Characterizing Ammonia Emissions from Swine Farms in Eastern North Carolina – Part I. Conventional Lagoon and Spray Technology for Waste Treatment

Reprinted, with permission, from the proceedings of: Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference.

This Technology is Applicable To:

Species: Swine
Use Area: Manure Storage
Technology Category: Anaerobic Lagoon, Management
Air Mitigated Pollutants: Ammonia

System Summary

The conventional lagoon and spray technology (LST), is the current system predominantly used in North Carolina to manage pig waste. It consists of anaerobic lagoons to store and biologically treat pig waste (~99.5% liquid). Effluent from the lagoons is sprayed on surrounding crop fields as a nutrient source. Four distinct components and associated processes of LSTs release NH3 to the atmosphere: (1) production houses, (2) waste storage and treatment systems such as lagoons, (3) land application through injection or spraying, and (4) biogenic emissions from soils and crops

Applicability and Mitigating Mechanism

  • Anaerobic lagoons used to store and biologically treat hog manure
  • Manure sprayed on crops as source of nutrients



  • Significant emissions of ammonia, odor and potential pathogens
  • Flooding during extreme weather events



Ten year annualized costs for a “Baseline” LST for a 4,320-head finishing farm using a pit recharge system of manure removal is predicted to be approximately $90 per 1,000 lbs. steady state live weight per year (Williams, 2006. see Table 8a, page 58 – Development of Environmentally Superior Technologies. 2006. Phase 3 Technology Determination Report, published by NCSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 716 pgs, on file with NCSU Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center (March 8,2006). Also available at


V.P. Aneja1, S.P. Arya1, I.C. Rumsey1, C.M. (Mike) Williams21Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences North Carolina State Univesity, 2 Department of Poultry Science, & Director, Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center, North Carolina State University
Point of Contact:
Viney P. Aneja,

The information provided here was developed for the conference Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference held in May 2008. To obtain updates, readers are encouraged to contact the author.