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Clear Horizons Cited by DNR for Major Manure Spill
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/07/2014

The Department of Natural Resources has cited the owners of a community manure digester in Dane County for violating state water pollution laws after 400,000 gallons of waste was spilled from the structure last November. Reports say the Waunakee area digester was constructed without certain safety features that would have prevented the spill from happening, as well as another smaller incident in January 2014.

The 3.75-million-gallon biodigester was built in 2010 and is being shared by four area dairy operations. Its operators will be meeting with state officials next week to ensure certain guidelines are met in the future to keep other problems from happening.

A report from an engineering firm found that both spills occurred after above-ground pipes busted. The DNR says Clear Horizons engineers and contractors neglected to install flexible pipe sections that would have prevented those pipes from breaking. The facility was also not equipped with required sensors that would have alerted operators about the added pressure to the pipes.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi says he would like to see the alarm systems installed to make sure other spills do not happen.

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