You’ve probably done many of those connect-the-dot puzzles. By drawing a line from one numbered dot to the next, you reveal a picture you couldn’t see just by looking at a page of dots. Let’s try one here.
• 1) Well testing results from 100 wells in Kewaunee County in May 2012 revealed a 30% contamination rate from either excess nitrate or e-coli bacteria levels. The percentage was even higher (50%) where karst geology dominates the landscape in the Lincoln township area.
• 2) Large confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are getting even larger. This is happening with only outdated and often unenforced laws and self-regulation standing between the factory farm phenomena and a major environmental calamity.
• 3) A combination of less land application of manure and unusually dry weather this Spring has limited the flow of excess nutrients from runoff or soil infiltration into streams, rivers and lakes and the groundwater. Consequently, until just last week before the recent rainfall, beaches and the lakeshore appeared fairly free of Cladophora algae. However, looking at it now shows the characteristic green waves and accumulating algae.
• 4) More extensive tiling is being done throughout the county. Many of these fields will receive manure applications and any excess drainage will end up in ditches and streams.
• 5) Proposed 2009-10 Senate Bill 632 which aimed to limit nonpoint source water pollution failed to come to the legislature for a vote.
• 6) High-capacity wells pump millions of gallons of groundwater each year further stressing the county’s available water supply.
• 7) Global warming (climate change) is altering the patterns of temperature and rainfall in Northeast Wisconsin affecting crop production, bird and fish migration and groundwater recharge.
• 8) New research shows that wastewater from CAFOs, frequently contains high concentrations of steroid estrogenic hormones. Furthermore, low concentrations of steroid estrogenic hormones, even at levels as low as ng L−1, can adversely affect the reproductive biology of aquatic wildlife.
View the abstract of this study by searching the title below at http://pubs.acs.org.
Source: Anaerobic Transformation Kinetics and Mechanism of Steroid Estrogenic Hormones in Dairy Lagoon Water dx.doi.org/10.1021/es301551h | Environ. Sci. Technol. 2012, 46, 5471−5478
Now, what picture is forming in your mind after connecting these dots. Unfortunately, some of the dots aren’t available to put into place so the final image won’t be complete. The nice thing about this puzzle, however, is that we can rearrange or even remove some of the dots to improve the image.