Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #214243

Title: Evaluation of environmental superior technology contingent determination - Second generation Super Soil technology - Final Report

item Vanotti, Matias
item Szogi, Ariel

Submitted to: Electronic Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/25/2007
Publication Date: 11/13/2007
Citation: Vanotti, M.B., Szogi, A.A. 2007. Evaluation of environmental superior technology contingent determination - Second generation Super Soil technology - Final Report. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Disposal of animal wastes from concentrated animal agriculture production areas poses serious challenges. Currently, implemented technologies for animal waste management have drawbacks including odor, acreage needed for disposal, air pollution, pathogens, and potential water contamination due to rainfall and flooding. This project evaluates and demonstrates the viability of a second generation manure treatment technology developed as an alternative to the lagoon/spray field system typically used to treat the wastewater generated by swine farms in North Carolina. This second generation technology was installed on a 5,150-head finishing farm in Sampson County, North Carolina. It separates solids and liquids with the aid of polymer flocculants; removes the ammonia nitrogen biologically with bacteria adapted to high-strength wastewater; removes phosphorus via alkali precipitation; and substantially eliminates release of pathogens, odors, ammonia, and heavy metals into the environment. In addition to the technical standards of the first generation, the second generation system was designed to substantially reduce cost and meet economical feasibility consistent with recommendations provided in the Phase I Technology Determination Report to evaluate a lower cost version of the system. Objectives of this report were to provide performance verification to determine if the lower cost second generation technology meets the criteria of Environmentally Superior Technology on the installed system at full-scale and steady-state operational conditions. Specifically, evaluation of technical and operational feasibility and performance standards related to the elimination of discharge of animal waste into waters and the substantial elimination of ammonia emissions, odors, pathogens, and nutrient and heavy metal contamination of soil and groundwater by manure. The treatment plant completed design, permitting, construction, startup, and 6.5 months of operation under steady-state conditions. Major goals in the demonstration and performance verification of the second generation alternative treatment system were achieved. These include highly efficient treatment performance with both varying solid and nutrient loads typical in animal production and cold and warm weather conditions. On a mass basis, the treatment system removed 97.7% of the total suspended solids, 99.6% of BOD, 96.1% of TKN, 97.3% of ammonia, 94.0% of total phosphorus, 99.3% of copper, and 99.2% of zinc. The system not only replaced the anaerobic lagoon treatment but also provided lagoon cleanup. In less than six months, ammonia concentration was halved in the liquid of the replaced anaerobic lagoon. The treatment system removed 99.9% of odor compounds in the liquid. Pathogen indicators were reduced 4 logs and Salmonella in the manure was eliminated. Ammonia concentration in air of the barns was reduced due to the recycle of cleaner, sanitized water to refill barn pits. Animal health and productivity of the animals were enhanced; mortality decreased 57%, daily weight gain increased 11%, and feed conversion improved 5.4% compared to the traditional lagoon management. Based on performance results obtained in this evaluation, it was verified that the more economical second generation treatment system also meets the operational and technical standards of an Environmentally Superior Technology. These results overall show that cleaner alternative technologies can have significant positive impacts on livestock production and the environment.