Sand-Manure Separators

Sand-Manure Separators are the heart of the McLanahan Sand–Manure separation systems. They are used to settle out and wash bedding sand, and can be set up in multiple ways depending on the type of manure conveyance system on the dairy. In some cases, the sand-laden manure from the alleys is loaded directly into the Sand-Manure Separators, where bedding sand is settled out and washed. On a dairy where flush water is used to move the manure and sand bedding, the Sand-Manure Separator is used to wash the sand after it has been settled out either in a McLanahan Channel System or scooped from a sand lane. In all cases, the Sand-Manure Separator produces a clean, reusable sand bedding product with minimal organic content, suitable for reuse as recycled sand bedding.

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Why McLanahan Sand-Manure Separators

McLanahan offers the most complete line of sand and manure processing equipment designed specifically to meet the needs of sand bedded dairies. We were the ones to pioneer mechanical sand separation and make it economical for dairy farmers, and we still lead the way with multiple different sand separation solutions for dairies.

The patented Sand-Manure Separator is the workhorse within the sand separation system. The design of this machine began with McLanahan's extensive knowledge and experience working in the aggregate and mining industries. This knowledge was used to develop a Sand-Manure Separator that will last a long time under harsh, abrasive working environments and can be easily serviced with minimal downtime. It uses the same double-sealed lower bearing assembly as used in the aggregate industry to support the screw shaft. Urethane flighting offers the highest level of abrasion protection available and can be replaced when necessary. A unique overflow weir system retains the highest level of sand in the machine while removing fibers, manure and water to create a high-quality sand product.

Sand-Manure Separators are available in several different sizes, depending on the herd size, required hours of operation and system type. McLanahan employs a technical team of experts who specialize in working with dairies and helping them come up with the most efficient and economical sand separation system for their dairy.

How Sand-Manure Separators Work

The McLanahan Sand-Manure Separator is provided as part of a larger sand separation and washing system. The operation of the Sand-Manure Separator depends on the type of system into which it has been installed.

  1. Scrape or Vacuum Tank System — As the name implies, manure is brought into this system either scraped directly from the alleys or vacuumed. The manure has minimal additional water added and is usually pretty thick. The manure is first delivered to a reception pit, where an auger or pump delivers a consistent flow of manure into the washer box of the SMS. In addition to this manure, recycled water is added, which dilutes the manure and allows the sand to settle out. As the sand settles, it is gently pulled out of the manure and water mixture by a rotating screw shaft. As the sand is carried up the screw shaft, a spray bar sprays a small amount of freshwater on the sand to help rinse out organics. Rear and side weirs allow the water and manure to overflow while retaining a high percentage of sand.
  2. Flush or Flush-Flume System — Manure and sand are carried to a processing facility using high volumes of flush water. Once in the processing facility, the manure is directed through a channel that reduces the flow velocity and allows the sand to settle. An auger system pulls the settled sand out into an SMS. Once in the SMS, recycled water is added to help wash the sand. A rotating screw shaft pulls the sand out and a spray bar rinses out organics. Water and manure overflow the rear and side weirs and a high percentage of sand is retained.
  3. Sand Lane System — An SMS can be used in conjunction with a sand lane to clean the sand and allow it to be reused much faster. With a sand lane, the recovered sand must often sit and dewater for months before reusing. An SMS can reduce that dewatering time by cleaning the sand and removing the dirty water and organics. In this system, sand is scooped from the sand lane and dumped directly into a hopper, which meters it into the SMS. Water is added to the washer box to clean the sand. As the screw shaft carries the sand up the machine, the spray bar rinses the sand further. 

Sand from each of these systems is clean and reusable. It contains minimal organics and only about 20% moisture. 

Popular Applications for Sand-Manure Separators

A McLanahan Sand-Manure Separator is used primarily to separate and wash bedding sand. It can be used with nearly any type of manure conveyance system.

Benefits of Sand-Manure Separators

  • Reduce sand bedding costs
  • Produce a virtually endless supply of clean, dewatered sand bedding
  • Reduce environmental footprint of the dairy
  • Reduce the amount of trucks and tankers on the roads and fields
  • Reduce soil compaction by not hauling and spreading sand
  • Equipment is designed and built for sand and manure processing
  • Replaceable, wear-resistant urethane flighting
  • Double-sealed lower bearing with autolube system
  • Stocked parts and equipment

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to use a special kind of sand?

Yes, you should use a readily available, washed concrete sand because it meets particle size requirements. Consult this chart to determine if your sand falls within this particle range. If you need additional guidance, call your supplier or contact us to analyze your sand in our lab.

How much sand can I expect to recover and reuse with a Sand-Manure Separator?

This depends on several different factors. One of the most important factors is the sand type. Using a washed concrete sand is the most important step in achieving high recovery. Other factors include proper system management and the quality of your recycled (dilution) water. It’s common to achieve more than 90% sand recovery with the properly designed and managed sand separation system.

How much fresh water is used with a Sand-Manure Separator during the sand settling and washing?

Generally speaking, fresh water is only added into the separation process at the spray bar for rinsing the sand. These amounts vary, but the average usage per machine can be found in this chart. In some Sand Lane Systems, fresh water is added to the washerbox for cleaning the sand. In these cases, the fresh water usage can be as high as 200 gpm but is used only for short periods of time.

What sizes are available?

Four different sizes are currently available, depending on the system type and herd size. Here are several charts showing sizes and approximate capacities.

How much horsepower is needed?

A Sand-Manure Separator requires a relatively small amount of power compared to the other parts of a manure management system. To see how much horsepower it requires and how it compares to other equipment in a manure system, click here.