Farm dam water filter – the results are in!

On our farm we require good quality water for jobs like cleaning in the dairy. We built a water filter that would be capable of treating a large volume of dam water so that it could be used to top up our rain water tank through dry periods. The design can be seen Low tech… Continue reading Farm dam water filter – the results are in!

Low tech filter for farm dam water

Farm dam water is challenging to treat because it typically has high overall bacteria levels, is often discoloured by humic materials, has elevated turbidity and often has elevated levels of fresh organic matter. On our dairy farm we rely on dam water through the dry months. The dam water is pumped to a holding tank… Continue reading Low tech filter for farm dam water

Sustainable farming – what is it?

Yesterday as a guest of Trevor and Anne-Marie Mills and the Western Port Catchment Landcare Network I attended a field day on the Mills’ dairy farm at Drouin South. Amongst the principles of sustainable agriculture are that farming should: – provide an amenable lifestyle for the farmer & family – protect and enhance the productive… Continue reading Sustainable farming – what is it?

Farm water supply investigation

A preliminary investigation was carried out on the quality of water in two dams on a dairy farm in West Gippsland. The dams are a short distance apart in the same gully. The Upper dam is spring fed and can overflow into the Lower dam. The water was tested during summer. At that time the… Continue reading Farm water supply investigation

Effluent management on a dairy farm

For the last few weeks I’ve been visiting a dairy farm in West Gippsland to learn a bit more about how dairy farms work. It’s also an opportunity to apply some ideas about soil and water management in a practical context. Cows can deposit around 8 – 10% of manure and urine output around the… Continue reading Effluent management on a dairy farm

My tank drinking water smells, what can I do?

One of the frequent problems seen in water tanks is smelly water. This can occur in above and below ground tanks and includes rain water tanks. People often describe the smell of their water as musty, decaying or like ammonia or rotten eggs. It can be just a little bit off-putting or in some cases… Continue reading My tank drinking water smells, what can I do?

Reducing water hardness by lime softening

Water hardness is caused by high calcium and magnesium levels. However a water test is needed to find out how much hardness is accounted for by bicarbonates, called temporary hardness and how much is composed of sulphates and chlorides (permanent hardness). For a discussion of alkalinity and hardness please see Water test interpretations. Lime softening… Continue reading Reducing water hardness by lime softening

Water pollution case study

Contamination of waters by organic matter including manures is a type of water pollution. Excessive organic matter load in water is likely to cause a number of changes including: Higher turbidity High decomposition rate leading to elevated carbon dioxide and lowered oxygen, Undesirable intermediate products of decompostion including nitrite and ammonia. Elevated nutrient levels Elevated… Continue reading Water pollution case study

Water quality indicators

At Apps Laboratories we measure a range of factors in water samples.¬† Some like dissolved metals can be compared directly to the Australian Water Quality¬† Guidelines. Others like salinity indicate what the water can be used for for example depending on the salt tolerance of irrigated crops. More often we want to give the landowner… Continue reading Water quality indicators

Boosted reverse osmosis filter for farms

One of the problems with many homes in rural areas is that there is not enough pressure from pressure pumps to run a reverse osmosis filter system. Reverse osmosis filters work by pushing water against a very fine membrane. Only a proportion of the water, usually 1/4 to 1/3 gets through, leaving behind most salts… Continue reading Boosted reverse osmosis filter for farms