NonPoint Source Pollution through HiPoint Ag

Our story – Everyone’s future
We cannot impact our industry and the ongoing pollution crisis unless we put the HiPoint technology and HPAB process ©  in place. We are all in a race against time and request support to assist us with the resources necessary to make this change. It will take the community to change the industry for the better.

The term "point source" means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines point source pollution as any contaminant that enters the environment from an easily identified and confined place. Nonpoint-source pollution is the opposite of point-source pollution, with pollutants released in a wide area. Where there are agricultural livestock CAFO operations and farmlands, runoff can wash sediment, manures, and flush pesticides and fertilizer from farm fields. All of this pollution winds up in streams, rivers, and lakes creating wetland algae blooms and lowering overall water quality.

Through the Influence of the Horse

"Protecting our wetland from nonpoint source pollution" part 1

EPA Wetlands

The National Water Quality Assessment shows that agricultural nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is the leading source of water quality impacts on surveyed rivers and streams, the third-largest source for lakes, the second-largest source of impairments to wetlands, and a major contributor to contamination of surveyed estuaries and groundwater.

HiPoint and the Horse Industry, along with government support, can help reduce nonpoint source pollution from horse manure leaching by implementing better transfer stations, removal hauling processes, and disposal methods primarily away from burning, spreading, or composting. Horse Stall Residuals (used bedding) does not need to be a waste stream. Environmentally recycled and repurposed correctly, we can gain everything and waste nothing while protecting the waterways from leaching, runoff, and pollution. 

(American Fisheries) Nonpoint source pollution is probably the most pervasive and ubiquitous water quality problem in North America. Nonpoint source pollution results from nearly every type of human activity and land use. In the United States a comprehensive program to control nonpoint sources of water pollution is defined and regulated through the Clean Water Act Amendments of 1977 administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Nonpoint sources of pollution are defined by the Act as “…sources of pollution which enter surface or groundwaters through widely diffused small increments.”

-Agriculturally related nonpoint sources of pollution including runoff from manure disposal areas, and from land use for livestock and crop production; the principal pollutants associated with nonpoint sources are sediment, nutrients, biocides, natural organic waste.

“Of the total point and nonpoint source loadings of 158 million pounds per day of suspended solids, nonpoint source loads will account for 145 million pounds, or 92 percent.”;

“Of the total daily nitrogen loading of 35.7 million pounds, nonpoint sources will contribute 28.3 million pounds or 79 percent.”;

“Of the 3.63 million pounds per day of phosphorus, nonpoint sources will provide 1.93 million pounds or 53 percent.”;

“For both fecal and total coliform counts, nonpoint sources will account for over 98 percent of the remaining national loadings.”;

In a 2018 report EQUESTRIAN SECTOR (10 OPERATIONS) PDF Attached in the library above

Along with greenhouses, equestrian facilities were
a heavy focus of this audit as the oval-shaped horse
training pens are easily recognized in Google Earth. A
total of 10 facilities were visited, 70 percent of these were
out of compliance with the AWCR.

Facilities stored agricultural waste in either a storage
facility prior to application as a fertilizer or removal
by a contractor, or as field storage prior to application
as a fertilizer. Non-compliances with the AWCR were
as follows:

Insufficient capacity of storage facility for volume of
waste stored (Section 6 (a)(i) and (ii))

Escape of agricultural waste from storage facility
(Section 6 (b))

Uncovered field storage during October 1 to April 1
(Section 9)

Field storage located less than 30m from
watercourse (Section 8 (2)(b))

manure water non point polution

Global Water Forum

The Global Water Forum wrote articles as far back in 2014 on point source and nonpoint source pollution urging us to contact local EPA offices.

"The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report recommending that Congress revise the CWA so that EPA can better address nonpoint source pollution through regulation. In this report, GAO assessed a representative sample of 191 TMDLs (out of a universe of approximately 50,000) and found that most of the water bodies analyzed have not fully attained water quality standards, largely due to lack of nonpoint source pollution reduction. This failure stems from TMDL implementation plans that lack key components such as identification of appropriate stressors, landowner participation, and adequate funding. Overall, both states and EPA have little information about the status of the implementation of TMDLs."

National Water Quality Assessment

The National Water-Quality Assessment shows that agricultural nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is the leading source of water quality impacts on surveyed rivers and streams, the third-largest source for lakes, the second-largest source of impairments to wetlands, and a major contributor to contamination of surveyed estuaries and groundwater.

Unlike the obvious connection between hardened surfaces and urban rainwater runoff, agricultural land surfaces are largely permeable the results of multiple studies indicate that the negative effects of agricultural land drainage on surface water quality are significantly greater than urban rainwater runoff. As such, it is plausible that the agricultural land is saturated with contaminants beyond its capacity to absorb and/or contain long enough to allow for degradation or detoxification. Consequently, during irrigation or rain events these contaminants are drained from the land surface to creeks, canals, and other sources of water. Research suggests that shortly after application of slurry or manure on agricultural land fecal coliform levels are significantly elevated (Ramos, Quinton & Tyrrel, 2006)

Likely, the most beneficial mitigation effort is source reduction. With respect to source reduction, effective management of manure plays a key role. Given the intensification of farming in North America, there is an insufficient land base to handle the amount of manure applied to the land, and, as such, surface watercourses are negatively affected with fecal coliform and overloaded with nutrients. To avoid these impacts it is recommended that EPA Fisheries and other government organizations provide support for manure-to-recycling manure-to-energy and manure reduction projects (financial or otherwise).

These projects would assist farmers and regions in handling the excess manure, create higher quality (products like recycling shavings, composts), fertilizers and reduce environmental impacts (El-Sadek, Feyen, Skaggs, & Berlamont, 2002; Ramos et al, 2006). These projects have shown to greatly reduce fecal coliform and nutrient loading in surface water and lower greenhouse gas emissions by combusting methane into carbon dioxide (Steiner, 2005; Richard, 2006; Deutsch, 2007).

In the United States, control of nonpoint-source pollutants occurs pursuant to Sec. 208 and 304 of the Clean Water Act of 1977, which delegates wastewater management planning (point and nonpoint source) to state and local levels of government. This planning process must develop and incorporate "Best Management Practices (BMP)" for the control of nonpoint sources following guidelines established by the federal government (U.S. EPA).

Manure Quantity and Composition

Pollution-Clipart-non-point-source-horse by HiPoint Agro Bedding

A 1000-pound horse will defecate from 4 to 13 times each day and produce 35 to 50 pounds of wet manure (feces plus urine) daily, or approximately 9.1 - 12 tons per year. Typically a ton of horse manure will contain 11 pounds of N, 2 pounds of P, and 8 pounds of potassium (K). To obtain more accurate numbers, manure should be tested for nutrient content. Check Rutgers Cooperative Extension fact sheet, FS935, Feed and Forage Testing Labs for more information.

A horse kept in a stall will require about 10 to 20 pounds of bedding per day. This bedding should be replaced on a regular basis. Because of many types of bedding materials, wood byproduct (shavings, chips, sawdust), straw, or paper, the composition of the mix of manure and bedding will vary from farm to farm. In general, manure plus bedding will have a volume of between 2 and 3 cubic feet per horse per day.

Environmental Impacts and Benefits

Environmental Benefits: When managed properly, manure can be a valuable resource on a farm. Manure can be a source of nutrients for crop production and can improve soil quality. The organic matter present in manure can improve both tilth and water holding capacity of the soil. Manure can also be used as a fertilizer (N and P) for crops. However, most horse owners do not have enough land to use the amount of manure that is produced. Monitoring horse manure so that it does not cause environmental impacts is the goal of manure management.

When not managed properly, horse manure (feces and urine) can pollute the environment, mainly as ground or surface water pollution due to the nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon (organic matter). These nutrients can reach waterways as surface runoff or leachate from the manure pile.

Nitrogen excreted from horses is usually present either as urea in urine, which is quickly converted to ammonia (NH3), or it remains in association with organic matter in the feces. Ammonia (NH3) can be volatilized into the atmosphere. If NH3 from horse manure comes into contact with surface waters, it can cause nutrient enrichment and excessive algae growth. This process is referred to as eutrophication. Eutrophication is the process of nutrient enrichment in a lake or slow-moving stream occurring when excess nutrients from manure, fertilization, sewage, etc. are deposited. This can result in waters rich in mineral and organic nutrients that promote a proliferation of plant life, especially algae, which reduces the dissolved oxygen content and often causes the extinction of other organisms. (Adapted from Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 1999 & American Heritage Dic. of the English Language, 4th ed.) In the case of nitrogen, the excessive algae and conversion of ammonia to nitrate (NO3) causes a reduction in dissolved oxygen in the water, which can contribute to fish kills through oxygen depletion.

Nitrogen present in organic matter in the feces will be converted in the soil to ammonia and then nitrate, which can be taken up by plants. If plants do not take up nitrate it will easily move through the soil and can eventually leach into the groundwater where it can be a human health concern. Nitrate can also undergo the process of denitrification in the soil and be lost into the atmosphere as gaseous nitrogen (NO, N2O, or N2).

Phosphorus is also present in manure. When spread on the land it will not leach like nitrogen, unless the soil matrix where phosphorus binds becomes overly saturated with phosphorus. However, phosphorus will run off if applied at the wrong time of the year and/or when soil erosion occurs. This can lead to contamination of surface waters where it may cause eutrophication.

When manure is not properly incorporated into the soil, organic matter present in manure (contains carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) can be a concern when it runs off into surface waters. Eutrophication and additional oxygen depletion may occur due to the decomposition of the organic matter.

Environmental Pollution Awareness

 North America is the #1 emitter of Nitrogen in livestock manure management.

North America is #2 emitter of Co2 (China is #1) in livestock manure management.

Horses contribute, on average, 50 lbs. of methane gas per year. With 52 million horses worldwide, this creates 1.2 Tg (million tons) of Ch4 off-gassing per year into the atmosphere.

The macro-nutrients in horse manure (NPK)when left to decompose leaches into waterways and create algae blooms, phosphorous overloading, and depleted soils.

Nutrient effect of the horse by HiPoint Agro bedding
Nutrient effect of the horse by HiPoint Agro bedding

Concerns for our Environment with the Current Disposal and Use of Horse bedding

Stall Residual Waste that is collected from horse barns can be treated or disposed of in three ways. Although mainly banned now, stall residual waste can be disposed of in a landfill, burned through incineration, or sent to a composting facility.   Disposed landfill waste contributes to environmental problems such as habitat destruction, surface and groundwater pollution, and other forms of air, soil, and water contamination, including methane off-gassing, which in turn contributes to global warming.

Burning or incineration creates airborne pollutants such as ash and contributes to global warming and climate change. Composting leads to increased methane off-gassing and leaching, while it decomposes for months in outside windrows.

Tipping fees for dumping waste to a transfer station are rising, and disposal companies are running out of disposal options. Furthermore, Waste stall residuals are also not well received by the agricultural community as it does not supply a lot of nutrient value due to the nitrogen capturing nature of rotting wood-based manure.  Moreover, recent agricultural rule changes, as part of the Environmental Management act 2018, reduced outdoor manure storage to a maximum length of two weeks so waiting months for spring manure-spreading season is no longer an acceptable solution. Increased operations like HiPoint to repurpose the waste stream safely (and profitability) must be established.

The supply and demand for quality wood shavings are dropping due to wood mills shutting, long-term contracts expiring, and less demand for wood framing construction and furniture reduces the supply of wood shavings used for horse bedding. The recycling of wood pellets or shavings must be more than a single-use, or we will have continued shortages - recycling in multiple cycles is the answer.

HiPoint is an alternative green environmental recycling business that will initiate waste management best practices by integrating cutting edge technology, removing a waste stream, creating valuable resources for re-use and providing gas revenues all while protecting the environment.

Disposed landfill waste contributes to environmental problems such as habitat destruction, surface and groundwater pollution, and other forms of air, soil, and water contamination, including methane off-gassing, which in turn contributes to global warming. Burning or incineration creates airborne pollutants such as ash and also contributes to global warming and climate change.

Each HiPoint Facility is designed to naturally track and treat from 18,000 to 59,000 tons of horse stall residual waste (manure) nutrients and pollutants yearly from horse stall residual waste (wood shavings and fecal matter- manure.)Preventing pollutants of concern like Fecal coliforms, E. coli, and mold, Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous from creating algal blooms and lowering water quality into wetlands and conservation areas, air quality, lakes, rivers, and wildlife habitat protection. All in a cost-effective strategy around Native Communities and their ecosystems, Wetlands, and Natural areas close to high Equestrian regions.

Where just 5000 horses congregate in a county or region and the waste manure is left outside on fields, stored or composted, one could show a waterbody reduction from fecal matter by 2,000,000 mg/l per day and reduce phosphate levels by 300,000 mg/l daily, this increasing water quality and reducing algae blooms. We can also reduce CH4 methane off-gassing by 100,000 lbs per facility per year from entering the atmosphere, which is irreversibly damaging the ozone layer.

Since 2001 the History of Environment and Climate Change strategy has stated that virtually all water-borne diseases resulting from poor waste management, treatment, and disposal practices.

We can show that canals' rivers and bodies of water are being impacted by horse manure spreading or storing. Current water quality guidelines allowed for 200/100 mL geomean and 400/100ml maximum. Where there is a concentration of livestock, we see these concentrations exceeded daily amounts of about 200/100ml and can be in excess of 10,000/100mL (ref: state of Washington dept of Ag 2018)

In a study to the Nooksack river spanning the US and Canada, local compost facilities and horse farms were out of compliance, exceeding TSS (total suspended solids), ammonia, nitrogen, and BOD ( biological oxygen demand.) Some areas show an effluent concentration in excess of 120,000/100Ml (15,000 times the Water quality guides). Only 3 of the horse farms were compliant, and none of the composting operations were compliant.

Part 3 Pollution water HiPoint
Part 3 FIG Pollution water HiPoint
The study's main culprit showed outside storage and spreading of waste led to most leaching into the water; however, unauthorized discharge into unlined ponds or watercourses was also a key factor.

Recommendations are to engage with waste removal contractors and promote best management practices. Waste removal contractors are not a prescribed industry under EMA; however, they are crucial in the movement and disposal of agricultural waste. Research was recommended into the tracking of agricultural waste and whether that should be regulated. Regulations could ensure that waste removal operations adhere to waste management principles.

HiPoint believes recycling and tracking the manure back to the producer (EPR Traceability) is the key. This is backed up by scientists and environmentalists who agree recycling and “pro-action is cheaper and easier than reaction.”

HiPoint Agro bedding corp and its software arm EPR Zero have an answer to this crisis. Helping enforce regulations and removing fecal matter manure off the lands, air, and water habitats by recycling the wastestream, Thus, cleaning up our planet while still allowing for our great industry of horses to thrive.