Sewage Management

Anna Aldridge Technical Topics

Septic System must match the needs of users In Alberta, standards for the design, installation and material requirements of on-site private sewage systems are provided by the Private Sewage Systems Standards of Practice under theSafety Codes Act. However, standards are just part of the picture. Ultimately, a septic system should match certain land factors and, perhaps most importantly, the needs …

Filling in Well Pits or Using Pitless Adaptors

Anna Aldridge Technical Topics

How best to manage well pits — those lined, shallow excavations once commonly used to control water distribution and keep well pumps from freezing — is a frequently asked question among producers attending EFP workshops. Because of the safety and contamination risks well pits can present, it has been illegal to develop new well pits in Alberta since the 1970s. …

Burning Wastes

Anna Aldridge Technical Topics

The best bet is to reduce, reuse, recycle and not burn at all Open burning barrels, commonly used in the past to dispose of various farm wastes, can present a number of health and environmental risks. They typically do not reach temperatures high enough to completely incinerate waste and destroy dangerous chemicals created in the burning process. Barrels tend to …

Managing a Well Closer Than Minimum Distance From a Livestock Yard

Anna Aldridge Technical Topics

Water testing and knowledge of ‘grandfathering’ key Prior to the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) in 2001, it was a common practice for producers to drill a new well close to barns and corrals. The reason was simple: that was where the water was needed for cattle. AOPA regulations now dictate a minimum setback distance of 100 m (328 feet) …

Treating Your Well With Chlorine

Anna Aldridge Technical Topics

A little chlorine applied regularly is the best bet Questions about water well disinfection are among the most common questions water specialists hear from producers. It is acceptable to use chlorine, but regular application is the safest and most efficient solution, says Bob Buchanan, a water specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Food (AF). “By doing regular disinfection every six to …

Backflow Prevention

Anna Aldridge Technical Topics

Exactly where depends on the situation There’s no faster way to contaminate farm water supplies than a backflow of polluted or contaminated water. One of the chief causes of backflow is the connection of contaminated or polluted water to potable water. A common example of this occurs when a cross-connection of a well and a dugout are piped together and …

Preventing Freezing of Off-Site Watering Systems

Anna Aldridge Technical Topics

Off-site pasture watering for cattle, where water is pumped from a well or dugout into a trough, is becoming more popular with cattle producers in all regions. It protects water sources and provides clean water to cattle, and that has been shown to improve cattle performance. One concern for many producers is how well the system works in winter. Technological …

Protecting Water Supply – Manmade and Natural

Anna Aldridge Technical Topics

Both play key roles in the overall sustainability of a farm or ranch Although the terms “water source” and “water body” are sometimes used interchangeably in casual conversation, for the purposes of the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program they are defined differently. A key distinction between water sources and water bodies is whether they were developed for water use or …

Decommissioning a Well

Anna Aldridge Technical Topics

Hire a professional More and more producers today are asking how to properly plug — or decommission — old, unused water wells on their farms to avoid costly water contamination issues. At the same time, the decommissioning of water wells is a relatively new field of technical knowledge. The positive side is that specialists are discovering new ways to make …

Short-Term Manure Storage

Anna Aldridge Technical Topics

Meeting regulations a starting point The safe storage of manure is a relatively simple challenge from an environmental perspective. In Alberta, manure storage is regulated through the Agricultural Operations Practices Act (AOPA), which sets out minimum setback distances of manure storage facilities from water bodies and certain buildings. There are instances, such as when manure is being stored in preparation …