1988 - Volume #12, Issue #2, Page #10[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Flush Toilet Cleans New Style Dairy BarnIf you understand how a flush toilet works, then you understand one of the major features of George and Peter Van Wychen's innovative dairy barn near Kaukauna, Wis.
Their amazing new barn cleans itself - automatically - 24 times a day by flushing recycled water down the aisles: No scraping, no barn cleaner, no pit, no moving parts (except for the pump and a couple of lagoon aerators). The barn is also naturally ventilated; There's not a fan in the place.
Designed by engineering consultant TJ. Tooler, the state-of-the-art structure is equipped with drop vents and ridge vents, operated by simple hand cranks to keep the barn cool in summer and warm in winter - all without the need for fans. An automatic fly control system keeps insects to a minimum. The lack of noisy motors conveyors and other mechanical equipment in the barn helps reduce the stress on cows, the brothers say.
But most of all, it's the unique way of dealing with manure that sets the barn apart from almost every other dairy barn in the Midwest. Peter says the correct term to describe their barn's self-cleaning system is "recycle/flush".
"It works basically the same way your bathroom toilet works," he explains. The aisles in front of the free stalls are sloped and drop 1.5 in. every 10 ft. There are large pipes embedded in the floor that lead from a silo-like structure outside (which functions like a toilet tank), and which lead to a lagoon out behind the barn. Twenty-four times a day, the system "flushes" automatically completely cleaning the aisles. Aerators in the la-goon allow the system to continually reuse what otherwise would be waste water. There's no smell, and there's no need for adding massive amounts of fresh water.
(Reprinted from the Land O'Lakes Mirror.)
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