Groundwater Chemistry and Biology below Mortalities Disposal Sites

Project: MLMMI 2009-12


The proposed research objective is to determine the fate and transport potential of contaminants from livestock mortalities burial sites.

To obtain this result, there is much to be learned from the investigation and instrumentation of an existing burial pit. The pit we will be researching for this project was used to bury elk euthanized during a chronic wasting disease control measure. This site will provide a unique opportunity to understand carcass leachate contaminant transport over a decade or more. In conjunction with source leachate characteristics, investigating this site gives us insight into the long-term impact of burial and generates data to help develop and calibrate groundwater models to assist federal and provincial regulators in determining risks associated with potential burial sites and develop appropriate criteria for new burial sites.

Keywords: Livestock burial, burial leachate, burial leachate transport, burial contamination


Dr. Terry Fonstad
University of Saskatchewan


Status: Completed
Started: 2010-05-01
Completed: 2012-05-01

Funding Partners: who have contributed to MLMMI in support of this project:
This project is funded by the Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI) under the Canada-Manitoba Growing Forward Initiative - $66,000

Amount Funded: $66,000.00
Performer Funded: $365,500.00
Total Cost: $431,500.00


Progress Report #1 due November 1, 2010.
Received November 2, 2010.
Progress Report #2 due May 1, 2011.
Progress Report #3 due November 1, 2011.
Final Report due May 1, 2012.


This project analyzed a livestock burial site for contaminant transport. The site located near Pierceland SK, was used in 2001 to bury euthanized elk. Soil cores were taken from this site in 2008 and the extent of leachate transport, upon analysis of the soil cores, was 1-1.5 meters of vertical transport of anions (Cl,alkalinity) as well as some cations arising from ion exchange reactions (Ca and Mg). Ammonium ions were attenuated within the bottom of the trench. There was no lateral movement of ions at this site.


Progress Report #1
Final Report

Manitoba Pork represents 614 Manitoba hog farms