Earthen basin leakage testing

Last updated on January 14, 2021

Under the Code of Practice for Agricultural Environmental Management, all producers who use earthen basins/lagoons for manure storage in vulnerable aquifer recharge areas must have each basin assessed by a Qualified Professional (QP) for leaking by February 28, 2021.

  • For regulatory information regarding earthen basin storage over vulnerable aquifers, click here.
  • Click here to determine if you are in a vulnerable aquifer recharge area.

There are various methods that a QP may use to assess for leakage which may or may not be applicable to every situation. Examples of potential approaches may include: Electromagentic (EM) Surveys, Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR), and monitoring wells in conjunction with analytical chemistry.

EM Surveys: This method measures the electrical conductivity of materials underground and can delineate manure plumes and changes in soil characteristics. Depending on the site-specific requirements, the operator may use instrumentation that is mounted to a push cart or ATV, or they may carry it themselves. It is expected that multiple lagoons could be assessed with this method per day. Source:

GPR: This method uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. In the right conditions and can be used to detect changes in material properties, voids, and cracks.  GPR systems are typically mounted on push carts. It is expected that multiple lagoons could be assessed with this method per day. Source:

Monitoring Wells: This method uses monitoring wells in hydraulically significant areas around the earthen basin in conjunction with chemical analysis to determine if contamination is present.

Below is a preliminary list of consultants that have identified their firm’s capability in administering leakage testing.

Fraser Valley Engineering Ltd.
Phone: 604-850-0364

GeoWest Engineering Ltd.
Phone: 604-852-9088

ProFessional Resource Assessment (PFRA)
Phone: 250-920-5146

This is not a comprehensive list or an endorsement of consultants capable of carrying out leak assessments. If you would like to be added to the list above, please contact AgriService BC.

Contact information

AgriService BC

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Telephone: 1-888-221-7141