Archive for September, 2011
Nonpoint source pollution
Nonpoint source pollution from farms is caused by surface runoff from fields during rain storms. Agricultural runoff is a major source of pollution, in some cases the only source, in many watersheds.
HIghly erodible soils on a farm in Iowa
Soil washed off fields is the largest source of agricultural pollution in the United States. Excess sediment causes high levels of turbidity in water bodies, which can inhibit growth of aquatic plants, clog fish gills and smother animal larvae.
Farmers may utilize erosion controls to reduce runoff flows and retain soil on their fields. Common techniques include:
planting perennial crops
installing riparian buffers.:pp. 4-95 4-96
Nitrogen and phosphorus are key pollutants found in runoff, and they are applied to farmland in several ways:
municipal or industrial wastewater (effluent) or sludge.
These chemicals may also enter runoff from crop residues, irrigation water, wildlife, and atmospheric deposition.:p. 2-9
Farmers can develop and implement nutrient management plans to mitigate impacts on water quality:
map and document fields, crop types, soil types, water bodies
develop realistic crop yield projections
conduct soil tests and nutrient analyses of manures and/or sludges applied
identify other significant nutrient sources (e.g. irrigation water)
evaluate significant field features such as highly erodible soils, subsurface drains, and shallow aquifers
apply fertilizers, manures, and/or sludges based on realistic yield goals and using precision agriculture techniques.:pp. 4-37 4-38
Aerial application (crop dusting) of pesticides over a soybean field in the U.S.
Pesticides are widely used by farmers to control plant pests and enhance production, but chemical pesticides can also cause water quality problems. Pesticides may appear in surface water due to:
direct application (e.g. aerial spraying or broadcasting over water bodies)
runoff during rain storms
aerial drift (from adjacent fields).:p.2-22
Some pesticides have also been detected in groundwater.:p.2-24
Farmers may use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques (which can include biological pest control) to maintain control over pests, reduce reliance on chemical pesticides, and protect water quality.
There are few safe ways of disposing of pesticide surpluses other than through containment in well managed landfills or by incineration. In some parts of the world, spraying on land is a permitted method of disposal.
Point source pollution
Farms with large livestock and poultry operations, such as factory farms, can be a major source of point source wastewater. In the United States, these facilities are called concentrated animal feeding operations or confined animal feeding operations and are being subject to increasing government regulation.
This section does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2007)
Confined Animal Feeding Operation in the United States
The constituents of animal wastewater typically contain
Strong organic content much stronger than human sewage
High solids concentration
High nitrate and phosphorus content
Often high concentrations of parasites and their eggs
Spores of Cryptosporidum (a protozoan) resistant to drinking water treatment processes
Spores of Giardia
Human pathogenic bacteria such as Brucella and Salmonella
Animal wastes from cattle can be produced as solid or semisolid manure or as a liquid slurry. The production of slurry is especially common in housed dairy cattle.
Whilst solid manure heaps outdoors can give rise to polluting wastewaters from runoff, this type of waste is usually relatively easy to treat by containment and/or covering of the heap.
Animal slurries require special handling and are usually treated by containment in lagoons before disposal by spray or trickle application to grassland. Constructed wetlands are sometimes used to facilitate treatment of animal wastes, as are anaerobic lagoons. Excessive application or application to sodden land or insufficient land area can result in direct runoff to watercourses, with the potential for causing severe pollution. Application of slurries to land overlying aquifers can result in direct contamination or, more commonly, elevation of nitrogen levels as nitrite or nitrate.
The disposal of any wastewater containing animal waste upstream of a drinking water intake can pose serious health problems to those drinking the water because of the highly resistant spores present in many animals that are capable of causing disabling in humans. This risk exists even for very low-level seepage via shallow surface drains or from rainfall run-off.
Some animal slurries are treated by mixing with straws and composted at high temperature to produce a bacteriologically sterile and friable manure for soil improvement.
Hog confinement barn or piggery
Piggery waste is comparable to other animal wastes except that many piggery wastes contain elevated levels of copper that can be toxic in the natural environment. Ascarid worms and their eggs are also common and can infect humans if wastewater treatment is ineffective.
This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards. Please improve this section if you can. (April 2009)
As for general animal waste, although the liquid fraction of the waste is frequently separated off and re-used in the piggery to avoid the prohibitively expensive costs of disposing of a copper-rich liquor.
Fresh or wilted grass or other green crops can be made into the semi-fermented product called silage which can be stored and used as winter forage for cattle and sheep. The production of silage often involves the use of an acid conditioner such as sulfuric acid or formic acid. The process of silage making frequently produces a yellow-brown strongly smelling liquid which is very rich in simple sugars, alcohol, short-chain organic acids and silage conditioner. This liquor is one of the most polluting organic substances known. The volume of silage liquor produced is generally in proportion to the moisture content of the ensiled material.
Silage liquor is best treated through prevention by wilting crops well before silage making. Any silage liquor that is produced can be used as part of the food for pigs. The most effective treatment is by containment in a slurry lagoon and by subsequent spreading on land following substantial dilution with slurry. Containment of silage liquor on its own can cause structural problems in concrete pits because of the acidic nature of silage liquor.
Milking parlour (dairy farming) wastes
Although milk has a deserved reputation as an important and valuable food product, its presence in wastewaters is highly polluting because of its organic strength, which can lead to very rapid de-oxygenation of receiving waters. Milking parlour wastes also contain large volumes of wash-down water, some animal waste together with cleaning and disinfection chemicals.
Milking parlour wastes are often treated in admixture with human sewage in a local sewage treatment plant. This ensures that disinfectants and cleaning agents are sufficiently diluted and amenable to treatment. Running milking wastewaters into a farm slurry lagoon is a possible option although this tends to consume lagoon capacity very quickly. Land spreading is also a treatment option. See also Industrial wastewater treatment.
Wastewater from slaughtering activities is similar to milking parlour waste (see above) although considerably stronger in its organic composition and therefore potentially much more polluting.
As for milking parlour waste (see above).
Vegetable washing water
Washing of vegetables produces large volumes of water contaminated by soil and vegetable pieces. Low levels of pesticides used to treat the vegetables may also be present together with moderate levels of disinfectants such as chlorine.
Most vegetable washing waters are extensively recycled with the solids removed by settlement and filtration. The recovered soil can be returned to the land.
Although few farms plan for fires, fires are nevertheless more common on farms than on many other industrial premises. Stores of pesticides, herbicides, fuel oil for farm machinery and fertilizers can all help promote fire and can all be present in environmentally lethal quantities in firewater from fire fighting at farms.
All farm environmental management plans should allow for containment of substantial quantities of firewater and for its subsequent recovery and disposal by specialist disposal companies. The concentration and mixture of contaminants in firewater make them unsuited to any treatment method available on the farm. Even land spreading has produced severe taste and odour problems for downstream water supply companies in the past.
Sustainable development portal
^ a b U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Washington, DC. “Protecting Water Quality from Agricultural Runoff.” March 2005. Document No. EPA 841-F-05-001.
^ U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Fort Worth, TX. National Conservation Practice Standard: Contour Farming.” Code 330. June 2007.
^ NRCS. National Conservation Practice Standard: Mulching.” Code 484. September 2008.
^ a b c d e EPA. “National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Agriculture.” July 2003. Document No. EPA-841-B-03-004.
^ NRCS. “National Conservation Practice Standard: Nutrient Management.” Code 590. August 2006.
^ NRCS. National Conservation Practice Standard: Pest Management.” Code 595. July 2008.
^ EPA. “Integrated Pest Management Principles.” March 13, 2008.
^ EPA. “Animal Feeding Operations.” December 15, 2008.
^ Managing Fire water and major spillages – Environment Agency Guidance note PPG18 ( retrieved 19 April 2009)
Electronic Field Office Technical Guide – U.S. NRCS – Detailed soil conservation guides tailored to individual states/counties.
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Categories: Environmental engineering | Waste treatment technology | Water pollutionHidden categories: Articles needing additional references from December 2007 | All articles needing additional references | Articles needing cleanup from April 2009 | All pages needing cleanupTags: agricultural wastewater, nitrogen and phosphorus, shallow aquifers, wastewater effluent, water quality problems
Office relocation specialists Morgan Lovell have completed a sustainable fit out for leading dermatology company Stiefel Laboratories (UK), at their Eurasian headquarters.
Under a design and build contract, the inspirational office space was designed, tendered and delivered in just 19 weeks.
Morgan Lovell utilised its green office expertise to deliver a Very Good BREEAM rating for the Maidenhead development, creating a tailored specification combining quality and durability with sustainability.
The sustainable fit out across 38,000 square feet has been designed to deliver financial incentives too, with a payback period of less than 10 years.
Morgan Lovell’s Southern office, located in Wokingham, carried out the project, with BREEAM and LEED accredited designer Adrian Norman overseeing the work.
Combining a wealth of high technology features, stylish design and functionality, the new office reflects the dynamic values of Stiefel – a leading force in dermatology around the world.
A spacious feel is evident throughout. At the design stage, careful consideration was given to individual space standards to create an optimum working environment, coupled with staff accessing as much natural light as possible.
A spokesperson for Stiefel said: “In the UK, Stiefel had been operating from two separate sites, an R&D office in Cookham in Berkshire and a Commercial office in Wooburn Green in Buckinghamshire. The leases on both buildings were due to expire so we knew that at some point it would make sense to consolidate the two sites and we decided to relocate our employees to Maidenhead.
“We had just six months to complete the new offices and to move out of our existing premises. The design and build nature of the works with Morgan Lovell really helped us to achieve this tight timeframe.
“Staff involvement was critical to ensure a successful outcome. We held regular meetings to discuss the new offices and made good use of Morgan Lovell’s dedicated Stiefel intranet site to show plans, visuals and other design features of the development to employees on a regular basis.
“The consolidation of the sites was managed in two moves and staff have been delighted with the new facility”.
Visitors and staff to the new office are introduced to the company via a main reception area, featuring high gloss black glass panels containing the Stiefel company logo, with a flat plasma screen incorporated, creating a sleek, contemporary finish.
The centre piece of the development is the staff restaurant and break out area, an uplifting space, which makes the best use of natural light from the atrium at its centre.
Including a full servery and flexible use of the facilities to deliver room for meetings when required, the whole area has been designed to appeal as a popular space, where different departments in the company can come together.
Throughout the building, graphics depicting Stiefel’s work in dermatology are used to illustrate the company’s innovative approach, and colours in-keeping with the Stiefel brand are used across all three floors.
Sustainable features include A Rated products throughout, such as floor coverings, partitions and ceilings. Furniture was carefully chosen for its environmental credentials, including Herman Miller chairs and Steelcase desking.
High-end video conferencing has also been introduced to increase communication and reduced travel among company executives.
About Morgan Lovell
Located in London, Birmingham and the Thames Valley, Morgan Lovell is the UK’s leading office interior design, fit out and refurbishment specialist. With its own teams of designers, surveyors and project managers, the company can design and deliver entire projects, with the benefit of just one point of contact. http://www.morganlovell.co.uk
It is part of Morgan Sindall plc, a top UK construction and regeneration group which operates through five specialist divisions of fit out, construction, infrastructure services, affordable housing and urban regeneration.
Morgan Lovell is a licensed BREEAM Offices Assessment Organisation. This means it is now licensed to measure the sustainability score of an office in order to identify ways companies can reduce high energy usage and waste, whilst increasing comfort and satisfaction for users of the building.
Press release written by Jane Shepherd, Shepherd PR Limited. Tel 01538 308685. Mobile 07985 129315
Tags: dynamic values, morgan lovell, office relocation, relocation specialists, tight timeframe
The purpose~intention~design~aim of sustainable design is to eliminate~extinguish~reject negative~disconfirming~damaging impact~wallop~shock~affect on the environment~environs~surround~surroundings through sensitive, skillful~adept~proficient~good~skilful design. Sustainable design has minimal~minimum impact~wallop~encroachment~shock on the environment, requires no non-renewable resources, and relates people with nature. Sustainable design requires forethought in site selection, home building plans, material selection, and project implementation. Some of the considerations to be taken into account include choosing non-toxic materials which are sustainably produced or recycled, and require minimal energy to process; using materials which are longer lasting and of higher durability, to reduce the impact of producing replacements; designing for reuse and recycling; and designing systems on biological lines, to enable the reuse of materials in continuous closed cycles. The basic idea is to create healthy homes, which are not harmful to the occupants or the larger environment.
Sustainable standards of new home plans design are being developed by a large number of private and governmental organizations, and there is a growing body of new methods emerging from the rapid rise of sustainability science. Sustainable technology means~agency~way using less energy and fewer limited~circumscribed~modified resources, not depleting natural resources, not polluting the environment either directly or indirectly, and designing for reuse and recycling at the end of useful life. Sustainable architecture tries to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing and transporting building components both during the process of construction and also during the life of the building. Sustainable design aims for efficiency in heating and cooling such as ground source heat pumps; using alternative energy sources such as appropriate home siting and solar technology to heat water and generate electricity; recycling building materials and using local materials where possible; harvesting rainwater for washing and gardening; and on-site waste management. Waste management is as much a matter of prevention as elimination, and sustainable waste management involves using products which are non-toxic and minimize waste to begin with; can be composted or digested anaerobically; can be reused on site, or recycled off site.
Sustainable new house plans design technology is based upon using renewable energy sources such as geothermal energy, solar, hydro, wind and bioenergy. Wind energy, captured through wind turbines, is the fastest growing energy source in the world: used for centuries in Europe, it is now gaining popularity in America. Solar energy can be harnessed through the use of photovoltaics to generate electricity, and by using passive solar hot water heaters to bathe and to heat homes. The basic test for sustainable design is whether it can function unplugged – without using fossil fuel. This means eliminating pollution altogether rather than just reducing it. These goals are being realized already: in 2004 a 59-home housing community was unveiled in Freiburg, Germany which is the first community in the world in which every home produces a positive energy balance. Sustainable design also means constructing furniture and appliances of renewable and recyclable materials such as glass, steel, and aluminum; and designing them for repair and recycling.
Sustainable design in new home plans involves all phases of home building plans, from site selection and orientation to choice of scheme and building materials. Sustainable new house plans make good economic and environmental sense, and insure prosperity for future generations.
You can find more tips about sustainable designs and other great news and advices about home improvement on our article on http://www.plantasdecasasgratis.net/casa-lar/projetos-de-sobrados.
For more informations about sustainable designs, take a look on our blog on http://www.plantasdecasasgratis.net.Tags: alternative energy sources, depleting natural resources, ground source heat, ground source heat pumps, sustainability science
Did you know that “conventional electricity from the supply grid currently produces the largest amount of C02 of any energy source per unit of energy used, except in Tasmania where most of the electric power is sourced from hydroelectricity?” Given our reliance on electricity, it certainly gives us a bit to think about in terms of our own usage and our wish to make a personal difference to the plight of the planet.
So, what does it actually mean to “go green?” How can an individual implement new approaches and more sustainable practices in the home and office? There are so many ways we can convert words into action, if we are informed and educated about new green technologies and new green approaches. Developing energy efficient life approach is just one way of contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as well as reducing your energy bills considerably. Envirosafe Solutions offers some easy tips and ideas to help the average householder and business on their way….It all about action….
Envirosafe Tips to Increase Your Energy Efficiency
Install solar power panels on your roof.
Replace old light bulbs with new energy efficient “smart” bulbs. Think about CFLs (compact fluorescents) which use 80% less energy and last up to ten times longer than normal bulbs.
Turn off light switches and power points before bed. Your electricity bills will reduce dramatically and you will also be slashing your household’s CO2 emissions.
Don’t hesitate to have a home or office assessment done. Sustainability assessments involve a specialized consideration of your approach to power use, water use, refrigeration, cooking and can be done in a couple of hours.
When replacing appliances, source energy efficient versions and brands. Appliances actually account for around 30% of a household’s energy usage. Make sure to source brands that have an Australian energy rating label with lots of stars! (The more stars…the greater the efficiency.)
When replacing your refrigerator, be sure to purchase a size suited to your lifestyle and your real needs. A big, bold empty fridge that has lots of empty shelves for a couple or a small family, might look great but it will cost a lot more to run.
Front loader washing machines are known to be more water and energy efficient. Consider replacing your old top-loader with an eco-friendly front loader.
Consider insulation. Insulation prevents heat loss in winter and obstructs heat gain in summer.
TURN OFF THAT DRYER and hang the clothes outside! Did you know that a run of the mill clothes dryer actually contributes up to 3kilograms of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere with every load that is dried?
Buy clothes horse and have an undercover drying area for rainy days.
Cut down on draughts in your office and/or your home. Did you know that blocking draughts around windows and doors can cut your energy bills by a massive 25%?
When cooking, think twice about using the oven. Ovens chew up energy at an alarming rate. Consider a fan-forced oven which uses less electricity, or if possible, switch to electric fry pans and even pressure cookers.
Check seals on your oven and your fridge
Don’t continually boil water unnecessarily
Remember to use a toaster as opposed to a stove or oven griller. Toasters use far less energy and are also more convenient!
We hope you enjoy these practical tips and can put them into action…soon.
And lastly of course, source Environmentally Friendly Liquids for safety household and industry products that are less harmful to the planet, such as those produced by Australia’s very own Envirosafe Solutions.
Tags: co2 emissions, conventional electricity, electricity bills, greenhouse gas emissions, solar power panels