A. Introduction During the last twenty years, industrial livestock farms have been replacing the traditional family size farms that once raised most of the nations swine. The number of livestock animals produced in the United States has grown modestly in the past two decades, but the number of farms raising them has slunk dramatically because large producer now dominate the market. The large increase in industry farming has led to large quantities of manure. B. Problem Definition The over abundance of manure has become a problem that leads to problem with Pollution, heated debates between the industries and societies (people of the community), ways to try and find solutions for the pollution.
Today, large live stock operations look more like animal factories than animal Farms. The farms usually consist of several metal barns, each containing several hundred to several thousand animals tightly confined. The floors in the barns are slatted so manure can be flushed away. The manure is pumped into open-air lagoons, which are large, shallow pits dug into the ground, where it is stored until it can be pumped out irrigate fields. The solid manure sinks to the bottom of the lagoons and is broken down by anaerobic bacteria over several months.
The liquid rises to the top and is collected and sprayed over nearby fields. Many problems come with lagoons North Carolina is one of the top hog producing states in the country. On June 21, 1995, North Carolina suffered the largest agricultural waste spill in its history: a 7.5-acre, 12-foot-deep lagoon leaked 25 million gallons of hog waste into the headwaters of the New river near Richmonds. The waste from the 10,000-head operation, owned by Ocean view Farms, contaminated the water for several miles downstream, increasing the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients. When nutrient levels increase dramatically in rivers and other bodies of water, algae grow furiously, consuming most of he dissolved oxygen and asphyxiating the other acquantic organisms living there.
An estimated 5,000 fish died as a result of the Ocean View Farms spill. There have been six other waste lagoon spills in North Carolina and three in Iowa, which shows that this was not an isolated occurrence. Downstream of the spill, the New River also high focal coliform bacteria counts. Fecal pathogens that can be transmitted from livestock to people include enteric bacteria such as salmonella and ahigella, and protozoa such as cryptosporidium and giardia. People could be exposed to these pathogens by fishing or swimming in contaminated waters or by eating shellfish, which are filter feeders and can concentrate pathogens.
When investigating the Ocean View Farms hog waste spill into the New River, North Carolina, DEM (Department of Environment Management) official found that the lagoon had not been operated properly. AN irrigation pipe had been bored through the lagoons earthen wall, which weakened it. The truck-sized hole through which the waste spilled was near the pipe. Also, the lagoon had been overfilled. In response to the series of livestock waste spills, North Carolina Governor James Hunt ordered the DEM to investigate the lagoons on the state’s largest hog operations. The investigators found 109 operations that were discharging hog waste directly into streams and rivers, 124 lagoons that were so full that they were likely to overflow or burst, and 526 that were nearing the critical point of fullness. Although spills focus attention on the hazards of livestock waste, the greatest threats are chronic seepage from lagoons and runoff from the fields where the lagoon liquids are sprayed.
Some waste lagoons are lined with compacted clay or plastic, but most are not. The main route of contamination is through the soil. It migrates into nearby streams and aquifers. The contamination can increase the level of nitrates in groundwater and can cause methemoglobinemia or “blue baby syndrome.” This rare but potentially fatal disease causes intestinal bacteria to metabolize the nitrates to nitrites, which oxidize the iron in hemoglobin, making it incapable of binding oxygen. Babies that are less than six months old are particularly susceptible to this syndrome because their digestive tracts are less acidic than those of adults. In North Carolina, the water table is only 15-20 feet below the surface of the soil and 25 percent of the lagoons dip below the water table, so groundwater contamination is one of the greatest concerns.
In 1994, Doctor Maolin Zheng of Clemson Universitys Department of Agricultural Engineering studied 36 hog waste lagoons and found that 65 percent of them leaked into the groundwater. Another source of water contamination is runoff from the fields where livestock waste is applied. Over spraying fields with liquid animal waste can lead to excessive odor and to runoff in nearby streams. Too much spray also leads to drift through the air, which carries odor. C.
Relations with BGS As is the case with almost any public issue, the economics contributions and burdens of concerned industries must be considered. The problem here is a complicated one. The swine, dairy and poultry industries contribute much to North Carolina and its citizens in the way of employment, tax revenue and subsidiary industries. On the other hand, these industries can have negative economic impacts on the state by decreasing revenue from other sources, such as real estate sales, commercial and sport fishing, and tourism. Agriculture is the largest industry in North Carolina, and swine, poultry and dairy farming make up about 50 percent of total farming receipts. Poultry and eggs comprise 30 percent; swine makes up 15 percent, and dairy farming 3 percent.
This adds significant amounts to the tax base in many otherwise impoverished counties. These industries also contribute employment to the people in these counties. It is estimated that the hog industry directly and indirectly contributed 32,500 jobs in 1994. Much of this employment comes in industry indirectly related to farming. These businesses include food processing, containment house manufacture and construction, equipment manufacture and maintenance, and feed milling, among others. In eastern North Carolina, tourism is the largest economic sector, generating $387 million tax revenue in 1994.
Recently, this industry has had to increase advertising to counteract the decrease in tourism in response to last summers lagoon spills. It is estimated that these spill created a loss of recreation benefits. Several of the coastal fi …