NRCS Practice Standard: Wastewater Treatment, Milk House (627)

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NRCS Practice Standard: Wastewater Treatment, Milk House (627)

About the Company:

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s primary private lands conservation agency. The NRCS helps producers protect and conserve natural resources on private lands through voluntary conservation programs. Through Practice Standards and technical guides, the NRCS provides information about the conservation, energy resources, and provides personalized advice to individual producers.

The NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to producers as they implement NRCS Conservation Practice Standards.

Technical guides used in each field office are localized so that they apply specifically to the geographic area for which they are prepared. Thus, while national guidelines have been provided as a framework for each standard, each state has adopted and modified the conservation practice standards to suit their individual landscape.

To find a local NRCS Service center click here.

To find the specific guideline for each state click here.

About the Solution:

Wastewater Treatment, Milk House (627)

The wastewater treatment for milk houses standard is for the physical, mechanical, and biological treatment of dairy milk house wastewater.

Practice Information

This practice is applied to improve water quality by reducing nutrients in surface and groundwater, and/or improve air quality by reducing odors.

This practice applies to all milking operations where milk house wastewater is generated and where soils, geology, and topography are suitable for construction of a milk house wastewater treatment system.

The milk house wastewater treatment system typically consists of five components:

  1. Pretreatment tank for a 3-day hydraulic retention time that is required to reduce solids, detergents, fat, oil, and grease (FOG) content of the wastewater. The pretreatment component reduces the total solids and nutrients content by half in clarifying the wastewater for final treatment.
  2. Storage tank for the clarified wastewater after pretreatment.
  3. Transfer component, typically a pump system to distribute the stored pretreated wastewater.
  4. A distribution system to uniformly apply the wastewater to the final wastewater treatment component.
  5. A final wastewater treatment component that processes the nutrient content and utilizes the wastewater. Based on the site conditions, different strategies can be used for the final wastewater treatment component.

Common Associated Practices NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Wastewater Treatment, Milk House (Code 627) is commonly applied with other conservation practices such as:

Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, DC United States 1-833-ONE-USDA Visit Company Website

Solution Type

  • General Support and Other


  • Others


  • Other


  • GHG
  • Odor
  • Storage

To view additional information about this vendor, click below.

Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators

NOTE: There are multiple technologies that are used as part of integrated manure management systems and yet are not manure management types on their own. The impact of these technologies on their own would be minimal or very difficult to quantify.

General Support & Other:

  • Can be an integral part of many manure management systems
  • Most projects have at least some equipment that supports operations of the main technology
  • This technology is not evaluated on its own, the NEAT Matrix for this technology is neutral unless utilized with other technologies.

Newtrient Comments/Opinions:

Newtrient is using the USDA-NRCS conservation practice standards as tools to assist dairy producers in understanding the standards and how they can be used to address resources concerns.

To establish a Practice Standard a system or practice must be thoroughly vetted, approved, and standardized by the USDA at the federal and state level. These conservation practices have been developed to address various environmental resource concerns. Newtrient has developed a 9-point scoring process for ranking additives, practices, services, and technologies for the dairy industry. Recognizing the rigorous approval procedure used during the development of the NRCS Practice Standards, many of them score very highly and are worthy of consideration on any dairy where they apply.

The information provided here is a summary of the selected conservation practices. For up to date and detailed information related to the full Practice Standards, please see the USDA NRCS website, linked above.

Newtrient 9-Point Scoring Rating

View the Scoring Page

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