ENGINEERING and your Transfer System

When designing a new building or retrofitting an existing facility, there are numerous aspects to consider in the planning of your barn. One of the many areas, and the one that would be essential to your operation, is the nutrient management and how you plan on handling the transfer and storage of these nutrients.

Incorporating manure management strategies in the planning stage can pay dividends to an operation’s long-term bottom line as nutrient management plays an important role in the entire dairy operation.

Various aspects can affect your manure management, including type of bedding, access to water, reuse or application of manure, and how the manure will be collected for your facility. Many options exist to collect manure including alley scrapers, a flush system, slatted floor systems, skid loaders or vacuum tanks. When designing your facility, it is crucial that your Project Designer is aware of what you intend to utilize for a manure transfer system. Increased environmental guidelines and regulations set out by OMAFRA and the Ministry of the Environment, have made it more important than ever to have this component designed and approved by a Professional Engineer.

Whether it consists of a transfer pipe from a piston pump to a new storage tank, an overflow pipe connecting a new tank to an existing liquid tank, or a flush system, engineered drawings and inspections provided by a Professional Engineer are a mandatory requirement as part of this system. Omitting engineering on these systems can be costly down the road as remediation work may be required should OMAFRA or the Ministry of the Environment require you to obtain the required engineering approval.

We advise our clients to communicate with their contractors and equally, their pump or flush system suppliers to ensure that they have included engineering as part of their services. If not, we recommend you gather the information necessary for you to look after hiring your own engineer for this component. All engineering firms diff er in what information they require to engineer your transfer system and what they can provide in the way of engineering services. Stonecrest understands what information is required having engineered hundreds of transfer systems.

To complete engineering design, you will need to ensure that your engineer is aware of the type of transfer system you are installing. If utilizing a flush system then the associated pipes, retention pit and flush tower locations are crucial to the engineering design. When connecting a pump in an existing or new barn or penetrating through the wall of an existing or new tank, specifications will have to be provided for structural reinforcement as well as pipe installation details to address the overall transfer system design.

Taking the time to incorporate engineering into your transfer system before you start construction can save you remediation costs down the road. In some instances, the Ministry of the Environment and OMAFRA have visited operations to review their nutrient management storage and transfer systems. Farm operators who have not met the required engineering design and approval of installation find themselves having to address costly remedial work. This may include excavating transfer system pipes, to satisfy MOE and OMAFRA’s requirements.

If you have any questions on transfer system engineering, Stonecrest Engineering is always available to address concerns or answer any questions you may have. Ensuring your transfer system is engineered at the planning stage and before submitting for building permit, will save costly delays during construction.

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