Read information and fact sheets about water saving strategies.
Grooves in concrete reduce cows slipping but can impede water flow across the yard, requiring more water to effectively clean it. Grooves of a depth and width of 12mm have been recommended.
Diamond shapes work well, with the long axis running parallel to the slope.
Important to reduce slips on ramps, steps, sloped and turning areas.
Costly to create after concrete has set, deep grooves and cobblestones can upset drainage.
Deep grooves take longer to clean.
Narrow grooves don't improve grip for cows.
Cows flick water up onto udders if slip along deep cobblestone patterns.
More drains mean less distance to wash solids and so less water is needed most manure is deposited close to the dairy. Open or grate-covered drains work best when they have a solid wall behind them to stop waste washing past them.
Size and shape of drains to improve removal of solids and reduce blockages have been published (see links). Yard slopes are generally between 1 and 3%. Drains must be large enough to prevent water 'banking up'.
Sump needs to hold volume of entire wash unless gravity flow to storage.
Use PVC main pipes 150-300mm diameter (or larger). Effluent pipes must have smooth interior. Open drains need grates and regular cleaning shapes flow better at low volumes.
Planning at yard construction stage results in hassle-free drainage. However drainage is difficult and expensive to change once concrete is down.
More drains mean quicker clean-up, stone traps important to protect effluent pumps, sand wears pumps too.
Drains, pipes and sump must be sized to cope with expected volume and deliver it for storage or disposal onto pasture.