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Study Finds Manure Traces in Great Lakes Basin
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/06/2017

A study conducted by the USDA and U.S. Geological Survey shows that about 15-percent of water samples taken from rivers near the Great Lakes contain viruses from both humans and dairy manure run-off.

Researchers took nearly 300 samples between 2011 and 2013 in eight rivers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. They say the Manitowoc River had the highest percentage of samples with bovine viruses, with the Milwaukee River having the second most. Two Michigan rivers had the biggest concentrations of human viruses.

The study also found that the Milwaukee River had the most traces of both human and dairy cattle waste together.

Meanwhile, another more recent study of groundwater conditions in Kewaunee County found higher levels of well contamination from dairy farms during wet weather conditions. Governor Scott Walker has asked various agencies to find ways to use digester technology so farms of all sizes can do more to keep local water free from manure contamination.

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