Glossary

Ammonia: nitrogen component (NH3). Released by the decay of plant and animal matter. It is one of the four gases that can pose safety threats in unventilated manure storage facilities.

Ammonium: is the primary form of nitrogen applied in fertilizers.

Anaerobic: the absence of free oxygen.

Aquifer: a water-bearing geological formation that is capable of producing water in quantities that are economically useful.

Beneficial or Best Management Practice (BMP): a structural or management technique designed to create a more sustainable agricultural system that protects the environment and is economically viable for the producer.

Catch basin: any excavated, diked or walled structure or combination of structures designed to intercept and temporarily store run-off water contaminated by animal manure, washwater, or associated facilities.

Coliform bacteria: microorganisms that have the ability to inhabit the intestines of warm blooded animals. Drinking water quality assessments usually include tests for coliform bacteria to determine if water has been contaminated by human or animal waste.

Covered facility: a facility where livestock are confined within a building for growing or finishing for market.

Earthen Basin: dike or excavated structure, often lined with clay or a synthetic liner, in which manure is stored. The basin is emptied at least once a year.

Earthen Storage: a structure constructed primarily of soil materials, serving as a continuous liquid manure storage for livestock facilities.

Erosion: the movement of soil particles by water, wind, or ice. This process may be accelerated by human activity or management practices.

Eutrophication: accelerated aging of a lake or river. It is associated with a high concentration of plant nutrients entering a body of water.

Feedlot: a fenced area where livestock are confined solely for the purpose of growing or finishing, and are sustained by means other than grazing.

Filter Strip: a vegetated area where feedlot runoff is discharged for treatment. Solids must be trapped by a sediment basin before runoff reaches the filter strip.

Floodplain: The land bordering a stream, built up of sediments from overflow of the stream and subject to inundation when the stream is at flood stage.

Flushing System: a manure collection system using large volumes of water to flush manure from shallow gutters.

Groundwater: water that fills all the unblocked pores of underlying material below the water table.

Hydrogen Sulfide: an extremely toxic gas formed during the anaerobic decomposition of manure. It smells like rotten eggs and causes headaches, dizziness, nausea, unconsciousness and death. It quickly deadens the sense of smell.

Immobilization: by microorganisms converts ammonium to organic nitrogen, which is then unavailable for plant uptake.

Impervious: resistant to penetration by liquid.

Incorporation: the tilling of the soil after applying manure, so as to move the manure under the soil's surface.

Infiltration: the downward entry of water into the soil.

Injection: the direct application of manure under the soil surface.

Inorganic nitrogen: nitrogen in the form of ammonia, ammonium, nitrates, nitrites, nitrogen gas, or nitrogen oxides.

Intensive Livestock Facility: a feedlot or covered facility of significant investment or permanence, capable of confining a minimum number of livestock at a housing density of more than 1 livestock manure unit per 2000 ft2 (approximately 22 cattle per acre or 54 cattle per hectare) for growing or finishing for market. The following are not considered to be an intensive livestock facility (AAFRD 1995):

• a seasonal feeding site confining livestock from Nov. 1 to May 31.
• livestock confined for branding, sorting, herd health management and market delivery with confinement not exceeding 30 consecutive days.

Lagoon: a manure treatment structure, typically earthen. Lagoons can be aerobic, anaerobic, or facultative, depending on their design. An anaerobic lagoon is different from an earthen storage basin, in that the lagoon is managed for manure treatment. Anaerobic lagoons are only partially emptied each year, whereas earthen storage basins are emptied once or twice a year. Lagoon storage systems are designed to store animal waste flushed out of the housing facility with water. The system offers a quick and easy way to clean out housing facilities. Because of the large amount of water added to the effluent, liquid systems require larger facilities to store the effluent between spreadings.

Leaching: the downward transport in water, of soluble constituents such as nitrates or chlorides.

Livestock Facility: buildings, shelters, fences, corrals or other structures which confine or would be capable of confining livestock for feeding and rearing purposes.

Livestock Manure Unit: the number of livestock needed to produces sufficient manure to meet the nitrogen requirements of 1 acre of crop land. For many species, 1000 lbs (454 kg) of live weight approximates a livestock manure unit.

Livestock Siting Unit (LSU): a means of comparing the odour potential of livestock facilities, based on livestock type, manure production, and manure handling system.

Livestock: includes any farm animals and/or poultry reared for commercial purposes.

Manure Holding Pit: housing facilities using this system typically use a slatted floor with a pit below. The manure is pushed into the pit by the animals walking on it, and is held there until spreading. Manure pits and tanks are considered slurry systems because only small amounts of liquid are added.

Manure Holding Tank: these systems are an alternative to the holding pit, and offer improved air quality in the confinement house. The collected manure is stored in a tank that can be above or below ground, and is usually located near the housing facility. The tanks can be closed or open, and are typically constructed from concrete, glass fused metal, or dirt.

Manure Storage Facility: includes a structure, reservoir, catch basin, lagoon, cistern, gutter, tank or bermed area for containing livestock wastes prior to the waste being used or disposed. It does not include a vehicle or any mobile equipment used for transportation or disposal of livestock wastes.

Manure: the fecal and urinary excretions of livestock and poultry. Manure can include bedding material and water used for livestock. Manure with a water content of more than 96 percent is defined as liquid. Manure with a moisture content between 90 and 96 percent is referred to as a slurry, while manure with a moisture content of less than 84 percent is considered solid.

Methane: an odourless, highly explosive gas formed during manure's anaerobic decomposition. Methane can cause headaches and asphyxiation in unventilated areas.

Mineralization: the microbial conversion of organic nitrogen to inorganic (mineral) nitrogen.

Minimum Distance Separation (MDS): a setback or buffer established between an intensive livestock facility (source) and adjacent land uses (receptors), to minimize odour nuisance.

Nitrate: the nitrogen compound of the final decomposition product of the organic nitrogen compounds. Nitrate is extremely water soluble and is not absorbed by soil particles. This makes it extremely susceptible to leaching.

Nitrite: an intermediate product in the conversion breakdown of ammonium to nitrate. Nitrite is very unstable, and is almost immediately converted into nitrate.

Nitrogen Cycle: the succession of biochemical reactions that nitrogen undergoes as it is converted from elemental nitrogen to organic or available nitrogen.

Nitrogen: a chemical element, commonly used in fertilizers, that is also found in manure.

Nonpoint source pollution: pollution that results from diffuse, widespread sources, such as agriculture, forestry, mining, and urban/ commercial development.

Nutrients: elements or compounds essential to growth or development of living things. Essential plant nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Organic Nitrogen: nitrogen in the form of urea, proteins, or amino acids.

Pathogen: a disease causing biological agent such as bacteria, parasite, virus or fungus.

pH: a measure of acidity with a scale of 0 to 14. Neutral is pH 7. Values below 7 are acidic. Values above 7 are alkaline.

Phosphorus: one of the primary nutrients required for growing plants. Phosphorus is often the limiting nutrient for growth of aquatic plants and algae.

Point source pollution: pollution derived from a localized, single source. These may include a ditch, pipe, feedlot or storage tank.

Pollutant: a resource out of place, that causes unwanted or undesirable changes in the environment.

Pollution: the presence of a substance in a body of water, the soil, or in the air, in such quantities that it impairs the usefulness of the water, soil or the air, or makes it offensive to sight, taste or smell.

Poorly Drained Soils: soils that are saturated by groundwater for most of the growing season, unless artificially drained. Soil colours are dull blue to grey, with many rust-coloured mottles.

Riparian Zone: the narrow strip of land containing moist soils and plants that borders creeks, rivers or other bodies of water.

Rotational Grazing: the practice of subdividing pasture and forage fields into small sections, or paddocks, and allowing the high quality forage to be grazed quickly followed by a rest period.

Runoff: water that flows across buildings or land and eventually appears in surface streams or water bodies.

Seasonal Livestock Feeding Site: an over-wintering area where breeding animals and their unweaned young are fed and sheltered. Animals at such sites are primarily sustained by supplemental feeding.

Sediment: eroded soil and plant debris that has been transported and deposited by water.

Settling Basin: a concrete or earth bottom settling structure where manure solids settle out from liquids.

Slatted Floor: a floor with open spaces to allow manure and other material to pass through

Solid Stacking Slab: a slab, usually concrete, used to store solid manure.

Turbidity: a measure of the cloudiness of water due to suspended sediment.

Volatilization: the conversion of nitrate nitrogen to ammonia gas that is subject to loss to the atmosphere.

Watercourse: the bed and shore of a river, stream, lake, creek, swamp, marks or other natural body of water, or a canal, ditch, reservoir or other man-made feature, whether it contains or conveys water continuously or intermittently

Watershed: the area of land that drains runoff to a point on a stream or other surface water body. May also be refferd to as a drainage basin.

Watertable: the level below which the soil is saturated with groundwater.