Particulate control efficiency of a water sprinkler system at a beef cattle feedlot in Kansas

H. F. Bonifacio, R. G. Maghirang, E. B. Razote, B. W. Auvermann, J. P. Harner, J. P. Murphy, L. Guo, J. M. Sweeten, W. L. Hargrove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Water sprinkler systems are one method for controlling particulate matter (PM) emissions from cattle feedlots; however, limited data are available on the efficiency of these systems. This research was conducted to determine the PM control efficiency of a water sprinkler system in a cattle feedlot in Kansas. Downwind and upwind PM 10 concentrations at the feedlot (KS1) were monitored with tapered element oscillating microbalance (TEOM) PM 10 monitors from January 2006 to July 2009. The feedlot was equipped with a sprinkler system with a maximum water application rate of 5.0 mm d -1 (5.0 L m -2 d -1). Control efficiency was determined by considering the PM 10 data during sprinkler on/off events (i.e., the sprinkler system was operated for at least one day and was either followed or preceded by at least one day of no water sprinkling). Control efficiency equaled the percentage reduction in net PM 10 concentration (i.e., downwind concentration - upwind concentration). PM 10 control efficiency ranged from 32% to 80% with an overall mean of 53% (based on 24 h PM 10 values). The effect of the sprinkler system in reducing net PM 10 concentration lasted for one day or less. The PM 10 concentration percentage reduction due to rainfall events was also determined at feedlot KS1 and at another feedlot (KS2). Feedlot KS2, located less than 40 km from KS1, was not equipped with a sprinkler system but practiced more frequent pen cleaning. Percentage reductions in net PM 10 concentrations due to rainfall events were mostly in the range of 60% to almost 100% for both feedlots, with overall means of 77% for KS1 and 76% for KS2. The effects of rainfall events (with rainfall amounts >10 mm per event) lasted for 3 to 7 days depending on rainfall amount and intensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-304
Number of pages10
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Air quality
  • Cattle feedlots
  • PM control
  • PM emission
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Water application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Forestry
  • Soil Science

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