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Read about cleaning equipment and techniques to help reduce water usage when cleaning the dairy shed.

  • Flood wash riser systems

    Flood Wash - Riser Systems

    Description

    Water delivered from large tank to risers placed at the top of the slope. Require large water volumes so need to re-use water.

    Require 500L per metre width of yard. Design pipe sizes and placement, slope of yard important (see links). Can be retrofitted into existing yard but can be disruptive to cows entering the dairy whilst the yards are modified.

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    Need high head on water to get enough water out to form a wave. Fix grates over riser holes to prevent them becoming dislodged. 

    Pros and Cons

    Distributes water more evenly over yard width than with tank systems. Takes no time.Requires a single sloped yard and high capacity drainage and sump. Also requires manual / mechanical scraping of manure pads prior to washing and is difficult to reduce amount of water used when yard is relatively clean - still need sufficient volume to effect a good clean.

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    OH&S risks of releasing large volumes of wash water. 

    Environment


    Effluent system needs to cope with large volumes of waste generated in a short time.

  • Flood wash tank systems

    Flood Wash - Tank Systems

    Description

    Large volumes of water delivered from tank onto a single sloped yard. Need to re-use water to achieve any water savings. Most systems re-use water from the platecooler or effluent ponds.

    Placement of tank and delivery pipe is critical for adequate coverage, as is the volume required for the slope of the yard (see links). Need a good head on water.

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    Break up pads first for best results. Some systems allow operator to direct flow of water with fins installed in outlet. Elevated tanks give good water outflow for entire volume. 

    Pros and Cons

    Saves labour, keeps drains clear, often reuses water from plate cooler.

    Most systems dump whole tank even if not necessary. Difficult to get good coverage and costly to set up with ongoing costs of pumping to fill tank.

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    Saves labour if coverage good.

    Environment


    Effluent system needs to cope with large volumes of waste generated in a short time

  • Gate scrapers and auto flushing

    Gate Scrapers and Auto-Flushing

    Description

    Backing gates can have blade or chain scrapers incorporated -“ reducing the time required for hosing. Some include flushing jets utilising re-used water.

    Commercial systems are available for circular and rectangular yards. Centrally draining circular yards require most of the water to be delivered to the perimeter of yard, only requiring 2 -“ 4 jets along length. An even distribution of water, using many jets, is required for rectangular yards.

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    Inch-link galvanised chain (heavy) or stiff plastic blade is used to break pads before flushing. Adds considerable weight and load to gate drive mechanism.

    Pros and Cons

    Commercially available but there are significant set up costs. Difficult to do small sections or regulate water use. 

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    OH&S risks of moving backing gates use ˜dead man™ switch.

  • Hose nozzles

    Hose Nozzles

    Description

    Nozzles with a quick action valve with an output diameter of 20-25mm do a reasonable job - saving time and water.

    Adjustable flow nozzles are an inexpensive option -“ about $30 each. Specialised nozzles designed for yard washing are readily available.

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    Larger hose sizes will improve nozzle performance and it is useful to be able to regulate and adjust flow.  

    Pros and Cons

    Low cost and can substantially improve the performance of the existing infrastructure. 

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    Reduce time and effort to clean yards.

  • Hydrant wash systems

    Hydrant Wash Systems

    Description

    Effective hydrant wash systems can reduce both the time taken and water used to wash yards. Unlike flood wash, water can be saved by targeting only dirty areas for cleaning. Even greater water savings can be made with systems that can handle recycled water.

    Water from the second effluent pond is pumped to a storage tank next to the yard overnight. A pump at the base of the tank delivers a high volume of water to hydrants located at different vantage points.

    Flow at the nozzle is around 2000L/min. Correctly matched pipe sizes, pump and hydrants are critical for efficient & effective cleaning.

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    Site hydrants for good coverage and to deliver water to drains. Positive feed to pump for adequate delivery of water. 

    Pros and Cons

    Good clean as can manually direct flow. Slope of yard is less critical so can be installed on yards with multiple slopes. Commercially available at $7,000 - $15,000.

    OH&S risks when using reused water not well investigated. Odour if re-using water. 

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    OH&S risks of breathing aerosols.

    Environment


    Effluent system needs to cope with large volumes of waste generated in a short time. 

  • Mechanical scrapers

    Mechanical Scrapers

    Description

    Scrapers can be attached to a 4 wheeler, tractor or backing gates. Heavy gauge chain, rubber, tyres, metal and bristle brushes have all been used effectively to break up the solids prior to flushing it away. This substantially reduces the water required.

    In drier conditions, sections of the yard can be ˜dry scraped™ with rubber or metal blades and scooped off the yard periodically. However, these sections will become very slippery in wet conditions. 

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    Solid blades work best on smoother concrete while use stiff brushes on rough concrete. Scraper must have suffficient weight.If dry scrape then collect and distribute onto land frequently otherwise volume goes over blade.

    Careful animal handling is required if yards become slippery. 

    Pros and Cons

    Use less water, especially if flood wash is not very effective.

    Labour / machinery required, metal blades will damage concrete over time. Areas will become slippery if left wet or not hosed clean. 

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    Labour / effort required, OH&S risks of using machinery on the holding yard.

    Animal Health

    Slippery yards predispose cows to injury.

    Environment


    Storage of semi solids must be in area where fluids are caught. 

  • Short high volume hoses

    Short, High Volume Hoses

    Description

    Use a number of short (less than 10m long) hoses rather than one or two long ones.

    Pumps should be sized to deliver flow rates of about 200 L/min at about 275 kPa (40 psi) through each hose in use. To achieve this use short 50mm hoses. 

    Tips on Getting the Best Result

    Install a swivel in each hose. Rollers around concrete corners will reduce hoses getting caught. Overhead supports reduce the effort required. 

    Pros and Cons

    Inexpensive to upgrade (50mm hose is $10-$15/m). Shorter lengths decrease wear and tear on hoses and people! Larger diameter hoses (with the right pump) will speed up washing and reduce the quantity used.

    Hosing still requires water and labour. 

    Issues in Making it Happen

    Labour

    Reduce time and effort to clean yards. 

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