photo of a truck wash
Animal Truck Wash Facilities

An “Animal Truck Wash Facility” is an operation that only washes single-unit trucks, truck-tractors, semi-trailers or trailers used for the transportation of livestock. If the truck wash facility owner owns or manages other truck washes or animal feeding operation(s) that are located within 1250 feet, please contact the local DNR Field Office as these operations may be considered one facility. Truck washes that do not meet the definition of a small animal truck wash facility as listed below, must submit a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) for review to your local DNR field office prior to land application of wastewater or solids.

Facilities washing other types of trucks or farm equipment, in addition to livestock trailers, are not eligible to be considered an AFO truck wash. These operations must obtain a wastewater operation permit to land apply. Find instructions to apply for this program on our NPDES Wastewater Permitting section page.


An animal truck wash facility is considered to be small if both of the following apply:

  • All single-unit trucks, truck-tractors, semitrailers, or trailers washed at the facility are owned by the same person.
  • The monthly production of wash water does not exceed an average of 2,000 gallons per day.

Small animal truck wash facilities are not required to obtain construction permits or submit Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs) for land application of their waste, but must meet some minimum separation distance requirements.

Requirements
All animal truck wash facilities must properly manage effluent, process wastewater, manure, and settleable or scraped solids to prevent discharges to waters of the state and subsequent water quality violations.


All animal truck wash effluent must be properly land applied in accordance with the requirements such that:

  • Land application of animal truck wash effluent shall not cause groundwater or surface water pollution.
  • Land application shall not exceed one inch per hour.
  • Land application shall cease immediately if runoff occurs.
  • Land application shall be conducted on days when weather and soil conditions are suitable.
    • Land application areas are not frozen or snow-covered.
    • Temperatures during application are greater than 32°F.
    • Precipitation has not exceeded the water holding capacity of the soil.

Effluent from an animal truck wash facilities, other than a small animal truck wash facilities, must maintain the following separation distances when land applied:

  • Maintain a 750’ separation distance to all residences not owned by the titleholder of the land unless:
    • Animal truck wash effluent is injected or incorporated on the same date it was land applied,
    • A written waiver is obtained from the owner of the residence, or
    • The animal truck wash effluent is from a small animal truck wash facility


Scraped or separated solids from your animal truck wash operation, including used bedding, litter, or wood chips, may be stockpiled for up to six months in accordance with the following requirements:

  • Maintain a 400 foot separation distance to designated areas including drinking water wells, ag drainage wells, wetlands, and water sources.
  • Maintain an 800 foot separation distance to high-quality water resources.
  • Maintain a 200 foot separation distance to terrace tile inlet or surface tile inlet or sinkholes, unless the stockpile is located so that no runoff from the stockpile can reach the inlet.
  • Stockpiles shall not be located in a grassed waterway or area where water ponds or has concentrated flow.
  • Stockpiles shall not be located on land having a slope of more than 3 percent unless methods, structures, or practices are implemented to contain the stockpiled solids and prevent or diminish precipitation-induced runoff.


New animal truck wash effluent structure(s) must meet the minimum separation distance requirements in Subrule 567 IAC 65.203(3) and Rule 567 IAC 65.205(459A). Table 7A summarizes the separation distances.

If the truck wash facility owner owns or manages other truck washes or animal feeding operation(s) that are located within 1250 feet, please contact your local DNR Field Office as these operations may be considered one facility.

A new truck wash planning on using more than an average of 2,000 gallons per day must submit a Truck wash construction permit application (Form 542-0982).

The owner of an animal truck wash facility, other than a small animal truck wash facility, must obtain a construction permit prior to construction or expansion of an animal truck wash effluent structure or prior to any increase in effluent volume above that which was approved in a previous construction permit from the Iowa DNR. See the AFO Construction Requirements page for more information on construction requirements.

The owner of an animal truck wash facility, other than a small animal truck wash facility, must develop and implement a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP). The NMP must be submitted to the Iowa DNR and granted approval prior to removal of any animal truck wash effluent from the facility. Truck wash only NMPs do not need to complete a Public Notice for the NMP, send a copy to the county or submit any fees with the NMP. The NMP shall be kept onsite and updated as needed to remain current with the operation.

If animal truck wash effluent is comingled with manure, the comingled waste shall be deemed to be manure. The NMP must include information regarding the quantities of manure and truck wash effluent produced at this facility, and sampling results or calculations must be included to determine the appropriate nutrient concentrations for the comingled waste. If the animal truck wash is part of a confinement feeding operation, the truck wash effluent may be included on the Manure Management Plan (MMP) for the site.

The facility owner is required by law to maintain detailed records of effluent applications, sampling results, and any changes made to the NMP. Application records must include weather conditions at the time of application as well as for the 24 hours preceding and following application. Records must be maintained for five years, or for the length of the crop rotation following the year of application, whichever is greater, and must be made available to the Iowa DNR upon request.

Many of the technical requirements for completing the NMP are the same as the confinement MMP (soil samples, yield data, RUSLE2, etc.) so more detailed information on these requirements is found on the confinement MMP page.

In addition to nutrient concentrations, the animal truck wash effluent shall be tested annually for aluminum, copper, and iron. Representative samples of the animal truck wash effluent should be collected during land application when mixing or agitation is occurring. Samples need to be analyzed by a laboratory certified in the proper sample techniques. Contact the lab to obtain the necessary bottles and information on proper sampling and preservation techniques for all parameters. To ensure that the samples are acceptable for analysis, you must meet their specified hold times and temperature requirements.

If sampling results exceed 10mg/L for aluminum, 0.4mg/L for copper, or 10 mg/L for iron, the truck wash waste does not meet the definition of “animal truck wash effluent” and therefore, it cannot be covered by Chapter 65. If high metals concentrations are found, the truck wash effluent will instead be regulated as industrial wastewater.

Additionally, soil samples collected from all fields used in the NMP must be analyzed for phosphorus, pH, aluminum, copper, and iron.