Manure Lagoons/Methane

Manure lagoons are outdoor earthen basins used by livestock farmers to store animal waste. Usually, they are also components of agricultural wastewater management and treatment systems designed to enable the processing of high volumes of liquid manure via anaerobic (oxygen-free) respiration. The largest are the size of several football fields. Manure lagoons are a subject of much controversy due to their well-documented environmental and health risks. Among other problems, they emit large quantities of methane, a highly combustible greenhouse gas. This entry describes the origins and purpose of anaerobic manure lagoons, their mode of operation, criticisms of their ecological impact, and efforts to regulate their use.

The history of manure lagoons is closely connected to that of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), a type of factory ...

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