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Waste Storage Facility

A waste storage facility being emptied

Practice Code: 313

Do You Have Problems Storing your Manure?

  • Manure can be an unsightly and smelly mess.
  • It can breed flies and be unhealthy for farm animals.
  • It can wash into streams, ponds and lakes where it causes the water to turn green and harm the fish.
  • If manure seeps into the water that people drink, it can make them sick.
  • Neighbors will find many reasons to complain when manure is not managed well.

Purposes and Benefits

A waste storage facility is an impoundment made by constructing an embankment and/or excavating a pit or dugout, or by fabricating a structure.

  • Provides temporary storage of manure, wastewater, or contaminated runoff until a suitable time arrives for its proper use or disposal.
  • Benefits soil quality by improving organic matter content, tilth and soil moisture content for plant growth.
  • Protects surface and groundwater water quality.
  • Application of wastes to the land is better managed maximizing benefits to crops and operating costs, while minimizing risks to the environment.

Manure Handling

Manure that is properly stored can be used for fertilizer. Here are some things you can do:

  • Give your animals the necessary feed for health and growth, but do not overfeed them.
  • The dryer you keep the manure the less storage you will need and the less you will have to transport to the field.
  • With enough room animals can spread their own manure.
  • Keep livestock in portable pens that you move around the field.
  •  Moving the location where you feed and water your animals can help prevent manure accumulation and the creation of bare areas.
  • If it is necessary to confine livestock, consider keeping them under a roof so manure is not washed away by the rain.
  • Straw and hay can create a bedded pack for the animals to stand and lie on.

Storing Manure

The more animals you keep the more likely it will be necessary to construct a special manure storage facility.

  • The storage must be able to keep the manure from washing away and its nutrients from leaking into the groundwater.
  • It should also keep odors to a minimum.
  • In most cases, there are laws and regulations governing storage facilities.

Common types of storage include

  • Earthen pit
  • Concrete pit
  • Large tank
  • Roofed building
  • Covered dry stack


  • Storing manure can be expensive, but with thoughtful planning and careful management there are ways to keep the cost low.
  • Dry manure is easier and cheaper to store and handle.
  • Livestock on pasture spread their own manure.
  • Manure storage size needs to be right for your livestock and management.

Ground Disturbing Potential of Conservation Practices

This is a potential ground disturbing conservation practice. Any project with ground disturbing or potential ground disturbing practices planned may need to be submitted for review by the State Historic Preservation Officer and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers. Please see the Cultural Resources Review Process Flowchart for an outline of this process.

View a list of conservation practices used in New York State, and their ground disturbing potential.   

Conservation Practice Documents

Web link image: Field Office Technical GuideDocuments associated with this and other conservation practices are available at the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide Web site.


Related Conservation Practices

This practice is commonly used in a Conservation Management System with practices such as:

Composting Facility
Filter Strip
Heavy Use Area Protection
Nutrient Management
Roofs and Covers
Vegetated Treatment Area
Waste Recycling
Waste Transfer
Waste Treatment
Waste Treatment Lagoon

If you want to learn how you can protect natural resources on your farm or forest land, please contact your local NRCS Service Center.


How to Get Assistance




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