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U of M to Develop Manure Odour Dispersion Model

10 November 2009
University of Manitoba
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CANADA - The University of Manitoba is preparing to launch a project aimed at establishing guidelines for separation distances from livestock operations and surrounding communities, writes Bruce Cochrane.

In response to a Manitoba Clean Environment Commission recommendation for the establishment of dispersion-based odour guidelines, the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is planning to launch a two-year project in early January aimed at developing a science-based odour dispersion model.

Biosystems engineering professor Dr Qiang Zhang says this project will focus on three major components.

Dr Qiang Zhang-University of Manitoba

The first one is to define a criteria for an acceptable odour level which is not an easy thing to do.

People have been using odour concentration or odour intensity and frequency or other stuff.

We're going to actually take an approach to combine different odour attributes to come up with a criterion for an acceptable odour level.

We're going to be actually working with the communities nearby some large livestock operations then we're going to actually combine the physical measurement with feedback from the communities.

The second component of this project is to try to assess the emission rate from typical livestock operations in Manitoba because in setting up this dispersion-based model we actually need to know how much odour is emitted from certain facilities.

The third part of the model is to select different dispersion models to be used.

The way it's going to work is we're going to work with the community to do a lot of questionnaires, interviews and we're going to go to the field to measure odour emissions and also we're going to go to the field actually to measure the odour dispersion in the field and we're going to combine all of that together to form the model.


Dr Zhang expects the odour dispersion model to be completed in approximately two years at which point discussions will be held to determine how the model can be integrated into current guidelines.

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