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Water Auditing: The first step to effective effluent management on dairy farms in South West Western Australia: An approach of Zero Waste Discharge on a dairy farm in Boyanup, Western Australia

Senge, Laura (2017) Water Auditing: The first step to effective effluent management on dairy farms in South West Western Australia: An approach of Zero Waste Discharge on a dairy farm in Boyanup, Western Australia. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

This project investigates the possibility of achieving zero waste discharge on a dairy farm in south west Western Australia. The current best practices for dairy farm effluent treatment were assessed in a literature review and a water audit and a nutrient balance were conducted on a specific farm in Boyanup, W. A. with 500 cattle.

The finding was 52 L/cow per milking of water were used, which is higher than the industry benchmark. Nutrients were leaking into groundwater table at six meters depth at low concentrations.

Four different options were assessed in a techno-economic options assessment:

i) no action to be taken;
ii) installing a pond for effluent storage;
iii) installing a tank for effluent storage, and
iv) recycling effluent after primary treatment for dairy yard wash combined with construction of a roof on the yard for additional rainwater catchment and reduction of heat stress on cows.

The paper concludes that a hybrid option incorporating effluent recycling for yard wash by installation of flood wash tanks, construction of a pond for storage during wet seasons, and the erection of a roof on the yard for additional rainwater catchment and reduction of heat stress on cows. This final recommendation was designed to achieve zero waste discharge and showed further benefits such as an increase in milk production and a reduction of labour.

The installation cost for the proposed overall system was estimated at $170,000 with a payback period of 6.2 years.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Anda, Martin
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/38690
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