Monitoring the environmental performance of piggeries
Most development permits include monitoring requirements to ensure your piggery continues to operate in an environmentally sustainable way.
Effluent and manure by-products of piggeries are valuable sources of water, nutrients and organic matter and are often used to help grow crops and pastures. Regular soil sampling indicates the health of soil in areas where effluent is re-used. Water quality is tracked through annual monitoring of surface water, groundwater, and manure stockpile and effluent holding ponds.
Sampling for environmental monitoring
For sample collection and preparation, it is important you follow the techniques outlined in the Sampling manual for environmental monitoring by intensive livestock producers (PDF, 210KB).
Check your environmental authority (licence or approval) for what your analysis may need to include. You may be required to collect samples of:
- soils - to test for chloride, electrical conductivity, exchangeable sodium percentage, organic carbon, pH, total nitrogen, total phosphorus
- water and effluent - to test for electrical conductivity, orthophosphate-P, pH, potassium, sodium adsorption ratio, total nitrogen, total phosphorus
- sludge and manure - to test for electrical conductivity, total calcium, total carbon, total magnesium, total nitrogen, total potassium, total sodium, total phosphate.
When undertaking environmental monitoring, you should:
- collect representative samples from appropriate locations
- handle and prepare samples in a way that does not contaminate or degrade the quality of the sample
- have samples analysed within the recommended time period.
Safety precautions when collecting or storing samples
Animal wastes may carry diseases harmful to humans, so be careful to:
- avoid ingesting or coming into contact with samples
- avoid refrigerating or freezing samples in fridges or freezers that are used to store food.