A manure spill response demonstration at the recent North American Manure Expo illustrated how to implement the "Four Cs" of an effective response when disaster strikes: Control, Contain, Comply, Clean Up.
Learn more about an effective manure spill response plan in the article, "Follow the Four Cs When Dealing with a Manure Spill."
1. Sometimes Spills Happen
A manure tanker was used to create a manure spill demonstration at the North American Manure Expo. How a producer or applicator reacts within the first 5-30 minutes after a spill happens will determine the eventual impact of the spill--and any possible penalties.
2. Fast-Moving Manure Spill
As the manure cascaded down the field as part of the spill response demonstration, onlookers could see first-hand how to implement the "Four Cs" of an effective response when disaster strikes: Control, Contain, Comply, Clean Up.
3. Stop the Manure Flow to Protect Sensitive Areas
Important steps should be taken to protect environmentally sensitive areas in the event of a manure spill. Bales can be used to create a dam to help protect streams, ditches or other drainage ways.
4. Work to Quickly Contain the Spill
A 5-gal. bucket or PVC pipe could be used to surround a well inlet, while bales and sand can create a dam.
5. Covering Culverts or Tile Outlets
Plywood can be used to help plug tile outlets or culverts. A manure spill response kit should include at least one sheet of 4-ft. x 4-ft. plywood that could be used to block culverts. Sand can also be used to help soak up and slow down the manure's spread.
6. Tillage Equipment May Be Needed to Stop a Spill's Progress
In the event of a sizable manure spill, tillage equipment may be necessary to stop the manure's movement toward vulnerable waterways.
7. Spreading Material to Soak Up Manre
Spreading material such as dry manure, sand or soil may be necessary to help soak up the manure spill. During the manure spill response demonstration dry manure was spread as part of the containment process (background of photo). In the foreground, note the berm made of straw bales and sand. Plywood is used to cover the culvert opening.
8. Notify the DNR As Soon As Possible After a Spill
Ideally, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) should be contacted as soon as possible after the spill. Part of the DNR's job is to help producers and applicators respond effectively to the spill. Be prepared to provide information about the location and time of the spill. Also be prepared to tell the DNR about the estimated amount and source of the manure spill, and whether any water resources have been impacted or may be at risk from the spill.