Suggested Procedures for Closeout of Agricultural Waste Lagoons

  1. The lagoon liquid effluent and sludge accumulation should be removed. All of these waste products must be removed for close-out. The lagoon should be agitated and pumped out for land application. The wastewater must be analyzed for nutrient content and applied to agricultural fields at an agronomic rate. NRCS or a private engineer may prepare a close-out plan. This plan should include all information on clean-out procedures, application rates and land application sites. If additional land application sites, not included in the original animal facility management plan, are to be utilized, then the information for these fields must be included in the close-out plan.
  2. The producer must contact NRCS or a private engineer to certify the removal of all wastewater/solids.
  3. Once NRCS or the engineer has certified the removal, the Department may require the producer to apply limestone to the bottom of the lagoon/waste storage pond at the approved application rate. NRCS recommends 4 tons/acre.
  4. Once the site has been properly closed with approval by NRCS or Engineer and the Department, the old lagoon/waste storage pond may be used for a freshwater pond or filled with soil material and properly grassed.
  5. In very few cases, some of the older lagoons and waste storage ponds may meet certain criteria that will allow this lagoon sludge to be left undisturbed. This is usually only applicable to lagoons that have been inactive for a long time, or lagoons that have received very little solids. The Department would make that determination based on the following information that should be submitted for review:
    1. Is the structure a waste storage pond or anaerobic waste treatment lagoon?
    2. Sludge and liquid analysis (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potasium,Copper, Zinc).
    3. How many years was the lagoon in operation?
    4. What animal type was the operation?
    5. How long has the lagoon been inactive?
    6. What is the depth of sludge accumulation?
    7. Liquid (effluent) analysis (dissolved oxygen, metals, etc.) may need to be evaluated if lagoon is to be converted to a fish pond.


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