,” Matt said.
Matt said the project did require some tweaks, particularly as the effluent pond had a high level of solid matter that was cutting the flow rate.
“We overcame the weak flow rate by adding a cleaning biological agent to the pond which gradually fixed the problem,” Matt said.
The pump system requires relatively minimal maintenance as the main area of concern is the effluent pond and the build-up of solid matter that can block the pump. This, however, will be monitored by regularly testing the pond.
Despite this minimal maintenance Matt will also check pump regularly and maintain it when required.
Laying the groundwork with a trench dug from the dairy shed to the effluent pond.
The effluent pump anchored in the pond where it draws the recycled water.
Matt hoses down the yard with the newly installed high-pressure hose connected to the effluent pump.