Beef feedlot runoff is a potential environmental contaminant. As such, it should be managed properly to preserve water quality. Primary treatment of feedlot runoff often relies on sedimentation techniques; thus, accurate knowledge of feedlot runoff physical properties is required. This study characterized the physical and chemical properties of runoff effluent from earthen and concrete beef feedlots in Iowa with the objective of providing the necessary information to improve solid settling basin design and performance. Results, although not statistically significant (p = 0.11), indicated that solids in runoff from concrete lots tended to settle more slowly than solids from earthen lots. Particle size distribution and particle density measurements indicated that the poorer settleability of concrete lot runoff was primarily caused by lower particle densities: 1.47 ±0.17 g cm-3 (average ± SD) for concrete lots as compared to 1.89 ±0.11 g cm-3 for earthen lots. Runoff composition was analyzed before and after settling to relate nutrient reduction to solids removal. Results indicated an average of 41 g total Kjeldahl nitrogen per kg total solids and 16 g total phosphorus per kg total solids were removed during settling.
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