Iowa should strengthen efforts for clean water

In 2013 there were 51 manure spills in Iowa. Des Moines Water Works recently spent nearly $1,000,000 in a three month period to remove nitrates from the city’s drinking water. On June 9, the Times-Republican ran an Associated Press article that claimed there is a demand for Iowa’s pork and manure. Really? Well, pork – maybe. But manure? Surely they jest!

Iowa’s 21 million corporate pigs generate 10 billion gallons of toxic manure, and the manure that does not leak from frozen pipes, get spilled onto roadways, or simply flow over the tops of overburdened lagoons is injected into the ground – as if we have some reason to believe that the limited number of acres not bordering streams, rivers and lakes can act as an effective filter for this much manure. Six hundred and thirty polluted waterways tell us that this is simply not the case.

Confined animal feed operations are producing more manure than is needed to sustain agriculture in Iowa, and that manure contains antibiotics, hormones and other toxic chemicals that get into our drinking water. The people of Iowa should demand that the Iowa DNR adopt and strengthen the Clean Water Act Rule, and the farmers of Iowa should lead the country in the adoption of agricultural practices that show respect for the land, livestock and Iowa’s citizens.