Livestock Waste in Our Water Supplies

This may be a disturbing topic to cover for many people interested in the quality of their domestic water supplies. It’s important to understand that our water quality is being compromised by contaminants from modern farming activities. Although pesticides are also a problem, this is not the focus of this particular article. Here we will focus on waste from livestock, how it gets into our water, the danger it represents to our health and how we can deal with the problem.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Importance of Clean Drinking Water

We all need to drink clean water every day to stay hydrated and healthy. We also need clean water for cooking, showering and bathing purposes. Water laden with contaminants can lead to illness, unpleasant tastes and strange odors. For these reasons, many people have decided to invest in their own water treatment systems.

Why Animal Waste Should Concern You

Modern livestock production is centered around factory farming to produce our meat and dairy products. This business model requires that animals are raised in the smallest spaces possible over the shortest time span. This is known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), and it generates a lot of animal waste. These farming operations are efficient, but a large CAFO can produce more sanitary waste than a large city. A livestock animal can create 13 to 25 times more waste compared to a human. Unlike human waste, this animal waste doesn’t need to be treated, and it may eventually contaminate your drinking water.

How Does This Animal Waste Get Into Our Drinking Water?

There is significant evidence to suggest that CAFO related contaminants are entering the water supplies used for a number of activities, such as recreation, commerce, and even drinking water. A spill can easily occur, and treatment facilities can even fail, but there are other even more disturbing issues to consider.

Much of this generated solid animal waste is used as manure in ever increasing quantities. This can help to grow our crops quickly, but this may not even be necessary. The amounts of manure being used are often far in excess of what the soil or crops can even absorb. In fact, many crops are now overfertilized in an effort to use up all of the animal waste generated by CAFO farms.

This can cause a significant threat to water safety due to water runoff during rainfall. The rainwater gathers up the animal waste and carries it away into our waterways. These streams, rivers, and lakes provide a great deal of our drinking water, and over time they are being degraded with contaminants.

Animal waste contaminants can contain a variety of bacteria and viruses that are harmful to human health. For these reasons, many people have decided to invest in water treatment systems to improve the quality of their drinking water supplies. There are affordable water treatment systems available to treat a wide variety of water quality issues. A local water treatment professional will be able to offer expert advice on how to treat the water in your local area.

By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University.  He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)

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Nicmar Water
999 Baltimore Road York SpringsPA17372 USA 
 • 800-542-8649

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