Aug 6, 2014

Erin Brockovich Hits Dumping Phosphorus, Cow Manure into Water

Unless one believes Wisconsin waters
are sewers with infinite carrying capacities,
our new moto on our car tags
should soon be: America's Pathogens
When one hears the terms: Toxic algae bloom, discharging nutrients into water, Do Not Drink the Water and big agricultural interests okay with this tragedy, Wisconsin—America's Dairyland and the Dairy Business Association come to mind; not just Toledo, Ohio and Lake Erie.

Big Ag in Wisconsin shouldn't be okay with this situation.

No matter where you live, the land and water are not sewers with infinite carrying capacities.

Erin Brockovich comments yesterday on the Toledo, Ohio situation suggestive that Wisconsin's current Do-Not-Swim mandates will soon become Do-Not-Drink-the-Water mandates across the state (especially in areas such as the Central Sands) as one day after lifting the do-not-drink-the-water warning, "Toledo’s mayor on Tuesday urged residents to conserve water for the remainder of the summer as the toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie remains a threat to the city’s drinking-water supply." (Rosenkraus and Harris-Taylor, Toledo Blade)

The toxic algae blooms in lakes are a direct result of an overabundance of Phosphorus from cow manure runoff into the water and as Gordon Stevenson—who served as runoff manager of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for some 10 years (retired in 2011)—points out the "carrying capacity" of Phosphorus in the Golden Sands and Eastern Wisconsin regions are on the verge of being exceeded which will result not just in "dead zones" found now but in dead lakes.

Town of Nekoosa resident, Don Ystad who owns a home on Lake Camelot in the Town of Rome, Wisconsin, said the "tremendously high phosphorous content" already has rendered lakes in northern Adams and Wood County on the DNR's Impaired Water list, which the DNR under Scott Walker designed to be user-unfriendly. [Check the site out, there is no list.]

And when the carrying capacity of the region Ystad (Central Sands) lives is exceeded, the groundwater is next.

Ystad and 1,000s of residents in central Wisconsin in Wood, Portage, Adams and Juneau counties are working to stop the inception of a massive concentrated agricultural feeding operation (CAFO) in central Wisconsin that would dump some 50 million gallons of liquid cow waste per year into the environment, with no wasterwater treatment.

That the equivalent of what a "city with a population of 106,000 people" produces every single day, notes the Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors website, only cities with 106,000 people have wastewater treatment plants.

Writes Erin Brockovich:

"I have received hundreds of questions concerning the water quality issues in Toledo, Ohio over this last weekend. The algae bloom clearly visible from outer space is of complete and utter concern to me as we continue to evaluate the practice of discharging nutrients into our drinking water supplies from a myriad of agricultural interest. Clearly these dangerous practices must stop. The health and safety of the greater Toledo community was and will ever remain in jeopardy if these practices are allowed to continue. This is not the first time this water supply has been put in jeopardy. While the City of Toledo under the leadership of Mayor Collins did an incredible job in dealing with this problem the facts are the city must be better prepared to deal with this problem when it is only certain to return. The City has approved a capital improvement plan to address over $314 million in needed upgrades at the Collins Park Water Treatment plant but has only spent $28 million to protect public health. The treatment plant should have had the granular activated carbon in use at the time of the algae bloom which would have protected the public. Instead the City only deploys granular activated carbon after an emergency. Public Health must and always should be a priority."

Someone should tell this to the Dairy Business Association before we can't drink our own water.

The Dairy Business Association whose members self-consciously dump cow manure into our environment should rightfully change their "feeding the world" PR message to "Poisoning the water."

Enabling politicians in Wisconsin such as State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Wisconsin Rapids and ALEC) Scott Walker [and too many Democrats as well] should take a trip back to Wood County or Adams County or Juneau County, grab a few mason jars and fill them up with liquid manure from existing CAFO manure lagoons, bring the jars back and keep them on their desks, if they have no problem with liquid cow shit.

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