While mainly used for the treatment of surface- and wash-waters under the confines of usable area restrictions, they have been applied in a variety of farm operations; cattle, dairy, sheep and poultry.
ICWs have exceptional potential in good farmyard and animal health management. Through optimising potential of available land, minimising flooding, improving animal health and welfare. ICWs work in harmony with the land, upon which agriculture is so dependant.
Several of the initial ICWs commissioned over 20 years ago, still prove to be as efficient if not better in their performance in reducing their nutrient content (>95% reduction in ammonia).
In addition to efficiency analysis a recent study was undertaken to analyse the amount of antimicrobial resistant organisms leaching from farmyards (AREST project). ICWs were shown to be >90% effective at reducing these organisms.
“As a responsible and environmentally aware farmer I had to look at a more sustainable management system to reduce the nutrient load into the my local river courses.
I contacted VESI for advice, after a few site visits they came up with a plan. I suggested buffer zones along the open drains to absorb nutrient residues, they had a bigger plan. The principal works for this project consisted of enlarging and reprofiling of the existing open drains, while implementing key ICW design concepts.
This included creating multiple riverine features, such as riffles, pools and glides. Each section of the reprofiled works was densely planted with emergent native helophyte vegetation. In conjunction with ICW elements a woodland corridor was created. This was carried out with the Irish Tree Council.
After all this work was completed we now represent a sustainable, coherent and novel approach to farmyard and land runoff waters. My thanks to VESI for their professional and practical approach that addressed my concerns, it’s been a huge success and now looking forward to see the ‘wetlands’ mature.”
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