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Competency Area 8: Concentrated source pollution AEM

PO 78. Describe the potential pollution impacts of silage leachate.

Silage leachate is acidic (pH around 4), and contains high concentrations of BOD, ammonia-N, phosphorus, potassium, and organic carbons. Silage leachate is one of the most environmentally contaminating wastes produced on a livestock farm if it's not contained, treated, and disposed of properly. Any direct discharges of concentrated silage leachate to streams lead to rapid deoxygenation and a decrease in pH, potentially killing fish and other benthic organisms. The direct discharge to vegetated areas kills the vegetation and causes septic odors. Silage leachate is corrosive to steel and concrete, which further complicates managing this waste.