Roof Runoff Systems

Whether you have a large or small farm one of the most important ways you can prevent erosion and polluted runoff on your property is by installing a Roof Runoff System.

Roof runoff management involves the installation of high-capacity gutters, downspouts and outlets to collect rain and snowmelt from roofs and direct it away from  barn areas.   Roof areas can be quite large when you start considering the size of many indoor arenas today.  The amount of water generated can not only cause erosion but take pollutants in the form of high concentrations of manure, feed or other nutrient-rich agricultural waste.

Well-designed outlet systems that correctly discharge the clean-water runoff are essential. Gutters and downspouts are relatively low-cost roof runoff controls, whereas roof extensions (another option) are generally more expensive. Splash pans at the bottom of downspouts are appropriate for smaller barn with fewer downspouts but large barns or structures with a lot of roof area may need the discharge routed into an pipe to a stable channel, or across a surface channel to a grass waterway or a rock-lined channel.

Why manage roof runoff?

Environmental benefits

Keeps roof runoff water from flowing across barnyards and other areas with concentrations of manure, feed and nutrient-rich wastes.

Reduces soil erosion from runoff

Practical benefits

Less wastewater may mean reduced size requirements for manure storage facilities or settling basins and less money spent treating polluted runoff

Contributes to an efficient, overall system resulting in clean, dry lots that are healthier for livestock and easier to manage

Protects buildings (including animal shelters) from water-related damage such as excess moisture, undercutting of foundations, ponding and flooding

Provides a source of clean water (from rain and snowmelt) that can be stored and used for livestock watering, flushing, cleaning or irrigation

This fact sheet has more information about water harvesting for horse owners

Here is a good summary of environmental concerns that can impact horse farms

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Shelly Ingram

I am a third generation horsewoman; My father operated a 50 horse boarding and training facility in northern California, where he specialized in re-training spoiled horses. I was his demonstration rider and general assistant in all aspects of running the ranch. I went on to work for several major show and race horse trainers, eventually opening my own barn where I focused on Junior and Amateur riders. I have trained numerous champion horses and riders on all levels and in variety of disciplines. I have also worked as a journalist and have more than a decade of experience in land use planning.

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