Techniques to manage the environmental impact of piggeries
As a piggery operator, you must take steps to make sure your business minimises its impact on the surrounding environment and community. Key issues are waste and odour management.
Effluent and manure by-products generated in a piggery are valuable sources of water, nutrients and organic matter. You are required to re-use by-products in ways that will not harm the environment.
You should construct effluent ponds to industry standards and ensure that effluent re-use does not damage soil. Establish composting sites with good surface drainage that pose no risk of run-off to water sources. Take safety precautions when working with potentially dangerous effluent storages.
Learn more about:
- constructing effluent ponds
- earth pad preparation for deep litter pig production, solid waste stockpiles and composting areas
- managing effluent and sludge application
- composting organic waste
- worm farming.
Odour generated from piggeries is usually caused by decomposing manure and waste food. Odour management involves appropriate shed design, effluent collection and disposal systems, and overall piggery management.
Practical techniques to manage odour include:
- improving shed ventilation
- keeping drains clean
- sweeping or hosing lanes and pens regularly to avoid manure build-up
- flushing sheds twice daily
- providing deep litter pens
- dumping static-pit sheds weekly, or more often
- covering anaerobic ponds with straw and permeable polypropylene
- avoiding ponding and effluent irrigation during wet periods
- covering carcasses immediately with soil.
Resources to help you manage piggeries
Self-help resources are available to help you manage the potential environmental impacts of your business. These include:
- The National Environmental Guidelines for Piggeries is a guide to achieving ecologically sustainable development that covers environmental management plans, waste management guidelines, stormwater management and other practical techniques.
- The National Environmental Guidelines for Rotational Outdoor Piggeries is an additional guide for the design and operation of outdoor or free range piggeries.
- The Piggery assessment spreadsheet helps you to perform calculations for preparing permit applications, helps document piggery design and management practices, and encourages more effective use of water and nutrient resources.
- The Model for effluent disposal using land irrigation (MEDLI) is a software program to help you to design an effluent re-use scheme.