Factory Farms, usually dairy cows, in Northwest Ohio are a growing concern for the watershed.
The waste of each cow is estimated to be about the equivalent of 20 people. So, if there are 1,000 cows, this amounts to the waste of 20,000 people.
This cow waste is dumped into open-air lagoons. Laws do not allow a residential area that houses 20,000 people to place the waste in lagoons. Rather, a wastewater treatment plant is needed. After time, the waste is taken out of the lagoons and land applied.
The problems that abound at factory farms include overflowing lagoons and foul odors. Brown water is visible in streams, and many crops appear dwarfed. As a consequence, many homes near factory farms are vacated and left vacant.
Numerous factory farm permit violations can be found in Fulton County, Ohio, and nearby Michigan areas.
Please see a presentation by the Michigan Sierra Club concerning violations and public endangerment by Vreba-Hoff Dairy here.
Indiana is seeking to zone almost an entire county as an intensive agricultural district.
Indiana County Commissioners have said this zoning is a compromise after thousands of swine have located there. Read more about it here.
Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper Association
Western Lake Erie: The Warmest, Shallowest, "Fishiest" Area of the Great Lakes
To learn more about the Waterkeeper Alliance, click here.