Silage effluent can find its our rivers and lakes, harming the environment and polluting drinking water.

Preventing silage effluent pollution

Each year silage effluent escapes from farmyards with Environment Section staff from Cavan County Council investigating such incidents annually. Effluent seeping from leaking pits, escaping from blocked channels or poorly managed diversion units can find its way to surface waters such as local drains, streams and rivers. Leaking silage bales also cause a risk of pollution to both surface and groundwaters.

The silage effluent escape route is often underground, through shores and drains and can cause serious pollution.

The acidic nature of effluent can cause concrete structures to corrode over time. Problems can arise in both old and new pits when structures are corroded or otherwise flawed.

To prepare you silage pit power wash the empty pit and check for signs of concrete corrosion or cracks. Check the wall/floor joints, floor, channels and apron of the silage pit. If you suspect that you have problems seek advice. Check if the structure is sound. If you have to repair the silage pit, allow time for the repairs to be effective. When silage is made check that the channels and diversion unit are operating properly. Be vigilant around the farmyard regularly. Be vigilant particularly with diversion units.

Silage bales when stored outside of the farmyard must be stored 20 metres from any river, lake or a drinking water abstraction point. When stored on the farmyard they must have facilities in place for the collection and storage of any effluent that arises.

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