ECCSCM and SRAP welcomed members of Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie to Lenawee County (Raisin and Maumee watersheds) on May 9, 2016.Tour goers learned for themselves how manure is applied, how it begins its journey from way up here to Lake Erie, all about phosphorus and why phosphorus from manure is different from chemical fertilizer phosphorus, and they saw how ECCSCM selects sites for testing at the source. They were also treated to a water sampling demonstration in a Raisin tributary downstream from an Ohio CAFO, which returned an E. coli result of “too numerous to count”, far above the maximum safe levels for human or pet contact. These pictures (below) show manure slathered on and ponding in a field from a dragline application directly from a lagoon, a dragline-from-dumpbox application, and a tanker-to-tanker refill for a manure tanker field application.
As forecasted, a heavy rain on May 10 led to more manure ponding on some tiled fields; a great opportunity to see what is flowing downstream. The accompanying stench blanket made the day, and this “gift” to Lake Erie from area CAFOs, all the more memorable. We hope they’ll come back and visit us again! (If we can’t be an example, let us be a warning.)