Summary6510309 References

Animal wastes can adversely affect water, air, and animal resources in a variety of ways. Nutrients can kill fish and create algae blooms in surface water. In ground water, nitrates can make well water unfit for human consumption, particularly for infants. In addition, organic matter can cause dissolved oxygen problems in surface water, while bacteria and other microorganisms can contaminate wells and create health problems in recreational waters.

Certain constituents in animal waste can create health problems in animals grazing cool-season grasses. In addition, the gases that are produced can have a number of adverse effects on the air resource and on animals in confinement.

Figure 3-7 provides an abbreviated graphic summary of the impacts that animal wastes can have on the water, air, and animal resources. This graphical depiction does not show all of the possible impacts and does not convey the complexity of the pollution process. Likewise, this chapter as a whole only introduces the pollution process as related to the water, air, and animal resources. A more complete understanding of the interaction of animal wastes with the various resources and the methods for pollution control would take intensive study of the volumes already written on this topic in addition to a lot of field experience. Even then, all the answers are not in; more is being learned about the pollution process all the time.

Loehr, R.C., W.J. Jewell, J.D. Novak, W.W. Clarkson, and G.S. Friedman. 1979. Land application of wastes, vol. II. Van Norstrand Reinhold Co., New York, NY.

Olsen, S.R., and S.A. Barker. 1977. Effects of waste application on soil phosphorus and potassium. In Soils for management of organic wastes and wastewaters. Am. Soc. Agron., Crop Sci. Soc. Am., and Soil Sci Soc. Am., Madison, WI.

Reddy, K.R., R. Khaleel, M.R. Overcash, and P.W. Westerman. 1979. Phosphorus—a potential nonpoint source pollution problem in the land areas receiving long-term applications of wastes. In Best management practices for agriculture and silvaculture. Ann Arbor Sci. Publ., Inc., Ann Arbor, MI.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. 1984. Technical support manual: Waterbody surveys and assessments for conducting use attainment. Wash., DC.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. 1986. Quality criteria for water. EPA 440/5-86-001, Wash., DC.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. 1983. Water quality standards handbook. Wash., DC.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. 1990. The lake and reservoir restoration guidance manual. EPA-440/4-90-006, Wash., DC.

Figure 3-7 Possible danger points in the environment from uncontrolled animal waste

Waste storage structure.

^^ Wastes discharging to stream

Waste storage structure.

^^ Wastes discharging to stream

1. Contaminated well: Well water contaminated by bacteria and nitrates because of leaching through soil. (See item 4.)

2. Waste storage structure: Poisonous and explosive gases in structure.

3. Animals in poorly ventilated building: Ammonia and other gases create respiratory and eye problems in animals and corrosion of metals in building.

4. Waste applied at high rates: Nitrate toxicity and other N-related diseases in cattle grazing cool-season grasses; leaching of NO3 and microorganisms through soil, fractured rock, and sinkholes.

5. Discharging lagoon, runoff from open feedlot, and cattle in creek: (a) Organic matter creates low dissolved oxygen levels in stream; (b) Ammonia concentration reaches toxic limits for fish; and (c) Stream is enriched with nutrients, creating eutrophic conditions in downstream lake.

6. Runoff from fields where livestock waste is spread and no conservation practices on land: P and NH4 attached to eroded soil particles and soluble nutrients reach stream, creating eutrophic conditions in downstream lake.

7. Eutrophic conditions: Excess algae and aquatic weeds created by contributions from items 5 and 6; nitrite poisoning (brown-blood disease) in fish because of high N levels in bottom muds when spring overturn occurs.

8. Leaching of nutrients and bacteria from poorly sealed lagoon: May contaminate ground water or enter stream as interflow.

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