Heavy Use Area (HUA) – Concrete Pads for Poultry and Livestock


The purpose of this practice is to stabilize facility areas on the farm which are disturbed due to frequent and intense livestock or equipment use to prevent or abate water pollution. This practice is only intended to protect areas adjacent to the entrance of a poultry house or poultry waste storage structure.

Initiation protocol:

This practice may be applied only to farms that have been determined to have severe erosion and water quality problems along areas of frequent and intense livestock or equipment use, and where there is a need for properly designed artificial or vegetative cover to prevent the delivery of animal waste, sediment and nutrients to the waters of the state.

Public acceptance:

This practice is currently required for all CAFO livestock operations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Compliance Program to provide protection for manure to come in contact with the ground.

Implementation Factors (level of difficulty):

Moderate. This practice requires appropriate site grading to ensure drainage of the area. Establishment of concrete foundation and drainage are also essential to proper function.

Funding Sources / Options:

Cost-share grants are available through the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program.


State cost-share payments are available, not to exceed $35,000 per project.

Costs estimated as $ per acre of practice installed. 

Cost Estimates EPA MDA Average
Initial $- $3,500 $3,500
Annual $- $- $-
Lifespan (yrs) $- 10 10
Annualized $- $1,500 $1,500

Load Reduction Efficiency:

Average Total Nitrogen removed per acre of practice per year


200.16 lbs.


382.10 lbs.


655.32 lbs.

Cost per pound removed between $1 and $2

Average Total Phosphorous removed per acre of practice per year


28.58 lbs.


54.04 lbs.


92.49 lbs.

Cost per pound removed between $4 and $12

Average Total Suspended Solids removed per acre of practice per year


12 lbs.


22 lbs.


96 lbs.

Cost per pound removed between $3.65 and $29.17

Operation & Maintenance:

An operation and maintenance plan shall be developed in accordance with Natural Resource Conservation Service standards and specifications which require clean-up of manure residues within 24 hours. In addition, residual manure on the HUA should be properly disposed of to prevent leaching or runoff.  At a minimum, the following measures shall be carried out for the life of the practice:  (A) Inspect areas surrounding the Heavy Use Area after each major runoff event, and repair promptly as needed; (B) Maintain grass areas in adequate cover, and reseed and mow as needed, per the operation and maintenance plan; (C) Fill in low areas and regrade, as needed, to maintain area integrity.

Climate Change Considerations:


Planning Questions to Consider:

When installing a HUA, applicants are required to follow Maryland Nutrient Management Program requirements and regulations and stay in compliance throughout the practice maintenance life.


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