Sludge boat surfs manure lagoons

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Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new remote-controlled tool to help take the danger and dirt out of lagoon sludge detection.

The old “poke-with-a-stick” method of determining sludge levels in your lagoon may be over. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a “sludge boat” that takes the dirty work out of this dangerous chore.

The 1-foot by 2-foot remote-controlled fiberglass boat uses a fish finder, combined with a global positioning system, to determine sludge depth and its location within the lagoon. The boat is propelled by air with two battery-powered electric motors, and components are sealed from the environment to protect the unit from the lagoon water. The boat also features a sturdy handle for easy loading and unloading. The technology will allow producers to be more environmentally friendly by practicing better lagoon management, notes Matt Robert, visiting research engineer with the University of Illinois department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

For more information: e-mail: mrobert@uiuc.edu

 



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