Traveling south of Algoma a few miles on Route 42, you’ll see the latest billboard installation aimed to draw attention to the health hazards of manure application through spray irrigation systems. The practice is relatively new to this area. Liquid manure can contain any of 150 known pathogens*, including anthrax, E.Coli bacteria and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), that can impact human health.
Application of liquid manure from animal factories already poses a substantial health risk to the water supply — 30.1 % of wells tested in Kewaunee County are contaminated with nitrates and E. Coli bacteria. If allowed, spraying of liquid manure will also threaten the air we all breathe.
Sources of infection from pathogens include fecal-oral transmission, inhalation, drinking water, or incidental water consumption during recreational water activities. The potential for transfer of pathogens among animals is higher in confinement, as there are more animals in a smaller amount of space. Healthy or asymptomatic animals may carry microbial agents that can infect humans, who can then spread that infection throughout a community, before the infection is discovered among animals.*
It’s not too late to voice your opposition to this dangerous practice by some area animal factories. According to the minutes of the February meeting of the Town of Pierce, discussion of a potential ordinance, by the Town of Pierce, banning the use of spray irrigation for manure application will probably be addressed at their April meeting. Watch for notice of this meeting and please attend to show your support of such an ordinance.
If you are unable to attend, please contact any of the Town of Pierce supervisors below:
E5304 First Road., Kewaunee, WI 54216
N5226 State Road 42, Kewaunee, WI 54216
N4540 Hwy. 42, Kewaunee, WI 54216
*Source: Understanding Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Their Impact on Communities, 2010, National Association of Local Boards of Health
Note: If interested, here is a link to the complete publication sourced above. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/docs/understanding_cafos_nalboh.pdf