The Importance of Treating Animal Waste
Maintaining a clean environment for livestock is essential for animal health. As more livestock farms have transitioned into large-scale Consolidated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), the increasing volume of animal waste has intensified the need for proper disinfection and waste management.
If improperly managed, animal manure and process wastewater pose significant risks to the health of livestock, the public, and the surrounding environment. Animal waste can cause soil contamination, surface water/groundwater pollution, and give off offensive odors to neighboring communities. There are also a range of pathogens present in animal waste which can spread disease, posing dangers to humans and wildlife alike.
Additionally, waste material has the potential to add environmentally harmful nutrients, such as excess phosphorus, to runoff water which can lead to eutrophication and harmful algal blooms. This not only endangers aquatic ecosystems, but it can also damage waterways and impact our drinking water.
Limestone Use in Cat Litter
When it comes to treating animal waste, the versatility of limestone extends far beyond the farm. Limestone products, which are primarily composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), differ from lime-based products (calcium oxide, or calcium hydroxide) in that they have a lower pH. While this means limestone products are not a viable option for disinfection on their own, the less alkali pH does make them a safer option for odor and moisture control when animals are present. In fact, ground calcium carbonate (GCC) is a core component used in many cat litters, where it aids in counteracting the effects of ammonia build-up, neutralizes odors, and absorbs moisture.