The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Special Studies: M.S.


Environmental and Technological Studies


College of Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Mitch Bender

Second Advisor

Chuck Rose

Third Advisor

Jean Hoff

Fourth Advisor

Dennis Fuchs

Keywords and Subject Headings

farm manure, storage, Minnesota, environmental aspects, animal waste, water, pollution


Manure storage basins are a necessary component to many animal agriculture production systems. Manures within these basins are a valuable source of nutrients for crops, however they must be managed appropriately to protect water resources. Some contaminants found within animal manures may pose potential human or environmental health risks.

The objectives of this study were to: 1) determine characteristics of eight sites containing abandoned manure storage basins; 2) quantify contaminant concentration in soil and groundwater at the abandoned basin sites; 3) quantify the comparative risk posed by the abandoned basins; 4) determine overall comparative risk posed by the abandoned manure storage basins in the study.

The study was conducted at eight abandoned manure storage basins throughout Steams County, Minnesota. These basins are part of ongoing research evaluating the effectiveness of two alternative manure basin closure techniques by the Steams County Soil & Water Conservation District. Soil and groundwater sampling at each of the sites aided in identifying the level of risk posed by the abandoned basins. Background, in basin, and downgradient samples were collected to analyze contaminant levels throughout the study locations.

Statistical analysis comparing contaminant concentrations generally revealed a lack of difference between any of the sampling locations. The few differences detected are cations which will likely be adsorbed to soils with moderate clay content (found at nearly all sites). In addition, phytoremediation will likely reach the depths in concern, decreasing overall risk.


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