“They're not going away, so the odor must.”
Phoenix, AZ — Like most U.S.
cities, Phoenix is sprawling. The problem a dairy in Phoenix, Arizona faces is
unfortunately far too common for many farmers: as development encroaches around
them, odor from lagoons becomes a sensitive issue. In addition, they are short
of land for manure spreading. In April of 2005, the farm turned to Pro-Act
Microbial Inc. for help.
“New developments are springing up all around us in former corn fields,” the
owner of the dairy explained. “In fact, new houses are going up right across the
street from the dairy and there are already houses directly behind the lagoon.
We had to tackle the odor problem.”
This Pro-Act customer is a 1,200 head, dry-lot dairy with a five-million gallon
lagoon. The initial treatment plan called for installing Pro-Act’s patented MOO®
surface diffuser and adding their microbes monthly.
“Pro-Act has developed a special treatment plan for Western dairies where
evaporation is a problem” explained Bill Campion, president of Pro-Act. “Lagoons
with an accumulation of solids require special attention, and we have developed
a unique treatment plan tailored to the dry-lot dairies.” The microbe addition
starts to build the three-stage digester. With this process in place, the
microbes dine on carbon, nitrogen and oxygen; this system reduces odor and
liquefies solids while building a gentle time-released fertilizer.
From the start, the farm’s lagoon showed the classic signs of progress. There
are abundant surface bubbles and frequent anaerobic fountains. The fountains are
indicators of robust anaerobic activity and this is the key to reducing the
solids. The floating islands receded in less than a month, and the banks are
cleaning back to the soil.
“We lowered the lagoon a few weeks ago, something that usual stirs up some
odor,” the owner said. This time, he was pleasantly surprised. “There were fewer
solids and a lot less odor than we had the last time we pumped. And this is just
the beginning,” he added.
This summer, the farm is building evaporation ponds to reduce the manure
liquids. The ponds will leave solids that can be transported to outlying farms.
When this process is in place, Pro-Act’s microbes will again be beneficial.
Untreated water will release odorous gases. The water now treated with Pro-Act’s
microbes will convert those gases and keep the odor down.
“This is such a relief,” the owner commented. “I’m no longer worried about the
odor. And the amount of solids is now under control; I’m very happy we went with