In 1997, Firestone Specialty Products, United States Dairy Association, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Indiana Department of Natural Resources collaborated to develop an animal waste management solution for the Warkentine Dairy Farm in Angola, IN. The system collects and stores solid waste in a concrete stacking area, while liquid waste is stored in a Firestone EPDM Geomembrane lined retention pond. The pond, with a 1,52,000 ft3 capacity, houses the cattle manure for six months, after which the effluent is removed through an agitation process and used as crop fertilizer.
The proven durability of Firestone EPDM, including resistance to UV, high nutrient concentrations, chemicals and microbial attack, was an important consideration given the exposed nature of the application. Design specifications required a durable liner with high puncture resistance due to the sandy, rocky soil conditions and the potential for sloughing on the slopes, both of which can cause stress on a liner. Firestone EPDMs ability to elongate in excess of 300 percent, as well as its high tensile strength made it the ideal solution.
10 years after installation, samples of the geomembrane were analyzed to determine if there was any loss of physical properties. The true quality of Firestone EPDM geomembrane was confirmed when laboratory test results showed no significant change in the samples collected when compared with a new geomembrane.