In our new system, recycled water that has been mechanically scrubbed to remove the solids is pumped to the high end of the farm to a flume pipe. The flume pipe is in the center of the cattle barns, and is where we scrape the cattle manure. The manure is scraped to the flume three times daily using skid steer loaders while the cows are in the parlor being milked. The recycled water flowing through the flume carries the manure to our manure processing building.
Upon entering the building, augers separate the sand from the original mixture of manure, sand and recycled water. The augers convey the sand, which is still dirty at this point, to a sand washer. The washers scrub the sand clean using recycled water that has been captured from the cleaning of our milking machinery. After a thorough washing, the sand passes over a vibrating screen that dries the sand. The end result is sand that is clean, dry and infinitely reusable.
An added benefit of this system is odor control. Prior to installing the recycling system, our system relied on pumping water back from the manure lagoon to be used to convey the manure through the flume. By eliminating this practice, odors have been greatly reduced.