Handling Rain And Leachate In Your Commercial Compost Piles

Monday, April 27th, 2020
composting and compost turner tips

No matter where your operation is located, you must be prepared to manage the moisture levels in your compost. This includes taking care of rain and leachate. Here are some tips that you can use to make sure your compost piles stay in good shape.

Keeping rainfall out

There are many options for keeping rain out of your compost piles. No matter which option you choose, it is important to do this to prevent too much moisture from affecting your product.


  1. If you prefer to keep your piles uncovered, be sure that they are short and wide. After it rains, turn the piles to ensure that the water does not sit stagnant in the compost.
  2. To prevent most rain from getting into your compost, keep it covered with a roof. This is an easy way to maintain the temperature and moisture levels in your piles, but you will still need to watch out for horizontal rain.
  3. If you keep your operation site extremely clean, rain may be able to flow away from the compost piles.
  4. For long windrows, you should use tarps to keep the rain out. You can choose from reinforced landfill covers that have UV protection, non-woven geotextiles, billboard vinyl that has been recycled, and silage bag systems. Other materials will keep rain out and release gases.

Keep in mind that the benefits and drawbacks will vary depending on your choice. Pay attention to the costs and abilities of each cover or system you are considering.

Handling leachate in your compost piles

Leachate is nutrient rich water that has run throughout a solid. Microbes love leachate as it provides them with food, but it can cause your compost piles to become anaerobic. Besides preventing too much moisture from entering your piles, there are some other steps you can take.

First, you can slope your piles and paved surfaces. This should help to create better runoff. You can also use systems that introduce air into the compost at different stages of the composting process. If you have leachate, you can store it in a pound and reuse it for your composting or treat it per local regulations. Finally, you can turn your windrows with a compost turner to make sure it has the right balance of air and moisture.

Do you need a compost turner machine?

Every composting operation is unique, which means management systems must be unique as well. At SCARAB International, we understand that your compost turner needs may vary. We offer customizable Products to help make your operations a success. We provide New, Used, and Refurbished compost turners, as well as Leasing options. You can reach us at (806) 883-7621 or Contact Us by email for more information.