Wastewater management tips for dairy farmers

Wastewater management tips - dairy farmersWastewater management tips - dairy farmers
Wastewater management tips - dairy farmersWastewater management tips - dairy farmers


Wastewater management tips for dairy farmers

Agriculture is an integral part of our daily lives. Whether we agree or not, the nutritional food we eat comes from this sector. Dairy farmers, in particular, is one of the biggest agricultural sectors that contribute to South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP). Many dairy farmers know that running a farm has many challenges, and one of the biggest challenges is water scarcity. Farmers utilise large quantities of water daily and having shortages pose a big hurdle for them.

There is no way around it; the water scarcity issue cannot be resolved without assistance from business owners across all sectors. That is why it’s important to have effluent treatment for dairies, to ensure that wastewater is reused and effluent is collected for treatment.

The dairy industry should strive for a clean and green image, which will increase the industry's marketability. Effluent water treatment in the agricultural industry is very important. Much like most production firms, dairy farmers contribute largely to the total wastewater generated. Wastewater liquids are sludge and solids from cow manure and livestock urine.


Why dairy farmers need effluent treatment solutions

Farming is continuously growing, and farmers are expanding to bigger herds which means that the total amount of effluent generated will also rapidly increase.

Whenever there is an expansion in the farming facility, more water is required for cleaning purposes. The effluent produced by larger herds is greater each day. And that is why farmers must save water and reuse effluent for many as many cycles as possible.


Conduct a water audit

As a farmer, you may have an idea of how much water you use on your farm daily, but how accurate is your estimate? One effective way to measure how much water is used at your facilities is by conducting a water audit. The water audit can only be conducted by a qualified professional who will measure every water entry point at your facility.

Once a water audit has been conducted, you will have an accurate estimate of the water you use daily. The audit will let you know if you have any pipe leakages you were unaware of. After the audit, you should fix any leakages you might have at your facility and look into implementing water-saving solutions fit for your facility.


Know how your facility uses water

Having an effective wastewater management system for your facility will help you evaluate how much water is used in every stage of production. There are ample water uses in dairy farming, for example, water troughs, livestock drinking, plate water cooler, plant washing, irrigation, sprayer use, leak detection and other general water use.

When looking into fitting an effluent water systems, you have to understand that you will be required to fit one in every water usage unit to capture all the effluent generated.


What are your sources of water?

Many dairy farmers are seeking ways to meet their water demands without breaking the bank and still run a sustainable operation. Now, water sources such as municipal water can be costly, hence the need for other water sources such as mobile water systems.

There various types of water sources that can be used as diaries are:

  • Bluewater: blue water can be categorised as potable water, safe or human consumption. The water is treated to suitable standards. Bluewater can be used for human consumption, udder cleaning and internal plant cleaning.
  • Green water: green water is rainwater that falls, and is captured, stored and used for growing plants such as feed crops for the livestock.
  • Greywater: greywater is also known as dirty water. It is water that has been used in a cycle but is still suitable enough for additional uses without any further treatment. Other water alternatives are water sourced from borehole and groundwater.


What you need to capture

Dairy farms usually stretch across many acres of land. This is because there are many units of products and livestock also need to be accommodated. All of the different units produce there own wastewater; therefore, water treatment solutions should be installed in all units.


Final thoughts

The agricultural sector contributes immensely to the Gross Domestic Product of South Africa. Dairy farmers, in particular, use large quantities of water to take care of livestock and manufacture dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese. With that being said, farmers should ensure they run sustainable establishments and put water-saving measures in place. Having alternative water sources such as water treatments through effluent water solutions and mobile water systems can play a big part in farmers saving water and saving money.

Wastewater management tips - dairy farmers