September 19, 2009
NYT: Agricultural Runoff and Drinking Water
From the New York Times online, Sept. 18, 2009:
Health Ills Abound as Farm Runoff Fouls Wells
By CHARLES DUHIGG
. . .There are 41,000 dairy cows in Brown County [WI], which includes Morrison, and they produce more than 260 million gallons of manure each year, much of which is spread on nearby grain fields. Other farmers receive fees to cover their land with slaughterhouse waste and treated sewage.
In measured amounts, that waste acts as fertilizer. But if the amounts are excessive, bacteria and chemicals can flow into the ground and contaminate residents’ tap water.
. . .Yet runoff from all but the largest farms is essentially unregulated . . .
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