Structural engineers understand their job is an exact science. Even the smallest mistake can be costly. In an industry where perfection is expected, some contracts require more risk, and thus – detail. One such job is slurry tank engineering. If done incorrectly, these apparatuses can kill.
What is Slurry?
Before elaborating on the potential dangers of slurry tanks and how structural engineering companies can mitigate them, you need to understand exactly what slurry is. This, alone, can become problematic. A quick Google search leads one to a variety of definitions.
Slurry is a mixture of manure and water that farmers use a natural fertilizer. The manure is stored in slurry tanks during the winter months when the cattle are inside.
Manure and water do require a bit of engineering, but slurry tanks can hold more than just manure (although this is the most common usage). As such, the definition of slurry as we understand it is a mixture of water and solid that features a high concentration or density of suspended solids (often over 5,000 mg/L).
What is a Slurry Tank?
While slurry tanks can be used in several ways, the most common usage is on farms. The holding units are designed to hold the manure and eventually, water that will be used for fertilizer in the spring and summer months.
These holding apparatuses require a structural engineering company to use precast concrete panels for slurry storage or vertical cantilever walls in the design. These panels or walls can be expensive, but slurry tanks are one area no farmer can afford to be cheap.
The Dangers Surrounding Slurry
Farmers cannot afford to cut corners when building and maintaining their slurry tanks for one reason – it’s too dangerous! Each year multiple people die tending to their slurry. The gases created when the mixture decomposes can kill anyone. Just the smell of these gases can lead to unconsciousness.
Around half of slurry-related deaths pertain to dying after inhaling the gases and the other half is related to drowning after falling into the tank unconscious. Working with the mixture is dangerous – no matter how careful you are.
The Importance of Slurry Tank Engineering
One way to mitigate the dangers of slurry is to work with one of the best structural engineering companies you can find. A well-designed slurry tank will ensure all safety precautions are installed and working properly. Precast concrete panels will resist any potential damages from farm waste and slurry mixtures.
If you’re looking into slurry tank design, then it’s imperative to find an excellent structural engineer. Here at B.E. Structural, we specialize in creating the safest facilities. We can work with you to create secure waste storage areas, like slurry tanks.
If slurry tank safety is of utmost importance to you, our services may interest you. Contact us to learn more.