Drainage and Pollution from Beef Cattle Feedlots

by Raymond C. Loehr, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Civ. and Agric. Engrg., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 6, Pg. 1295-1309

Document Type: Journal Paper


The paper documents the changes that have taken place in the size of operations producing beef cattle for slaughter and the water contamination problems associated with the drainage from beef cattle feedlots. Data is presented on the quality and quantity of runoff that can occur at a feedlot. The runoff contains high concentrations of pollutants and occurs as a slug load on the resources of a stream. Because of the intermittent nature of the runoff, minimum control using retention ponds is possible. Relationships between rainfall and runoff at a feedlot indicate that after a minimum quantity of rain, the major fraction of the rain becomes runoff. Runoff coefficients of greater than 0.88 are shown. The possibility of ground-water pollution also is explored.

Subject Headings: Runoff | Rainfall-runoff relationships | Groundwater pollution | Pollution | Livestock | Retention basins | Drainage | Pollutants

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