Jeff Davidson – Filter Socks & Solar Water Pumps

(Jeff) Well here today we’re at the Kansas State University Beef Stocker Unit. And one of the things we’re gonna discuss this afternoon with the folks that are here is taking care of the water that drains from feedlots. And we’re talking about fairly small feedlots as we have right here at the stocker unit and we have some drainage that comes off of these sets of pens that do have cattle in them. And it comes down a fairly steep slope here. And this is native grass, it’s about a 15 percent slope and so we’re trying to extend what we call the buffer area. That will treat that water as it comes off. The idea is to get as much of that water as possible to soak into the ground. Once it’s into the ground that’s the best way to purify water. And so you can see some of these what we call filter socks here. These are 12 inches in diameter. They are filled with simple wood chips, but they do absorb phosphorus and they’ll actually screen out e coli and so we have those going down this draw that you maybe can see behind me here. And the idea is that the water as it comes down will filter through those socks and/or it may, if we really have a hard rain, it might actually overtop them, but we’ve got several going down there. And it can also flow out around them. They are placed on the contour and so they’re level from end to end and so water can also flow around them. And so that’s the idea is to have the water that comes off of these small feedlots to filter into the ground, go through a good dense cover of grass and filter… certainly will filter out the solids but we also hope to get a good amount of that water to soak into the ground and hopefully purify the water. And we like to get that done before it hits a major drainage. We’re here at the stocker unit at K-State. We’re also demonstrating a solar unit that you can see here. You see the solar panel behind me. That of course is capturing the sunlight. That is powering the pump that’s right here in the tank. And today we’re simply recycling it back into the same water but this can be used to move water for livestock. This can actually go into a pond for instance. It can also go into a well. Many of these solar units have replaced windmills today. So we’re able to move water up such as in a well. Or we can also move it horizontally if you were moving it from a pond to another location, say such as in another pasture. Assuming you needed to lift it some and you couldn’t gravity flow it, then the solar unit would certainly work for that. This can also actually be used to pump water from a stream, such as a creek or river. Obviously you’ve got to think about the flood aspects of that and make sure that is it flood proof. But normally in most streams there is a location where that can be done. And so again, we can use these solar units to supply water to cattle away from streams where we try to decrease the amount of time cattle spend in.

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