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CAFOs Responsible for Flooding and Contamination


Following recent torrential rains, manure storage pits on cattle feedlots flooded and released fecal contamination.  According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 17 facilities were involved in three counties.  Fortunately, the manure released will be diluted given the high volume of floodwater.  Eventually, solids and bacteria contained in the supernatant from the storage lagoons will enter ground water.


The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency highlighted the obvious in a statement, “Historic rainfalls can cause issues for manure management systems that are not designed to handle extreme amounts of rainfall.”


Experience in Eastern North Carolina has demonstrated the need to reduce the level of lagoons holding hog waste before the advent of the hurricane season.  In past years, flooding with release of hog waste impacted large acreages affecting the quality of well water on neighboring farms and residences.  Appropriate preventive action in recent years has avoided major problems arising from flooding following hurricanes.  Minnesota and other states should follow the example of North Carolina.