Effects to Ocean Life Of Farm Runoff

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 11:42 AM

When the idea of pollution within our water system started "seeping" into our minds over forty years ago there was a more distinct image that people would see. They would imagine a big waste tube that would pour a shiny metallic chemical waste directly into the water supply. Nowadays the way that the water gets polluted is much more subtle than that.

In truth, much of the pollution is caused by rain soaked, farm runoff that will carry the viscous waste bi-products from manure, such as phosphorous, nitrogen and others. These wastes do terrible things to the fish within the water supply. They can cause things like skin disease, tumors and other various amount of diseases. These type of sicknesses aren't always exclusive to animals either.

Humans often times feel the effects of the contamination by eating these fish that have been deemed sick. Also, on top of that many humans who wade in these waters can be exposed to bacteria that can get into any open cuts and cause greater infections then they originally had. This is on top of the fact that the water supplies of many people can also be compromised. In fact,in 2000 many people died in the small Canadian town of Walkerton, Ontario and about 2,500 were greatly sickened, as strains of E.coli got into their water supply

The most important thing that we can do as water consumers is not only get educated on local farming in our own communities but to also to take a stand wherever possible to try and stop the farming companies from not monitoring their waste products.By doing this not only do we have a better idea of what to expect from factory runoff but we will also have a hand in fixing the problem as well.


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