Spray Storage Woodyards

"old" methods for "new" problems


* With the current price of logs can you still afford woodyard degrade due to stains (fungal growth), insects, and checking?

* Can you afford to buy enough fall inventory to carry through the risk of winter log shortages?

* Are you concerned about increasingly stringent water quality related Best Management Practices for logging?


The use of water to preserve logs in storage has been in practice since the late 1800's, and provides a solution to these problems.

By raising the moisture content of the stored logs, insects are drowned or driven out, and the lack of oxygen stops fungal attack and growth. Logs preserved with the proper application of water can be held for as long as five years without measurable degrade!

Spray storage systems include:

storm water and recirculation pond

pump house with pumps and controls

main and lateral water lines, spray stands and sprinklers

log storage bays, woodyard log handling equipment, and inventory system

gravity returns with multiple stage sedimentation traps

One thing that is new is the environmental permitting of these systems. Most of you will be familiar with the required general permit for storm water discharge from manufacturing facilities. Spray storage systems require permitting by each state under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. Each state operates somewhat differently in implementing this federal direction. Site specific detailed plans and engineering calculations must be submitted along with a fee. It is reasonable to expect a six month period to elapse between beginning the permit process and getting an approved permit. The key to the permit is doing it right the first time, and avoiding complications. Environmental permitting will become more of a standard business practice, as more of the regulations are implemented in the Forest Products Industry.

What does a spray storage system cost?

Costs will vary from site to site, however some rough estimates can be made. The minimum project size that should be considered is approximately 1 acre, with hardwood log storage capacity of 7-800 mbf Doyle. The installed cost for this minimum size project should be around $60-70,000, including engineering design, permitting, and construction. Considering operating and maintenance and spreading the capital cost over 5 years with one full yard per year stored, the spray storage costs should be 18-20 $/mbf.

We believe that this level of investment will see quick return for the mill processing 3-5mmbf/year and larger. Ability to buy and store available logs during summer at lower cost, insurance against mill downtime, buffer against "crisis" bidding situations, and reduced degrade due to log storage are benefits of using spray storage woodyards.

If you would like to explore this further, please email. We specialize in professional engineering services for the Forest Products Industry.

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