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Washington Dairy Lagoon Breach Prompts Multi-Agency Response

April 14, 2010

Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture


A 21-million-gallon capacity dairy waste lagoon has failed, releasing an unknown quantity of manure into farm fields near the town of Snohomish, Wash., the Washington State Department of Agriculture reported April 13.


The manure has filtered through the fields, reaching French Slough and the Snohomish River.


The state departments of Agriculture, Ecology and Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other state and local agencies are responding.


The dairy, Bartelheimer Brothers, is cooperating in efforts to mitigate environmental damage by attempting to stop further pollution and applying the remaining spilled waste on area fields. The farm is milking 750 dairy cows and farms 600 acres of corn and hay for cattle feed.


"We're doing everything we can to respond to this lagoon failure,” said Jason Bartelheimer. "The farm has additional manure storage capacity, which we will rely on during this immediate response period. Our goal is prevent further manure run off into French Slough.”


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