PondLift is a manufacturer. We build devices to install on open ponds and in underbarn storage pits to make them be aerobic treatment sites, decomposing wastes, and eliminating odor within them. We manufacture, market, and sell StinkSTOPpers and Smlifts (what we call our devices) through a Licensing process. Equipment is patent pending, has high performance, and will positively change our whole world.
PondLift started doing its preliminary work in November 2013. It’s initial prototype was tested in January 2014, and the prototype was installed in March 2014. Due to design efforts similar to aircraft design goals (to make it structurally strong, but extremely lightweight), several reiterations have occurred going into production. Finding production methods which can manufacture each part, with changes to one part requiring changes to adjoining part, has taken some time. We now have equipment manufacture process that functions well for the current design.
The design is functional, since we have sites that are “proving” it. Three different sites have been willing to “try” the equipment and have served as proving ground for the equipment. Significant time has been spent to identify failure modes, and potential problems, both in manufacture and in operation. We now have successful performance of the equipment and in manufacturing processes. (Two of the 3 sites have purchased it! The other site is watching the transformation from a manure pond to a water-like nutrient pond. We anticipate he will NOT want to go back to what he had before!)
A significant “delay” is inherent with the equipment when first installed: No one can expect the equipment to be placed on a pond and have immediate results! It often requires 2 to 3 months for the pond to be converted from a storage pond to a treatment pond, especially if the equipment is placed on the pond when it is almost full! In a more perfect world, equipment would always be installed when the pond is mostly empty and starting to fill with manure. Yet, they are installed at any time, and simply start the conversion process within the pond, and do it according to “nature”. StinkSTOPpers and Smlifts only “encourage” and “enhance” bacterial growth and activity… and the pond is already with these bacteria, but time is needed for them to grow their populations. “Proof” that things are working become visually obvious with changes in the fluid dynamics, surface activities, and the most revealing: Reduction and Elimination of odors. For those who dare put their hand in the pond effluent, it becomes very obvious to them that “it is working” when the pond effluent becomes water: It feels like water, and not slippery manure. And your hand has no odor after you reach in the pond. (Really.)
Of course, sampling/testing can also prove results, with Nitrogen content changing to almost 100% Ammonium form, electrical conductivity being lowered significantly, BOD levels reduced significantly, VOC’s being minimal, and other relevant tests.
This is a good question, and gets to the heart of the sales process! We will establish a path that lets quick service be provided, and assures StinkSTOPpers and Smlifts are installed to PondLift standards (with no installations where they obviously would not work, which would give PondLift a bad reputation) and other criteria. PondLift will invite existing businesses, with existing, proven salesforce, who have existing relationships with farmers (through their existing business) to add PondLift products to their sales and service line. They can participate at very little cost to themselves. They expand their services, make more money, and have happier clients.
By using the Licensee process, PondLift doesn’t have to identify any sales leads. PondLift relies on Dealers to identify the potential installations, in the order they prefer, the way they see best. They know which farmers to approach first, needing no local sites to see operating first… and they know which ones to approach later (or not at all), after the first equipment is installed and working well in their service area.
Local Dealership Licensing allows PondLift to reach into many different geographic areas very quickly, with a well-established extremely dedicated sales force for their area, which these sales people intensely know and understand.
We know that a compost pile works well by stirring it and mixing it up so air gets to it. Our equipment mixes it up in the pond. The oxygen gets to it at the ever-changing surface. Also, we know that the beginning of a compost pile takes lots of room, but days later it is much smaller. When it gets mixed daily, after 45 days, it is completely decomposed, and is a tiny remnant of its beginning size. If you were to throw the composted material in a pond, it would “disappear” much like teaspoons of “fiber” disappear into water on TV ads.
The quick answer: Although it worked for the most part, previous equipment had problems… enough problems that people stopped using it after they bought it. The bad performance gave the whole Industry of “floating aerators” a bad name. Yes, PondLift works awesomely, and does amazing things… but: We understand PondLift has an uphill battle!
Animal Waste “treatment” is not and has never been a priority, since historically, animal populations were not really concentrated as they are now, until the past 60 years. Waste Treatment HAS been done for HUMAN wastes for over a century, and the technology used for human waste treatment has been successful in treating it. Even though it is expensive to do, Human Waste treatment is done because it is mandated to be done, and cost is not a concern for the most part (it is paid for by our taxes).
Animal Wastes are more intense than Human Wastes, and the world has LOTS MORE animal wastes than human wastes… Currently almost all animal wastes are simply sent to farmland without being treated beforehand, with the hope that it will decompose in by nature, in the field, taking over 3 years to do that! Decomposition is “free” by nature, for the farmer.
By controlling and enhancing the decomposition process within a pond/pit, it can occur quickly and allow the manure nutrients to be fully available to the field immediately, with application to the field done in a more controlled manner so as to eliminate potential runoff problems and be done without any odor problems. Performing “treatment” with StinkSTOPpers and Smlifts is economical for the farmer since it allows better methods of nutrient distribution, saves nutrients, and allows his whole manure management system to be operated more efficiently. Environmental benefits abound, since greenhouse gas production is reduced, odors are controlled, and runoff concerns are alleviated.
8. Isn’t manure able to be “treated” like human wastes?
Human waste treatment (domestic wastewater treatment) systems often use “blower horsepower” for their treatment process. Their aeration systems blow bubbles into the water, which is an expensive process. It is simply too expensive to use blower-horsepower to decompose manure, when no taxpayer dollars help pay the bill. No attempts have been made by domestic wastewater equipment manufacturers or designers to develop or understand the WISE technology, but instead those who studied the ability for manure to be treated stuck with what they knew and understood. Blower-horsepower. They don’t know WISE stuff, so they think treatment is too expensive. Thus… the obvious conclusion was that nothing can work.
Our Equipment uses WISE technology, explained in a different section of this site. We acknowledge there has been significant delay in WISE Technology study, but we have little control over what Academia looks at. We acknowledge that WISE Technology appears to simply be “too good to be true”, since it appears to be 7 or 8 times more efficient than “blower-horsepower” per watt of energy used, and acknowledge this “wild claim” delays study of WISE Technology. Further, the past 3 generations of Engineers have known only “blower-horsepower” and that “nothing works better than that”. Because our StinkSTOPpers have now proven themselves, we are now able to proceed with production and sales.
Our claims are not alone: Claims of equipment success were offered by previous manufacturers from decades ago, and as recent as 2013, through a NRCS funded study. The WISE Process works. Our Equipment works.
The report is included with PondLift information simply because it was developed through a research project to report “the good, bad, and ugly” about this type of equipment. The report helps interested parties understand the potential problems of this type equipment, the potential benefits provided, the potential marketplace and a wealth of other information. The document is included as a source of due diligence investigation. For those who need a more brief and “to the point” process, they should create a list of questions and call the NRCS contact person who will do his best on answering any questions related to the study and the equipment used in the study. He will be honest with what he was able to see and smelled when he visited study sites.
He is not familiar with PondLift equipment, other than knowing it is less bulky, has a significantly different design, and that it appears to be able to move much more water and do things that the study equipment could never do.
Several Professors around the world have spent their entire careers studying farm odor. Of late, they have created computer programs which show what distance and shape the odor “plume” will reach away from the farm/barn/pond. Others have devised devices that direct the vented air and odor pass through a biofilter which lets the odor causing molecules touch and react/decompose on the biofilter, reducing the odor. In regard to actual “odor measurements”, there are several methods, ranging from very complex and expensive, to basic sampling sent for measurable lab indicators, to specially trained people using a calibrate-able sniffing tool. The NRCS report used a process which sent “pond effluent” to a Lab where they measured Volatile Fatty Acids (VFA’s) The theory is: If VFA’s are less than 250 units per measurement, it has no discernible odor.
Yet, Neighbors and Farmers will NOT care about “numbers”. Most are concerned only about the really offensive levels of odor. (they know they live in a rural area, and that animals are likely going to be nearby) Most will be very happy to be able to live without having offensive odor ruin their lives.
Farms have many places where “odor” can come from: We can certainly rid the odor coming from the pond, but the confinement area may still have an odor. The NRCS Report addresses some of the complex issues regarding other animal related odors, and how an aerobic treatment pond can help eliminate those odors as well.
Due to limited financing, and the costs of development, we have only 3 sites in operation. These sites are available for experiencing what odors come from their ponds and other farm areas. The differences/improvements provided by our StinkSTOPpers can easily be seen. We can take people to other sites having similar equipment as well. We are happy to point out the differences between their equipment and PondLift equipment, yet it is pretty darned easy to see by yourself!
12. You say the farmer will be happy getting certain things from the equipment, What specifically are some of the things Farmers would be happy with?
a. The pond is agitated and can be pumped without paying for special equipment to agitate it before sending to field.
b. The pond solids are reduced/eliminated, and more volume is gained back.
c. The pond solids are decomposed and eliminated so it doesn’t plug up the irrigation system’s nozzles.
d. The pond is aerated, and I can use the pond water for recirculating through my barn to make my barn cleaner, without pond odor coming into my barn.
e. My pond water is recycled for cleaning the gutters but smells, and makes the gutter slippery. Make it so it doesn’t smell and my gutters aren’t slippery.
f. I don’t have to hire a dragline to get solids out ever again.
g. Make the pond odor disappear so the local regulators will allow my expansion, even though I am really close to town/neighbors.
h. The electrical conductivity of the pond water is reduced so my irrigation system can be used for tender crops.
i. I irrigate manure right now. It is hard on my pivot. Make it so it is not destroying my pivots.
j. I WANT to irrigate my stuff, and can’t right now. Clean up my pond, so I can irrigate it away.
WISE is an acronym which stands for Widespreading Induced Surface Exchange . It refers to equipment that pulls oxygen-depleted water from the pond bottom, spreading it across the pond surface. This allows oxygen from the atmosphere to infuse into the water. It encourages aerobic bacterial growth, which decomposes things quickly and fully. It makes a hostile environment for anaerobic bacteria, so very few odors and greenhouse gasses are released. Anaerobic decomposition is avoided, thus Nitrogen retention is increased. More Nitrogen being retained is good for the farmer. For more information on the science behind WISE technology and an exciting weekend of reading, visit our More Information page to download an NRCS study report.
– I have more questions that aren’t described here.
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