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Iowa law requires that all manure from an animal feeding operation be disposed so that it does not cause surface or groundwater pollution. Animal feeding operations include open feedlots and confinement feeding operations. All sizes of animal feeding operations must meet this requirement. These rules also apply to manure that is produced outside of Iowa, but land applied in Iowa.
There are also some separation distances that must be maintained between areas of land application and protected buildings or other locations such as sinkholes, wells and ag drainage wells. Producers and manure applicators should check the Separation Distances for Land Application of Manure to determine which separation distances apply to their operation. Recent changes in Iowa law added water sources and high quality water resources as protected areas.
Manure disposal is generally prohibited within 200 feet of a well, ag drainage well, cistern, surface water inlet or water source (lakes, rivers, streams, ditches, etc.) unless:
Manure disposal is also prohibited within 800 feet of a high quality water resource unless:
Reporting Manure Releases
A manure release, including actual, imminent or probable discharge of manure from an animal feeding operation structure, must be reported to the DNR within six hours after it occurred or was discovered. Releases that must be reported include any that go to surface water, groundwater, a drainage tile line or intake, or to a designated area resulting from storing, handling, transporting or land-applying manure. The DNR field office staff members are experienced in handling manure releases and may be able to help producers and manure applicators limit the extent of the spill or prevent extensive damage.
Releases should be reported to the nearest DNR field office during normal working hours. At other times or when the appropriate field office cannot be reached by phone, releases can be called in to 515-725-8694 and to the local police department or sheriff in the county where the release has occurred.
Nutrient Management Plans
Livestock Truck Washes
Owners of a Small Animal Truck Wash Facility no longer need a permit for land application, also known as a state operation permit. To qualify:
Wastewater generated by the facility may be land applied provided it does not cause runoff or water quality violations. For more information, contact the permit engineer at the Spencer field office.
Livestock truck washes that are not small animal truck wash facilities must submit a Nutrient Management Plan for review to Paul Petitti, the permit engineer at the Spencer field office. Submit the permit prior to land applying under animal feeding operation rules.
Facilities washing other types of trucks, in addition to livestock, must obtain a wastewater operation permit to land apply. Find instructions in the Land Application Manual.