We have designed and built our own waste management system, which consists of a digester into which all the animal waste goes through three stages.

 

The waste from the sheep, goats, chickens and ducks is collected in bags and fed into the digester, whilst the waste from the pigs is sluiced from the styes through channels and a mixing tank into the digester.

 

The digester system consists of two closed concrete pits. In the first pit the waste is broken down by bugs to a thick watery consistency and bugs eat and produce a gas (methane) which rises to the top. A weir system processes the clearer water into the next pit and the digested waste sinks to the bottom, from where it is retrieved to be used as a safe fertilizer (clean manure). The water level in the second pit rises naturally to the overflow level where it is fed off to be used in irrigation.

 

The gas in the first pit - which has a sealed flexible cover - is fed off through pipes and a storage “tank” is to be used. As a safety measure the gas is passed through a water container, to further clean it, as well as to guard against a flashback. 

   

The “tank” is made up from an old tractor tyre which is pressurised when the gas is required, by placing a railway sleeper on top. The stored gas will be used by the farm staff for cooking and hot water etc.

 

Should we eventually produce more manure than is required for our own use, this will become a further source of income.