Grow-Finish Facilities: Waste Management



This is a slat concrete floor. The edges of the holes should be "pencil-rounded" and the surface should be like fine sand paper for adequate footing.


Waste Handling

There are many systems for handling swine waste. A usual arrangement is for waste to drop through slat floors into an under-building pit (or, for concrete floors to be scraped). Buildings may have shallow pits which are frequently drained into a lagoon or holding tank, or they may have deep pits which serve to accumulate and store waste. Deep pits and lagoons are pumped in the spring before crops are planted, or in the fall, after crops are harvested.

Lagoons and holding tanks are more cost-effective for large operations - it is less expensive to construct one large system and passively transport the waste to it than to construct deep pits under all the facilities. Waste must be handled carefully to minimize the exposure of pigs to noxious gases, and to avoid accidents. Odors are controlled primarily by managing the fermentive processing of waste. This aspect of waste management is currently under intensive research. A properly managed lagoon has minimal smell except during the few days a year when it is being dispersed to cropland.

Nitrogen is one of the principle components of swine waste. Losses of nitrogen to the atmosphere from a lagoon approach 50%. This is an ideal place to put the nitrogen (since that was its original source), however it has value in cropping enterprises, and conserving it is more cost-effective than wasting it."


A properly managed lagoon is the current swine industry standard for waste management.

You have reached the end of this Introduction to Swine Production. Feel free to return  and quiz your swine knowledge!


Copyright ©1997 by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Faculty: Dr. Paul Pitcher
Student: Sandra Springer,'99