Constructing a Permanent Concrete or Steel Liquid Nutrient Storage Facility for ASM
Table of Contents
This Factsheet summarizes key factors to consider when expanding or constructing a permanent liquid nutrient storage facility made of steel, concrete or equivalent material to store agricultural source material (ASM). It applies to open tanks, as shown in Figure 1, and covered storages, including under-barn storage.
Figure 1. Open, circular, liquid tanks are commonly used on farms to store liquid nutrients such as manure from livestock operations.
This Factsheet includes a general and simplified description of the Siting and Construction Standards under Part VIII of Ontario Regulation 267/03 (the Regulation) applicable to farm units that generate more than five nutrient units of manure annually. Use it in conjunction with the Regulation under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002 (NMA).
Under the Regulation, permanent liquid nutrient storage facilities are structures that have:
Liquid nutrients include agricultural and non-agricultural source materials that have a dry matter content of less than 18% or have a slump of more than 150 mm using the slump test referred in the Regulation. Agricultural source materials (ASM) include:
Non-agricultural source materials (NASM) include:
Anaerobic digestion output is another example of a liquid nutrient that can be an agricultural or non-agricultural source material, depending on the material treated in the digester. For example, anaerobic digestion output that meets the following criteria is considered an agricultural source material:
Construction standards for new or expanding permanent liquid nutrient storage facility forStorage of Non-Agricultural Source Materials (NASM) in a Permanent Nutrient Storage Facility NASM are similar to ASM with some exceptions. In addition to this Factsheet, see the OMAF Factsheet, , Order No. 12-069, for details.
Consider the following when expanding or constructing a permanent liquid nutrient storage facility:
These points are further discussed below under different headings.
The size of the storage depends on several factors:
Note: Freeboard is an additional depth of storage required to deal with wave action due to wind and agitation and to provide a safety factor to address unexpected circumstances (e.g., excessive rainfall, leaks in water system, etc.). It is added to the calculated depth required for manure production and precipitation.
Amount of Material Generated
The amount of manure generated by farm animals varies between operations due to differences in herd management, including the amount of material used for bedding.
Measure the amount of manure generated by an existing operation over the years, including bedding, during clean-out of barns and existing storage facilities. The Nutrient Management Tables that are associated with the Regulation and the OMAF NMAN software also provide values of daily manure production for various livestock.
Size the storage facility based on the greater amount of manure measured at the farm or referenced in the Regulation, unless several years of reliable records of manure production demonstrate a lower manure production.
Storage Capacity Required
Under the NMA, farm operations subjected to the Regulation because they are expanding or building a permanent nutrient storage facility or a structure to house livestock must provide a minimum storage capacity of 240 days for all nutrients generated and intended for storage at the farm (e.g., manure, washwater and runoff), with the following exceptions:
Also, take into consideration the storage capacity of all prescribed material received on the farm unit that is not directly applied to land (e.g., manure from other agricultural operations, NASM).
When siting a new liquid nutrient storage facility or expanding an existing one, setbacks to surrounding features must be respected.
Setbacks Specified in the Regulation
To minimize the risk of contaminating surface water and groundwater, the Regulation requires meeting all of the following criteria:
Measure distances from the outer perimeter of the storage facility, including any associated berms. For more information on siting permanent nutrient storage facilities, see the OMAF Factsheet, Siting Requirements for Permanent Nutrient Storage Facilities, Order No. 12-065.
Setbacks not specified in the Regulation
Minimum Distance Separation (MDS II) formula
MDS II determines the minimum separation distances between livestock facilities and/or permanent manure storages and neighbouring properties. It applies to all proposed new, enlarged or remodelled livestock facilities or manure storage facilities. Neighbouring properties include existing or approved development such as neighbouring houses, areas zoned residential, lot lines and road allowance.
MDS II is triggered when a building permit is required. Best Management Practices recommend the MDS formula be followed in all cases. This is supported by the Provincial Policy Statement, which indicates that:
See OMAF Publication 707, MDS Implementation Guidelines, for more information, or contact your local municipality, a nutrient management consultant or an OMAF engineer.
Other Municipal Setbacks
Contact the municipality for more information on other required setbacks, such as municipal drains, rights-of-way, etc.
To obtain a building permit for the construction of a permanent liquid nutrient storage facility made of steel, concrete or equivalent material, you must have a nutrient management strategy (NMS), prepared by a certificate holder under Part X of the Regulation and approved by OMAF.
The Regulation has the following engineering requirements for new and expanding permanent liquid nutrient storage facilities:
Engineer's Commitment Certificate The professional engineer(s) must sign the Engineer's Commitment Certificate to obtain a building permit [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 71 (1)]. This is to ensure that the project conforms to the engineering requirements under the Regulation, where applicable. Get the standard form for the Certificate from the Forms Repository, www.ontario.ca, or by contacting an OMAF engineer or environmental specialist.
Design A professional engineer must design the construction or expansion, including any monitoring system. [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 71 (1)] Where required, incorporate provision for a liner and transfer system in the design and specifications. For example, if a pipe associated with a transfer system enters the nutrient storage facility, the design and specifications must include special considerations such as a reinforced opening and required flexible watertight gasket. The engineer who designs the storage facility should confirm whether a transfer system will enter the facility. If the design of a storage facility and transfer system is not assigned to the same engineer, both engineers should communicate to ensure that the tank design take into consideration the transfer system requirements under the Regulation.
Site investigation A professional engineer or geoscientist must carry out a site characterization study. [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 64]
Site review A professional engineer must perform a general review of the construction or expansion project. This review process ensures that the liquid nutrient storage facility is built in accordance with the drawings and specifications of the engineer. [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 71 (1)]
Other Municipal or Provincial Requirements
Construction of a permanent liquid nutrient storage facility must also comply with all applicable requirements of Ontario's Building Code and the National Farm Building Code for Canada, 1995.
More details about the design requirements under the Regulation are presented below.
Site investigation All new or expanding permanent, liquid manure or nutrient storage facilities require a site characterization/investigation. The investigation involves a minimum number of test holes to identify soil types and the presence of any aquifer or bedrock to determine the suitability of a site for a storage facility and any specific design requirements under the Regulation. For more details, see the OMAF Factsheet, Site Characterization Study for the Construction of Permanent Nutrient Storage Facilities, Order No. 08-049 and the Regulation. [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 65, 67, 68]
Structural systems Figure 2 shows structural systems that are deemed acceptable under the Regulation. [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 65 (2)]
General design The facility, including any associated monitoring systems, must be "designed to minimize leakage, minimize corrosion and to be structurally safe and sound." [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 71 (1)]
Type of concrete If used, concrete must be strong and durable enough to resist environmental conditions and protect the reinforcing steel (if used) from potentially corrosive environments. [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 72 (1)] Review Ontario's Building Code for the type of concrete to use.
Concrete floors Concrete floors must be a minimum of 125 mm thick unless an engineer specifies otherwise. [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 72 (2)]
Liners Some site conditions require that the engineer use a liner as shown in Figure 2 (Diagrams 2 and 4). The Regulation specifies some details on synthetic and compacted soil liners. For example, the Regulation indicates that the liner must be continuous under the floor and footings of the facility and must extend up the wall to the level of the top of the ground surface. See Sections 73, 74 and 75 of the Regulation for more details on the installation and requirements of synthetic and compacted soil liners.
Figure 2. A summary of the alternative structural systems that can be used, depending on conditions at the building site. A site characterization report determines how much natural security the site provides for groundwater sources.
Secondary containment If the liquid level in the storage facility is partially or wholly above the surface of the surrounding soil, the following options apply:
Structural calculations A designer must apply an importance factor of 1.0 to a permanent liquid nutrient storage facility. An importance factor of 0.8 is commonly applied by an engineer in the design of other farm structures of low human occupancy. [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 77]
Ventilation All covered storage systems must have a ventilation system that is either a powered system or a natural system to prevent the accumulation of corrosive or noxious gases. [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 78]
NASM storages See the OMAF Factsheet, Storage of Non-Agricultural Source Materials (NASM) in a Permanent Storage Facility, Order No. 12-069, for additional specific requirements for NASM stored in a permanent liquid nutrient storage facility.
A nutrient storage facility often includes a liquid nutrient transfer system. A transfer system includes, for example, the sump pit, pump and associated piping to move manure from a barn to a storage facility. Such a system can also be used to transfer other agricultural source material (e.g., washwater, runoff) or NASM. All liquid transfer systems, other than floor transfer systems defined in the Regulation, must be designed by an engineer.
Transfer systems rely on gravity or mechanical devices (e.g., manure pumps and piping) to move the material. Regardless of the conduit used, it is important to make secure connections.
Rubber gaskets and bell and spigot connections are commonly used to make the transfer piping watertight. Proper connectors ensure that the integrity of the system is maintained. Figure 3 shows a PVC transfer piping system being assembled during barn construction.
Figure 3. PVC pipe sections await connection and will eventually form a secure liquid manure transfer system from the in-barn tank to the external manure storage.
The Regulation states that no person shall construct or expand a liquid nutrient transfer system when constructing a permanent liquid nutrient storage facility unless:
All connections in a liquid transfer system must be installed using specifically designed fittings and gaskets that are compatible with the pipe material [O. Reg. 267/03, s. 87]:
For more information on transfer systems, see the OMAF Factsheet, Nutrient Management Act, 2002 On-Farm Liquid Nutrient Transfer Systems, Order No. 12-025.
See the following OMAF Factsheets for more related details:
Nutrient Management Disclaimer 2018
The information in this factsheet is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon to determine legal obligations. To determine your legal obligations, consult the relevant law, www.e-laws.gov.on.ca. If legal advice is required, consult a lawyer. In the event of a conflict between the information in this factsheet and any applicable law, the law prevails.
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