The Geo Air-Dome from Summergreen Systems, Ltd., can be installed over existing manure storage tanks without having to empty the tank. The high-density, woven polyethylene dome comes in different sizes.

Daniel Lambert, president of Summergreen Systems, explains the process by which the dome is installed. "A precast concrete column is placed in the center of the tank using a crane," Lambert says. "From this concrete column, straps (5,000-lb. tensile strength) radiate out and are attached to the outside of the tank wall at 12-ft. to 14-ft.-on-center intervals by way of a winch with a brake mechanism." After the center column and straps are adjusted and aligned, the fabric is lifted by crane and is spread out over the support straps. It is secured around the outside tank wall by an aluminum channel and anchor system. Next, an access pump-out door, air-inlet port and manure-inlet port are installed.

The Geo-Air Dome is inflated by a 11/46-hp turbine blower system that generates 1 in. of water column pressure and costs $80 to $90/year to operate.

When a producer gets ready to agitate or pump out the manure tank, the fan is shut off, and the fabric settles down on the support straps. The removable access door allows for agitating and pumping. The 4 ft. x 5 ft. access door and frame weigh about 40 lb. and are constructed of aluminum and PVC. "Once you have completed your pump out, simply reinstall the pump-out door and turn on the fan," Lambert says.

There is a 10-year warranty on the dome system.

Most installations of the Canadian-developed domes have been in Ontario. Lambert says several Geo Air-Domes are being installed in Iowa this summer.

Hoff asked about installation time and costs. Lambert says the dome is priced at $80-$90/diameter foot. Installation costs an additional $7-$8/diameter foot, and includes crane rental.

Craig Christensen was concerned about the ease of patching any rips or tears that might develop in the dome. Lambert said repairs can be made by sewing or welding the tear. He said it is important to keep the dome inflated to help prevent wind damage.

Possible repair difficulty was an area the panel felt producers should consider.

(Circle Reply Card No. 109)