Reporting 15 year’s of experience in WISE Aeration at manure and wastewater treatment ponds (updated)


This presentation offers information about a low-energy high-performance manure and/or wastewater aeration technology.  Referred to as “Widespreading Induced Surface Exchange” (WISE) aeration, its performance is from 4 to 10 times more efficient per watt of energy used compared to traditional bubble blower technology for aeration.  Even though Aeration is well known to provide extensive odor reduction or elimination, its use has not been implemented because of the high energy costs associated with running blowers.  This explains why very little is published about other value offered by aeration.  The presentation discusses WISE aeration, many unexpected benefits, and unstudied results.

This presentation will quickly review the 2019 Waste to Worth presentation previously offered and will then offer additional information learned in the past 3 years, including approximately 20 key points.    For those wanting to visit an actual working site before or after the conference, equipment is installed at a regional composting facility approximately 1 hr away from the Waste to Worth facility, near Wauseon OH.

What Did We Do?

Different manufacturers have created “floating aerators” over the past decades. Some have different issues than others, but all are installed in one of the most hostile environments at any enterprise.  PondLift brand equipment has been installed at various farms, domestic wastewater treatment sites, and composting facilities to bring their ponds into full aerobic treatment, with most sites desiring odor elimination, while also allowing their effluent to be sent to growing crops through irrigation equipment, lowering their effluent handling costs while increasing the value of their effluent since it is often foliar fed, offering as much as 70% yield increase per unit of fertilizer.   The author has been at each site to maintain equipment and learn more of its performance and learn more about results, expected and unexpected.  Among the PondLift equipment installations, there are 3 pond installation sites in Ohio, and another at a dairy farm near Paw Paw MI, easily visited for those who would want to personally visit such sites.  Other sites are further distance from Ohio.

What Have We Learned?

The installations have confirmed that odor elimination is very much possible through low-energy-use WISE aeration, while also preparing the effluent to be used by irrigation equipment for foliar feeding.  Although Odor elimination is valuable, probably the most environmentally valuable result of aeration was the dramatic change in texture of the effluent (in both liquids and solids) so that when applied by traditional means, being “knifed in”, the treated manure was absorbed into the soil much faster than raw manure is absorbed into that soil.  The timeframe is hours instead of days, reducing the potential runoff timeframe significantly, potentially eliminating significant runoff events.  Given this observation at almost every site having WISE aeration, it became obvious that a method for quantifying the phenomena is needed, and this equipment needs to be defined so as to compare aerobically treated effluent to raw manure, preferably in a “side by side” process, while also being able to quantify manure runoff on different soil types, and different slopes of soils.  While the presentation will also offer other phenomena data, the final portion of the presentation defines this equipment and procedures that might be adopted so as to study and quantify runoff, and compare runoff quantities to traditional distribution methods.

And for those who are interested in performing foliar feeding through automated manure nutrient distribution through irrigation equipment, the presentation will expand on several items recently identified, including the stratification that results from WISE Aeration, allowing irrigation without plugging pivot/circle nozzles.  In addition, the presentation includes information about Struvite formation and its harvesting opportunity as well as control methods.

Future Plans

PondLift intends to offer equipment for use in studies focused on any phenomena of interest in manure or liquid waste treatment, as well as commercial use at farms.  The political climate in future years will insist that potential runoff issues be addressed, updating Best Management Practices.  In addition, it is now possible that manure odor be eliminated with a process which is financially feasible for farms.

A short discussion: Automation is valuable at farms.  Bringing WISE Aeration to dairies and other farms which store liquid manure can help automate the manure storage/handling/disposal process.  It is the opinion of the author that the small family dairy farm will continue to survive and thrive, given the advances in feeding/health/genetics at today’s farms, even though such farms offer a small percentage of milk products.

The fact that so many farms have limited potentially useable farm acres at small hilly locations, leads us to focus on improving their automation and reducing equipment and time spent on manure related work.  To this end, work is progressing through PondLift, on a low cost “drop-in-place” sand separator which can easily be placed between the barn and the manure storage pit, allowing operators to remove sand before it gets to storage, which then allows the storage pit to be converted to aerobic treatment, which then allows automated manure nutrient distribution methods to be considered.  Lastly, work continues through an associated enterprise on the SPEWPLI (self-propelled extremely-wide portable linear irrigator) which will be able to attach to a manure pumpers hose at a distant field, and distribute manure nutrients to the crop at the 1,500gpm rate often used by manure pumpers. This is important for farms which are more suited to pumping at high rates to distant fields.


John Ries, Managing Member PondLift LLC, retired professional engineer

Corresponding author email address

Additional Information


The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2022. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Oregon, OH. April 18-22, 2022. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Odor Emissions from Typical Animal Production Farms in Ohio


Odor emissions from animal feeding operations (AFOs) remain a significant nuisance issue. Some neighboring communities of AFOs have complained that odor degraded their quality of life and well-being. Odor is a subjective response of humans, and the perception of odor varies significantly among people. Farmers may have been used to the farm smells and do not feel odor offensive. However, people with no farming background may be sensitive to odor and experience many different physiological and psychological responses to odor.

Unbiased scientific assessments are needed to resolve conflicts among farmers and neighboring communities and make objective and informed decisions about best management practices for odor mitigation in animal productions. Due to the complication and high cost of odor measurement, limited odor data are available to facilitate scientific understanding and develop effective mitigation of the odor concerns. The presentation reports on-farm odor sampling methods, measurement of odor concentrations in labs, and estimation of odor emission rates (ERs) for representative animal production farms in Ohio.

What Did We Do

Over the past decades, we have developed many research and extension projects to evaluate air quality and emissions at typical Ohio farms through seasonal on-farm sampling and monitoring measurement. The farms include swine, dairy, and poultry layer farms. Odorous air was sampled into 10-L Tedlar bags using a SKC-Vac-U-Chamber (SKC Inc., 863 Valley View Road, Eighty-Four PA 15330). The odor samples were shipped to the odor lab at Purdue University within 30 h of collection for measurement of odor concentrations (OUE m-3) using a dynamic olfactometer (AC’SCENT International Olfactometer, St. Croix Sensory, Inc., Stillwater, MN, USA).

When it was feasible to measure ventilation rates of animal facilities, the ventilation rate data along with the odor concentration data were used to estimate odor emission rate from the animal facilities. Further, the odor concentration and emission data were analyzed to identify correlation with environmental conditions and other air pollutant emissions, such as ammonia emission, to seek effective management practices for odor control.

What Have We Learned

Odor sources are animals and their manure and therefore can be physically associated with animal buildings, manure storages, and fields of manure land application. Different animal operations result in significantly different odor levels and liquid manure management practices are associated with higher odor levels.

The odor characteristics of layer house exhaust air were strongly associated with layer manure characteristics. The annual mean odor concentration was quantified as 355 ± 112 OUE m-3, and the annual mean odor emission rate was estimated as 0.14 ± 0.11 OUE s-1 hen-1for two manure-belt layer houses in Midwest region.

Significant seasonal variations were observed in odor concentrations inside the layer houses with high concentrations in summer and winter. The odor emission rates were the lowest in spring, but not significantly different in summer, fall, and winter.

House ventilation rate significantly affected odor emission rates, with higher ventilation rates corresponding to higher odor emissions. Ammonia concentration and emission rate inside the layer houses were significantly and positively correlated with the odor concentrations and emission rate.

Odor concentrations decrease exponentially as distances from the sources increase. Odor dispersion is affected by many factors. The data analysis also indicated seasonal and spatial variations in odor levels on farms, and the times and places that effective mitigation is needed. Measurements of odor are fundamentally important to understand odor concerns, develop estimation tools and effective mitigation.

Future Plans

Continue to develop odor mitigation management practices and technologies and tools to predict odor emission and dispersion from animal feeding operations.


Lingying Zhao, Professor and Extension Specialist, The Ohio State University

Additional Authors

-Glen Arnold, Assoc. Professor and Extension Field Specialist, The Ohio State University
-Mike Brugger, Faculty Emeritus, The Ohio State University
-Roger Bender, Former OSU Extension Educators. The Ohio State University
-Gene McClure, Former OSU Extension Educators. The Ohio State University
-Eric Immerman, Former OSU Extension Educators. The Ohio State University
-Albert Heber, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University
-JiQin, Ni, Professor, Purdue University

Additional Information

Zhao, L.Y., L.J. Hadlocon, R. B. Manuzon, M. J. Darr, X. Tong, A.J. Heber, and J.Q. Ni. 2015. Odour concentrations and emissions at two manure-belt egg layer houses in the U.S. J.Q. Ni, T.T. Lim, C. Wang (Eds.). In Animal Environment and Welfare–Proceedings of International Symposium (pp 42-49). Rong Chang, China, October 23-26th.


The air quality survey studies on Ohio farms were supported by the internal SEED grants of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, The Ohio State University.

The poultry layer house study was supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2005-35112-15422.

Appreciation is also expressed to the participating producers and staff for their collaboration and support.


The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2022. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Oregon, OH. April 18-22, 2022. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Ethnobotanical Control of Odor in Urban Poultry Production: A Review


Urban agriculture has been growing as the movement of population to the urban centers is increasing. According to FAO (2008), by 2030 majority of the population in sub sahara Africa (SSA) would be living in the urban area. Pollution from animal manure is a global concern and is much more acute and serious in countries with high concentrations of animals on a limited land base for manure disposal (Roderick, Stroot and Varel, 1998), this is the case with urban livestock production. Environmental pollution and odor complaints related to animal production have increased dramatically during the past decade (Ernest and Ronald, 2004). These odors potentially interfere with quality and enjoyment of life (Mauderly, 2002 and Albert, 2002). According to Pfost, Fulhage and Hoehne, 1999, odor complaints are more common when the humidity is high and the air is still or when the prevailing breezes carry odors toward populated areas. Inspite of the role that urban agriculture can play in pursuing the Millennium Development Goals, more specifically those, related to poverty reduction, food security, and environmental sustainability, odor from livestock still remains a major obstacle to future development. According to Obayelu 2010 there has been public’s increasing intolerance of livestock odors, hence the need to find solutions which will be ecosystem friendly. This paper will review some methods of odor control focusing on natural solutions to this problem.

What did we do?

For an odor to be detected downwind, odorous compounds must be: (a) formed, (b) released to the atmosphere, and (c) transported to the receptor site. These three steps provide the basis for most odor control. If any one of the steps is inhibited, the odor will diminish. (Chastain, 2000)

There are four general types of compounds for odor control: (1) masking agents that override the offensive odors, (2) counteractants that are chemically designed to block the sensing of odors, (3) odor absorption chemicals that react with compounds in manure to reduce odor emission, and (4) biological compounds such as enzymatic or bacterial products that alter the decomposition so that odorous compounds are not generated (Chastain, 2000). Some of these compounds are added directly to the manure while others are added to the feed. Yucca schidigera is a natural feed additive for livestock and poultry used to control odors, ammonia and other gas emissions, which can be detrimental to livestock performance. Essential oils are being promoted as effective and safe antimicrobial or antiviral (disinfectant) agents that also act as masking agents in the control of odor examples are thymol and carvacrol. Natural zeolite, clinoptilolite (an ammonium-selective zeolite), has been shown t o enhance adsorption of volatile organic compounds and odor emitted from animal manure due to its high surface area. Cai et al. (2007) reported reduction >51% for selected offensive odorants (i.e. acetic acid, butanoic acid, iso-valeric acid, dimethyl trisulfide, dimethyl sulfone, phenol, indole and skatole) in poultry manure with a 10% zeolite topical application. Treatment of broiler litter with alum was originally developed to reduce the amount of soluble phosphorous in poultry litter. However, it was also observed that using alum reduced the pH of the litter to below 6.5, and as a result, reductions in ammonia emissions from the litter have been observed.

Amendment of manure with alkaline materials such as cement kiln dust, lime, or other alkaline by-products can increase the pH to above 12.0, which limits the vast majority of microbialactivity, including odor producing microorganisms (Veenhuizen and Qi, 1993, Li et al., 1998). The effect of the addition of lime and other ONAs that alter the pH and moisture content of the waste and bedding requires further scientific research (McGahan, et al., 2002).

Dust particles can carry gases and odors. Therefore, dust control in the buildings can reduce the amount of odor carried outside. Management practices that can greatly reduce the amount of dust in poultry buildings are Clean interior building surfaces regularly, Reduce dust from feed, this can be by addition of oil to dry rations, proper and timely maintenance of feeders, augers, and other feed handling equipment. Also managing the relative humidity (RH) in poultry houses. Planting just three rows of trees around animal farms has also been proven to cut nuisance emissions of dust, ammonia, and odors from poultry houses. The use of tress around livestock facilities to mitigate odour and improve air quality has been recently reviewed by Tyndall and Colletti (2000). They concluded that trees have the potential to be an effective and inexpensive odor control technology particularly when used in combination with other odour control methods. Trees ameliorate odours by dilutio n of odour, encourage dust and aerosol deposition by reducing wind speeds, physical interception of dust and aerosols, and acting as a sink for chemical constituents of odour.

What have we learned?

The use of indigenous microorganisms for odor reduction related to livestock is being promoted under Natural farming, in this instance cultured mixtures of microorganisms consisting mainly of lactic acid bacteria, purple bacteria and yeast are used. This is already made into commercial product and marketed as effective microorganism activated solution (EMAS).

Interestingly, there is paucity of information on ethnobotanicals that are useful for odour control. Most literatures on ethnobotany focused of treatment and control of animal diseases but not on traditional control of the environment of livestock. As scientists are still working hard to develop chemical or biological additives which will eliminate or reduce odors associated with poultry wastes there is the need to survey traditional livestock owners for information that can serve for development of effective,inexpensive, efficient and suitable agent for odor control in poultry management.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation

Oyebanji Bukola, Department of Animal Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Corresponding author email


Albert, H. (2002) Outdoor Air Quality. Livestock Waste Facilities Handbook, Midwest Plan Service (MWPS),
Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Volume 18, section 3 Page 96.

Cai, L., Koziel, J.A., Liang, Y., Nguyen, A.T., and H. Xin. 2007. Evaluation of zeolite for
control of odorants emissions from simulated poultry manure storage. J. Environ. Qual.

Chastain, J.P., and F.J. Wolak. 2000. Application of a Gaussian Plume Model of Odor
Dispersion to Select a Site for Livestock Facilities. Proceedings of the Odors and VOC
Emissions 2000 Conference, sponsored by the Water Environment Federation, April 16-19,
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Ernest, F.B and Ronald, A.F.(2004) An Economic Evaluation of Livestock Odor Regulation Distances.
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FAO 2008. Urban agriculture for sustainable poverty alleviation and food security. FAO Rome

Mauderly, J.L. (2002) Health Effects of Mixtures of Air Pollutants. Air Quality and Health: State of the Science, Proceedings of the Clean Air Strategic Alliance Symposium, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, June 3-4, 2002.

McGahan. E, Kolominska, C Bawden, K. and Ormerod. R (2002). Strategies to reduce odour emissions from Meat chicken farms Proceedings 2002 Poultry Information Exchange

Pfost, D. L., C. D. Fulhage, and J. A. Hoehne (1999) Odors from livestock operations: Causes and possible cures. Outreach and Extension Pub. # G 1884. University of MissouriColumbia.

Obayelu, A. E 2010. Assessment Of The Economic And Environmental Effects Of Odor Emission From Mechanically Ventilated Livestock Building In Ibadan Oyo State Nigeria. International Journal of science and nature VOL. 1(2) 113-119

Tyndall, J. and J. Colletti. 2000. Air quality and shelterbelts: Odor mitigation and livestock production a literature review. Technical report no. 4124-4521-48-3209 submitted to USDA, National Agroforestry Center, Lincoln, NE.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.