Stench Alerts 2019

Stench Alerts 2019

Slip-slidin’ Away

November 19, 2019

Livestock sewage dumping on farm fields continues in the Western Lake Erie Basin.  Today, we have two more examples of manure application on snow, thawing, saturated ground.  Snow from last week is melting, freeze/thaw soil conditions, ground is saturated.  The roads around these fields are a mess, with a trail of manure and mud on Beecher Rd. in Hudson Township.

Cash crops won’t be planted until next spring, so there’s no need for fertilizer.

First up - Last week before roughly 8" of snow fell here, Hartland Farms applied liquid manure on corn stubble.  It wasn't incorporated.  If this field is designated as "no-till" (and many of them are), they don't have to incorporate this within 24 hours; in fact/ they don't have to incorporate it at all.  (This is true both in Michigan and for Ohio's "not-a-ban" rule.) East side of Hughes Hwy., south of Beecher Rd., Bear Creek/Raisin watershed.

Today, more than a week later, Hartland is applying dry solids on a different part of this same field.  The sludge you see along the bottom of the picture is actually the road itself, a mixture of mud and manure and runoff.  Southeast corner of Hughes and Beecher, Bear Creek/Raisin watershed.  Hughes Highway just south of Beecher is a mess right now.

Moving west, Hartland is also applying dry solids on the west side of Dowling Highway between Beecher and Cadmus Rds., Bean Creek/Tiffin/Maumee watershed.  Poop wagon dropping its load just went over the top of the hill, out of view, as this photo was taken.

Farther south on Dowling, same application. You can see the snow hasn't entirely melted yet.

We promise you, this isn’t just happening here.  Our CAFOs aren’t the only ones who have to dispose of their waste in these conditions.

The one sure thing about manure farming is that production never stops, and it has to go somewhere.  Just like flushing your toilet, except instead of going through the appropriate wastewater treatment, this sewage goes right onto farm fields.



Sewage Disposal on Snow

November 18, 2019

Up here in the Western Lake Erie Basin  tributaries, we’re finally starting to get rid of last week’s 8” of snow.  Sun is out, temps are finally above freezing, it’s thawing.  Slushy snow, saturated ground everywhere.

Then this morning, we have this. 

Warner dry solids, very recent, manure application on snow-covered ground.  Pentecost Hwy. and Dowling Rd., Wolf Creek/South Branch/Raisin watershed.  This field is directly across the road from Loch Erin, which is only a few feet away.  Loch Erin suffers from major Cyanobacteria blooms (HABs) each summer.  This is the headwaters of Wolf Creek, which is dammed downstream to form Lake Adrian, one of the City of Adrian’s drinking water sources. 

Warner dry solids Pentecost Hwy. and Dowling Rd., Wolf Creek:South Branch:Raisin watershed 11.18.19

The City has dealt with Cyanobacteria blooms in their reservoir for years, and last year residents complained that the odor of 2-MIB (documented by the City), which can be found along with toxins in Cyanobacteria cells, was worse than ever.  Those complaints continue, with residents saying it is just as bad as it ever was to this day. 

Currently, Adrian’s drinking water distribution system is under study by Wayne State University to determine whether or not it has been colonized by Cyanobacteria.  There’s no crop here, and even if there was a cover crop in this field, it would be dormant and wouldn’t be taking up any nutrients as fertilizer. 

Application of CAFO “waste” on snow or frozen ground is simply disposal of untreated livestock sewage, the same stuff you flush down your toilet, the same stuff that goes into your community’s wastewater treatment plant.

The State has not required Warner Farms, which according to MDEQ’s inspection in 2018, has approximately 1,480 cattle, and which has had several contacts by the State about potential runoff incidents at its facilities, to get a NPDES CAFO permit.  A 2014 inspection by the U.S. EPA indicated that the decision whether to require a permit would be left to MDEQ (now MDEGLE).  Potential runoff incidents, including from silage storage, have been repeatedly investigated since then by MDEGLE.  However, no significant improvement has occurred and MDEGLE hasn’t required this farm to get a permit. 

In Michigan, all dairy farms with more than 700 producing cows must get a either a General NPDES CAFO Permit or an Individual NPDES CAFO Permit, and the State can require farms with fewer animals to get an Individual NPDES CAFO Permit if there are repeated pollution incidents.  Also, the State can mandate Individual Permits with more stringent conditions than the General Permit for those farms above the minimum animal requirement, if there are farm conditions that warrant it.  The State of Michigan required about half of the factory farms that ECCSCM monitors to get the more stringent, Individual Permits.

We have two questions: 
What is the agronomic need for phosphorus on bare ground?
Why doesn’t Warner Farms have a Michigan NPDES CAFO permit?

And from the Bean Creek watershed portion of ECCSCM’s monitoring area, we have this very fresh liquid manure application on corn stubble, on snow. E & R application, southwest corner of Rollin Highway and Rome Road.


Liquid manure on snow 11.18.19 Bean Creek

Coming from this tanker, fan-spraying it onto the field.

Coming from Tanker, fan sprayed on field 11.18.19

The ammonia in livestock sewage immediately melts the snow on fields where it’s applied.  Temps were up in the 40’s when this was taken in mid-afternoon, the surface soil has thawed, but not the ground underneath.  As long as the ground underneath is still frozen, farm equipment can get into the fields without getting stuck in the saturated soil. 

Driving heavy equipment like this over saturated soil compacts it and destroys its structure, which leads to even more runoff down the road as the soil is no longer able to absorb moisture.  Like pouring water onto concrete.


Manure, Interrupted

October 27, 2019

October 27, 2019
Manure madness continues here in the tributaries to the Western Lake Erie Basin, interrupted only by heavy rains.  Under the rules of Michigan's NPDES CAFO permit (similar to Ohio's CAFF permit), and the guidelines in Michigan's Right-to-Farm GAAMPs for non-permitted livestock farms, manure is not to be spread within 24 hours of a 70% chance of a 1/2" or greater rainfall.  Those conditions were present on Friday, October 25, in the National Weather Service prediction for Saturday, Oct. 26.  Despite this rule, several farms were applying manure anyway.  These events have been reported to MDEGLE's office in Jackson.
Heavy rain did fall, nearly 1 inch in 24 hours, from Oct. 26 to Oct. 27.
ECCSCM was out checking the conditions of our fields (sad) and water (bigly sad).  Manure slathered everywhere on harvested corn and soy bean fields.  We saw tractors and pumps all set to go at the lagoons, hooked up to the draglines that pipe liquid manure sometimes miles away to be applied on fields.  Fields are so saturated, there's so much ponding, so much runoff, the ditches are filling up and the tiles are nearly full.  The crops aren't even out of the fields yet; the lagoons and stockpiles are still full and these farms have to have 6 months' worth of storage on site at some point between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15.  What happens next?
The Nightmare on Forrister Road continues ... Van Brunt's CAFO Con-Post pile's still there.  Violation notice said they were to have all problems fixed by Dec. 1, 2019.  So far - no impervious pad, runoff still coming from (even bigger) piles and ponding around standpipe to groundwater/Hazen Creek/South Branch/Raisin watershed.
Van Brunt Con Post, Forrister Rd., 10.27.2019
[caption id="attachment_2849" align="alignleft" width="1024"]Ponding around Van Brunt stand pipe, Forrister Rd., 10.27.2019 Ponding around Van Brunt stand pipe, Forrister Road, 10.27.2019[/caption]
Hartland Farms, manure dragline from lagoon lying in ponded water, Beecher Rd., east of Hughes Hwy. (Bear Cr./Raisin)
Hartland dragline from lagoon, n. side of Beecher e. of Hughes, 10.27.2019
Hartland field, after liquid manure application from dragline on corn stubble, east of Hughes Hwy. north of M34 (Bear Cr./Raisin)

Hudson Dairy liquid manure dragline from dump box setup, M34 west of Kelso Rd. (Bean/Tiffin/Maumee)

Hudson Dairy dragline setup, south side of M34 west of Kelso, 10.27.2019 crop
The photo above, the one below, and the Stench Alert from Oct. 23 are all part of a multiple-day Hudson Dairy liquid manure application covering a large area in eastern Hillsdale County.  All in the Bean/Tiffin/Maumee watershed.
Hudson Dairy liquid manure dragline from dump box setup, M34 west of Nye Rd. (still there, from Oct. 23)
Hudson Dairy dragline setup, south side of M34 west of Nye 10.27.2019 

A Never-Ending Story

October 23, 2019

October 23, 2019
Wednesday, Oct. 23 - Despite the fact that we've had nearly 12" more rain than normal in these parts so far this year, the sewage must go on.  Manure dragline from dump box operation, from Hudson Dairy.  M34 just west of Nye Rd., Hillsdale County  (Bean/Tiffin/Maumee watershed)  Heavy rain forecast for the weekend.  Stay tuned.
Manure dragline from dump box operation, from Hudson Dairy. M34 just west of Nye Rd. Hillsdale County

Two feet high and rising

October 3, 2019

"How high's the water, mama?
Two feet high and rising
How high's the water, papa?
Two feet high and rising"
---- from "Five Feet High and Rising", written and recorded by Johnny Cash

Wait … he's just talking about rain water.

When it gets deep here, we're not just talking rain water, as ECCSCM's DNA tests of stream samples continue to show.

Up here in the headwaters of the Maumee and Raisin, in Michigan's portion of the WLEB, we've had epic rains this year, starting in early spring, and there's no sign that they're going to be stopping. Regardless, the dumping of untreated livestock sewage on weed fields (what's the agronomic rate for fertilizer on weeds?), bare fields (agronomic rate for fertilizer on dirt? Anyone? Anyone?), fields with cover crops (seriously? why?), and, occasionally, fields with cash crops goes on, just exactly like it does every year. No change.

Photos below taken after we got 2.5" of rain over 3 days. Warm and muggy. If the stench in the air had a color, it would be brown fog with zero visibility around these farms.

We start our tour behind Hartland Farms' lagoons, at this manure application field on Henning Hwy.  This field is located in the South Branch, Raisin, TMDL area.  This stream, which begins in this field, is an unnamed tributary to the South Branch of the Raisin and is under an E. coli TMDL.  It is not a county drain.  July tests showed E. coli in excess of the TMDL; high orthophosphate, high nitrates, high ammonia, Cyanobacteria-microcystis, the cyanotoxins microcystin and anatoxin, and cattle DNA (Bacteroides).  
Hmmm, was a permit pulled before this stream was dredged?
Next, we move southeast to check on one of the experts' most recommended best management practices for controlling nutrient runoff that contributes to Harmful Algae Blooms, the 2-stage (or is it 3-stage?  4-stage?  1-stage?  Who can tell?) ditch.  The idea is that the "shoulders" in the lower part of the ditch, where it is narrower, will catch the nutrients running off the side of the field after it rains, and keep them from moving downstream.  Huh?  Just your typical flooded ditch when this photo was taken.
Heading north, we come to the Van Brunt CAFO Con-post pile.  See our Stench Alerts from May 31 ("What the Birdie Sees"), May 2018, etc.  Finally, after years of ECCSCM reporting, MDEGLE issued a violation notice, ordering Van Brunt to submit the following by May 31: 
    1. A plan to stop any immediate discharges of compost wastewater to the field tile riser.
    2. A timeline for when any physical changes will be completed at the composting site. The timeline should be designed in such a way that all physical changes are completed before December 1, 2019.
    3. An explanation of what physical or management changes will be made at the site to reduce, control, store or re-use compost wastewater generated at the site.
Nope, swapping a standpipe for a perforated tile riser isn't going to change anything.  Still big piles of cowsh*t, still running off.  Quick check of MDEGLE's MIWaters database for this operation shows none of the documents that were ordered to be submitted by May 31.  What's the holdup?
 Finally, we move to another dragline operation, either interrupted by the rain or all set up and ready to go.  Maybe both.
Starting at Hoffland's lagoon on Wheeler Hwy. north of Haley Rd.  (Bear Creek/South Branch/Raisin)  Here's the big pump, pumping it from the lagoon through the dragline hose, underground through a tile that goes south to Haley Road.
Hoffland pumping equipment from lagoon 2 10.3.2019
At the south side of Haley Rd., it surfaces and snakes back and forth through the ponded water to Wheeler Hwy., south of Haley Rd.
Hoffland Dairy dragline underneath Wheeler Hwy 10.3.2019
The dragline is threaded through the culvert under Wheeler Hwy., where it comes out on the east side and is connected to this pump setup, east side of Wheeler, south of Haley Rd.
Hoffland dragline pump setup east side of Wheeler south of Haley, 10.3.2019And for good measure, here's another tractor, with the dragline connected, same source.  Southwest corner of Haley Rd. and Wheeler Hwy.  It's a two-fer!
Hoffland SE corner of M-156 and Haley 10.3.2019Even if it were five feet high and rising, the manure must go on.   As soon as the ground is dry enough so that the equipment doesn't get stuck, they'll be at it non-stop.  It'll sit up here in the little tribs until the next big rain comes and flushes it all down to Lake Erie.

Truly sh*tty road in CAFO Country

September 18, 2019

Not sure if it is a leaky CAFO waste tanker, or an overfill or a "cowboy" driver or just an effort to get rid of the CAFO waste anywhere you can.

Yes it is poop. The toxic smell supports this.


Intersection of US-127 and Prattville Rd - September 17, 2019


Locked, loaded, and ready to go

September 15, 2019

September 15, 2019
More raw livestock sewage for the Bean/Tiffin/Maumee watershed.  3 different fields, all within a couple square miles of the Crap Convoy shown in the Stench Alert entry below, that was lined up on Munson Hwy. just south of Territorial Rd.  As soon as the rain quits, they'll be at it.
Dragline setup, n. side of Morenci Rd. w. of US 127, September 15, 2019
North side of Morenci Rd., just east of US 127 


East side of Munson Hwy., north of Morenci Rd. 

Dumpbox, dragline from tractor setup, E side of Munson Hwy. N of Morenci Rd.

Dragline connected to dumpbox, e. side of Munson Hwy. n. of Morenci Rd., September 15, 2019
Dragline connected to dumpbox, E. side of Munson Hwy. N. of Morenci Rd 


Sh*t, Sh*t, and more Sh*t.

September 14, 2019

Apparently the practice of fan casting of CAFO sh*t is back and going strong.

20190807_001 20190807_002


Photos above taken August 7, 2019. Hillsdale County, Prattville Rd, west of Pittsford Rd.

106A9527 106A9531

Photos above taken September 7, 2019. Hillsdale County, Waldron Rd. just south west of Burt Rd.

IMG_2261 IMG_2202 IMG_2196

Photos above taken September 14, 2019. Lenawee County, Munson Hwy Rd. just south of Territorial Rd.

A gift for Lake Erie and anything in between...


It’s Back … or Did It Ever Leave?

July 18, 2019

July 18, 2019
Canandaigua Rd., Medina Twp., (Bean/Tiffin/Maumee).  Lights, generator back in wetlands origin of Covell Drain (to Bean Creek).  See aerial photos taken 5.31.2019 for a birds' eye view of this.  We thought this was supposed to be removed.  Was it?  Or was it removed, and returned?  State of Michigan was at the site yesterday, doing another investigation.  There's more to this ongoing story, and ECCSCM will report when it is finished. application in wetlands 
One thing that never leaves is manure.  It's always here, always being applied.  ECCSCM counted 4 fresh application sites yesterday during a very short trip.  Here's one of them, a New Flevo slurry/solids manure application on the east side of Sword Highway between Plank and Beecher Rds.   Dump truck (in the cloud of manure dust) is dumping its contents on the field; tractor is following behind to plow, or incorporate it, under the soil.  Doesn't matter, it can still get into the surface waters.  This field is in the South Branch/Raisin watershed.  The Raisin enters Lake Erie at Monroe, where the toxins from this year's harmful algae bloom have already been found.  Gut-wrenching stench of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia for miles around, just as it is around all these fields and farm sites with their raw sewage pits during hot Michigan summers.
New Flevo East side of Sword between Plank and Beecher 7.19.2019 slurry solids stockpile

Get ready Lake Erie – it never stops!

July 10, 2019

July 10, 2019

Just in time for the Big Event, the Lake Erie Harmful Algae Bloom forecast.  ECCSCM is here to tell everyone that the Michigan portion of the WLEB is doing its best to keep the manure rolling along, just like every other year.  Not as many fields planted?  Too bad.  Manure farmers produce crap 24/7 so their first concern is getting rid of it.  It’s going on those fields come hell or high water (literally), doesn’t matter if there’s a crop or not.  They got off to a late start because it was so wet, but they’re making up for it now!  Manure everywhere, much of it going onto weed fields.  What do experts recommend as the proper “agronomic rate” for phosphorus fertilizer to grow the biggest and best weeds?  ‘Cause we’re there.

Here's just a tiny smattering of what's happening up here in those Western Lake Erie tributary headwaters.  So much manure, so much stinky air, so little time to take pictures.

East side of Wolf Creek Highway, just north of Brazee Road, field owned by Warner.  Wolf Creek/Lake Adrian/South Branch/Raisin watershed (E. coli TMDL). The beginning of a dry manure stockpile.  Most likely, this will be pushed around and smoothed out, then chisel plowed; supposed to be done within 24 hours.  So much for right time, right rate, right place, right method, precision application.  Manure dust blowing everywhere.


Hartland/Briskey liquid dragline dumpbox setup for surface application of manure, with tankers coming and going.  Southeast corner of Wheeler Hwy. and Cadmus Rd.  South Branch/Raisin watershed (E. coli TMDL).  This was bottom-of-the lagoon quality stench, easily a 10 on the Stench-o-Meter.  The vile odor will get worse as it ages over the next few days, whether it's incorporated into the ground or not.

Photo below is of the liquid manure application on Wheeler Highway and Cadmus Road, showing manure runoff puddling at the edge of the field.  South Branch/Raisin watershed (E. coli TMDL) 

Quiz question:  Where will this excess end up?  Hint:  Initials are L E, and it's a big body of water.


In a few days, this will all be downstream and doing its very best to make this the Best. Lake. Erie. HAB. Evah!!!!


Endless Summer = Endless Sh*t

June 27, 2019

We're deep in the heart of hot, humid, Stench Season, here in CAFO Country.  So much rain, so much untreated livestock sewage.
Overheard in grocery store, Onsted, Michigan ("Gateway to the Irish Hills"):  "What stinks?  Is that cowsh*t?  Don't they ever stop?"  Response:  "I know, right?  I can smell it in my house."
The wind was coming from the south.  About 4 miles south, upwind, NFD (New Flevo Dairy) and Briskey tankers, with a dump box, were hauling liquid manure to this weed field on Onsted Highway, just north of U.S. 223.  One tanker after another.  Two are lined up here, with another on the way in.  Field owned by Waterland Farms (same owners as New Flevo Dairy) and included in New Flevo's CNMP.  (Wallace/Penrod Drains/Hazen Cr./South Branch, Raisin)
New Flavor Dairy Briskey liquid manure tanker dump box Onsted Hwy. North of US 223, June 27, 2019
Economics multiple choice quiz question.  Take a guess.
This field:
A.  didn't get the grain crop planted by June 5 or 15 deadlines, will be submitted for crop insurance
B.  will be planted to a grain crop under the prevent plant crop insurance option
C.  whatever is growing, or will be soon planted, in this field will be chopped and fed to cattle
D.  untreated livestock sewage will be dumped on this field whether there's a cash crop to fertilize or not
E.  A, C & D above
F.   B, C & D above
The only answer we're sure of is "D".

What the Birdie Sees

May 31, 2019

ECCSCM has been concerned about the recent heavy rains and some things we’ve been seeing from the road, so we sent Lighthawk up into the air to get some aerial photos.

Canandaigua Rd., Medina Township (Bean/Tiffin/Maumee).  What is this?  Parked in a 12-acre wetland, intermittent natural stream to Covell Drain, eventually to Bean Creek 

draglines, the pump, the generator, the lighting setup, and the rigid tile pipe outlet into the stream

Even more mysterious - what's with all these draglines, the pump, the generator, the lighting setup, and the rigid tile pipe outlet into the stream?
Medina Canandaigua 1 annotated zoom snip 5.31.2019
Birdie flies north, to Hoffland Dairy, Haley Rd., Hudson Township.  (Bear Creek/Raisin)
Tractor, lagoon, pump, dragline going to where, exactly?
Hoffland north of facility
 Hoffland north of facility
Ooops!  Is that Bakerlads' constructed wetlands, built to filter out contaminants, with the filtering chamber of wetlands plants completely submerged?  Or is it just another pond being used to store CAFO waste?
Here's what it used to look like back in 2013, with the filtering wetlands chamber intact.  That's a tributary to the South Branch of the Raisin right next to it, on the left.
Bakerlads' Constructed Wetlands in 2013, with the filtering wetlands chamber intact
Here's what it looked like on Friday, May 31, 2019, from the opposite angle with the South Branch on the right.
Bakerlads constructed wetlands 5.31.2019
The intrepid Birdie flies on.
To Terrehaven.  Runoff everywhere, from the back barns to the east side of the front barns to the west side of the front barns.  Silage (cattle feed, with the white tarps and tires) on both sides of the manure pile.  Too much to describe.  Birdie got a little sick at this one, but kept on flying.
Terrehaven back barns manure over barrier
Terrehaven front barns manure over stockpile barrier
West side of front barns, barriers missing, runoff flowing into small wetland pond on property
Terrehaven front west barrier removed
Weakened but still strong at heart, Birdie flies on.
Van Brunt manure compost (or should we call it "Con-post"?) pile on Forrister Rd., Rome Township, which recently received a violation notice from the State of Michigan for runoff ponding around this tile riser, discharge into Hazen Creek (South Branch, Raisin).  Zoom in to see that runoff to the tile riser is coming from the back where the fresh manure is added, not where the "berm" was constructed to prevent it.
Van Brunt
Birdie has two really good questions.  Given that a violation notice with remediation conditions was issued on April 25, 2019, and nothing has been done to improve anything at the site since then, why is fresh manure still allowed to be added?  Second, why are the two NPDES-permitted CAFOs involved still allowed to manifest manure to this recipient?
Birdie decides to see how things are at our large CAFO-but-doesn't-have-a-permit, Warner Farms, Franklin Township.  Rexford, Coleman, and Kerr Drains. (Fisk Creek/Black Creek/South Branch, Raisin)
Same old story, different day.  ECCSCM has been reporting this to both US EPA and EGLE for years, EPA is leaving everything up to EGLE.
Runoff from silage piles.
Warner silage runoff onto road across field
What the heck is this thing?  Zoom to see structure across the road from the silage runoff, midway down the photo on the right (east) side of the road, pipe coming out of the ground and open end over catch basin.
Warner runoff south from silage piles, ponding around structure
Birdie's depressed.  Here's New Flevo, Forrister Rd., Rome Township.  (Hazen Creek/South Branch Raisin)
Runoff from new addition to barn, for more animals.  Looks like the dirt piles aren't working.
New Flavo Dairy runoff from new barn
What's happening here?  Is this a dragline setup from one of the lagoons? A mystery!
New Flavo Dairy pumped from lagoon ponding around tile riser annotated
What's this?  The open end of a dragline hose that just happens to be where the ponding starts?
New Flavo Dairy pumped from lagoon ponding around tile riser annotated 2
Where, exactly, is all that ponding going?  Birdie flies around to see from the opposite direction.  Is that orange thing at the other end of the ponding a tile riser (to Hazen Creek and then to the South Branch of the Raisin)?  Why yes, yes it is!
New Flavo Dairy lagoon runoff pumped to tile riser
This is just a tiny bit of what's happening all over the region.
There's a whole lot more that we could post, but Birdie needs to take some time to recover from PTSD.  We've reported all of the potential incidents found to the proper authorities and it's up to them to investigate.
In all seriousness - it is a disaster here.  The stench is hellish for miles around these farms.  Not just here, but everywhere that's been hit by recent heavy rainfall where CAFOs are located.
Please keep Birdie, and all the other people who are stuck here in CAFO-land, in your thoughts.

Seriously? Seriously?!!!!

May 31, 2019

Hoses, hoses, everywhere.  But this one is a Big Freakin’ Deal.  Dragline coming from setup in field on south side of Acker Hwy., applicator has laid it in a tributary to Bean Creek in order to cross under the road to the north side of Acker Hwy.  Just south of Medina Rd.  Couldn’t see where the hose ends or what it’s attached to because of the slope.  Nope. No. No. Nonononononono.  Not allowed to have draglines lying in streams – this is a major cause of leaks and discharges.


Dragline at the right side in the photo above continues to run north (right) where it turns and was laid so that it lies in a tributary of Bean Creek.  Photo below shows the dragline in the stream, above the grass at the roadside and to the right of the big tree in the center.


Manure dragline hose in tributary to Bean Creek, coming from under Acker Hwy.  Dragline (gray hose) is lying in the creek; you can see it above the grass at the roadside edge, lying to the right of the big tree in the center of the photo.  Don't know where this end of the dragline is located or what, if anything, it's attached to.

How much hosing is too much?
Another dragline set up and ready to go, SE corner of Packard Rd. and Dillon Hwy., field in Medina Dairy’s permit.


That’s a lotta livestock sewage.   All headed to Lake Erie!





A Hosing That Never Ends

May 30, 2019

It’s way too wet to be in the fields, but manure farmers are all set up and ready to pump untreated livestock sewage on farm fields just as soon as the rain stops. ½” of rain reported in the area today.

Dragline coming out of the north side of under-road culvert, Forrister Rd. Where’s it coming from?


Here’s the south side of the road, where the dragline enters the culvert:


"Getting closer, going east … generator for pump setup, south side of Forrister Rd."


The source – New Flevo’s lagoons.  Dragline hose from lagoon ( lower right, just above the date in the photo below) runs to the pump above, then under the road, to the field.


There’s a whole lot more.
New Flevo/Waterland dump box still set up on Springville Hwy., just south of Shepherd Rd.   Oh May 24, this farm was applying manure within 24 hours of a 70% chance of ½” or more rainfall, against Michigan CAFO permit rules.  (Confirmed by EGLE.)  That’s a no-no.


Still not done.  North side of Canandaigua Rd. east of Ingall Hwy.  Orange manure dragline, not sure where the other end is.  Field is in Medina Dairy’s permit.





This Sh*t Stinks!

May 19, 2019

Foul air everywhere, especially bad around New Flevo, Hartland, Medina, and Hudson Dairies.  Tankers and wagons everywhere.  So much sh*t, so little time!  ECCSCM was out collecting water samples for analysis.  Results will be published as soon as we have the lab reports back.  Easily a 10+ on the Stench-O-Meter was this liquid dragline application by Briskey south of Medina Rd. on Acker Hwy. (Bean/Tiffin watershed).  Liquid manure is pumped out of the sewage lagoon into the tanker, which is hauled to the field.  Then the liquid livestock waste is pumped into a dump box, shown below with corrugated sides.  From there, it's pumped into a dragline (looks like a fire hose, see the reels below and the full hose coming from the pump) that's connected to an applicator attached to the back back of the tractor , which you see in the picture just below this one.  Eye-watering, throat-burning, gut-wrenching, nasty.  The air stunk for miles around.

A few feet farther east, on the north side of Medina Rd., Briskey was spreading manure solids.  (Bean/Tiffin watershed)

From now until after Memorial Day weekend, our local CAFOs are emptying their giant cesspits of winter's livestock accumulation.  The most beautiful time of year in this part of CAFO-land in Southern Michigan is always Hell Time.   

This is just one example.


Manure’s Annual Easter Gift to Devils Lake, Lenawee County, Michigan

April 11, 2019

April 11, 2019

Just like clockwork, every year. Same field, just across the road from the south side of Devils Lake. Devils Lake is the headwaters of Bean Creek, which becomes the Tiffin and eventually the Maumee River in Ohio. Manure tankers were out in force, new ones pulling up every few seconds to refill the dump box, then leaving to get another load and returning. Just like an assembly line. That’s why they call it factory farming, right?

Brown stuff on the field, but it didn’t smell like chocolate Easter bunnies. Nope, the familiar ammonia/hydrogen sulfide, eye-watering, throat-hurting stench of cattle manure was beginning to bloom.

04.11.2019 Devils Lake, Manure application in rain

Keep driving … follow the smell

04.11.2019 Dump Box setup, Devils Lake Manure application

The dump box setup.  Liquid manure is hauled by tanker and emptied into the red box, where it is pumped out through the long dragline hose that’s attached to the manure application equipment at the back of the tractor.  The dump box is ground zero for this operation.  In order for all of this to take place, manure has to have a solids content of less than 6 to 8%.  When you add enough water to manure so that it can pass through these pumps and equipment, you can no longer control where it ends up.  Especially when it’s applied over our vast network of unidentified subsurface drain tiles.

Keep driving …

04.11.2019 Dragline hose - Manure application Devils Lake

Here it is.  Dragline hose in the foreground, attached to the applicator at the back of the tractor.
Raining today, heavy rains predicted in a couple days.

Sad for the neighbors, sad for the growing weed problems in Devils Lake, sad for everyone downstream in the Bean/Tiffin/Maumee watershed, sad for the Great Lakes.



Springtime in the Headwaters

April 10, 2019

April 10, 2019
Means getting slathered with manure.  Of course, that happens in the summer, fall, and sometimes in the winter, too.  Sending it all downstream, in this case to the City of Adrian, and on to Lake Erie.  Cheers!

04.10.2019; Warner, liquid manure tanker application, Teachout Rd. and Pentecost Hwy., Wolf Creek:S. Branch, Raisin.

Warner, liquid manure tanker application, Teachout Rd. and Pentecost Hwy., Wolf Creek/S. Branch, Raisin.


Hop into the ECCSCM Wayback Machine, or “The Runoff That Never Ends”

March 30, 2019

March 30, 2019
Travel way back with ECCSCM, to our Stench Alert post for May 19, 2018 of the Van Brunt/Halliwill/New Flevo manure heap on Forrister Rd.  (Hazen Creek, S. Branch/Raisin).  No containment, manure heaped up in big piles, every time it rains liquid manure runoff flows everywhere.  We just posted that one photo but this has been on-going for a few years with no resolution. 

Photo below shows manure runoff from those piles (left of photo) ponding around a groundwater wellhead (the white pipe surrounded by corrugated pipe).  Polluting the aquifer is a big no-no.  Or it should be.  That’s why there are setback rules in the CAFO permit that prohibit manure application within 100 ft.  Ain’t happening here.

03.30.2019 manure runoff ponding around a groundwater wellhead - Forrister Rd. (Hazen Creek, S. Branch:Raisin)



Update:  The gift that keeps on giving

March 30, 2019

March 30, 2019

On January 17, 2019, Bakerlads deposited stockpiles of manure on ground that was frozen to a depth of at least 2”, when there was a high risk of runoff according to Michigan’s Enviro Impact Tool.  Manure was eventually pushed around on this field and left to sit (the darker areas of the field above the ponding), not incorporated because (a) the ground was frozen and (b) this is a no-till field. (See January 17th Stench Alert for photo). 

Here’s what happened.  What always happens.  Snow melt and manure, after heavy rains, ponding around the orange, perforated tile riser (orange pipe in the foreground) that collects surface water on the field, takes it down to the buried tile beneath that carries it out to a tributary of the South Branch of the Raisin.  This, folks, is why we don’t put manure (or any fertilizer) on snow-covered or frozen ground.  It’s not fertilizing any crop.  Why is it OK to use farmland as a sewage dump?

03.30.2019 Bakerlads manure stockpiles after winter


How to start the New Year off all wrong!

January 17, 2019

January 17, 2019 – Here’s what’s happening in Michigan’s Winter Wonderland.  Fluffy snow, lakes and ponds freezing over.  Used to be time for winter outdoor fun.  Not so much any more here, unless you like being slathered in livestock sewage.Bakerlad_20190117A

Putrid stench for miles around.  Bakerlads stockpiling manure on frozen, snow-covered ground. Besides what’s in the photo, there were 4 semi’s lined up to enter the field to dump solids at around 5 p.m. on January 17.  South side of Beecher Rd. between Hughes and Morey Hwys., Hudson Twp.  South Branch, Raisin River.  Major snow followed this crap-blizzard.

MSU’s Enviro Impact Tool says this about conditions here:

High risk of runoff from Jan. 18 through Jan. 24 on this chart

20190117CSoil temp at 2” depth <32


20190117BLooks like somebody needs some help finding the tool, or else this is flat-out sewage dumping.  Either way, it’s horrible for the environment.