Holding Ponds

Used for short-term storage of feedlot runoff, holding ponds are smaller than lagoons. Little decomposition occurs in holding ponds. The runoff is held in the pond until application to crop land through irrigation systems.

The same considerations of sealing lagoons against leaching also apply to holding ponds. Uncontaminated runoff from shelter roofs should be kept out of the waste facilities and diverted to a separate drainage system.

A settling basin located between the feedlot and holding pond collects between 60-75 percent of the solid waste (Figure 1). With a settling basin, the holding pond can be a smaller size and will produce fewer odors. The life of the holding pond will also be extended. With less solid matter, the runoff can be applied by smaller irrigation systems.

Figure 1: Open feedlot showing settling basin used with a holding pond and grassed infiltration area. Runoff from shelter roofs is directed to grass channels around the building.

The grass banks of lagoons and ponds must be maintained to reduce erosion. Prevent groundhogs or muskrats from digging burrows into the banks. During a heavy rainstorm these weakened areas can break down.

Lagoon and pond volumes should allow for a large and sudden amount of rain. A recommended 12-inch grass spillway will absorb any overflow and reduce erosion (Figure 2).


Figure 2: Levels of an earthen basin waste storage facility.



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