Your Views: Factory farms threaten state's drinking water

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letter to the editor
Monday, September 4, 2017

Factory farms have turned dairy cows into machines and are producing more excrement than Wisconsin's landscape can handle. In Kewaunee County, up to 60 percent of the drinking water wells are contaminated. Many of these concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) minimally house 700 or more cows inside structures in which they eat and excrete and are never allowed to walk in a field nor see the outside world. This is not Wisconsin farming.

The manure is typically flushed out with water so its volume is multiplied several times over and then channeled into holding tanks or open pit lagoons. Operators don't just apply the waste once but over and over as these are animal factories producing excrement in huge volumes. Many of the fields used for manure dumping were tiled years ago to create underground drainage for crop production. The water was allowed to drain off the land into ditches, creeks, streams or ponds. By repeatedly dumping liquid and solid manure on these fields, an underground sewage system exists that contaminates waterways and ultimately drinking water wells.

It is time for Gov. Scott Walker to declare “No more CAFOs. No more using Wisconsin's land, water and air as a manure pit.”



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