Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



Transactions of the ASABE 54(4):1269-1279


The use of pond ash (fly ash that has been placed in evaporative ponds for storage and subsequently dewatered) for feedlot surfaces provides a drier environment for livestock and furnishes economic benefits. However, pond ash is known to have high concentrations of trace elements, and the runoff water‐quality effects of feedlot surfaces amended with pond ash are not well defined. For this study, two experimental units (plots) were established in eight feedlot pens. Four of the pens contained unamended soil surfaces, and the remaining four pens had pond‐ash amended surfaces. Before each test, unconsolidated surface material was removed from four of the plots for each of the amendment treatments, resulting in eight unamended plots and eight pond‐ash amended plots. Concentrations for 23 trace elements were measured in cattle feedlot surface material and in the runoff water from three simulated rainfall events. Trace element concentrations in surface material and runoff did not differ between surface consolidation treatments. Amending the feedlot surface material with pond ash resulted in a significant increase in concentration for 14 of the 17 trace elements. Runoff concentrations for 21 trace elements were affected by pond‐ash amendment. Sixteen of 21 trace element concentrations that differed significantly were greater in runoff from unamended soil surfaces. Concentrations in runoff were significantly correlated with concentrations in feedlot surface material for boron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and uranium.