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Water Filters if You Live Near Animal Feedlots

If you have animal feedlots anywhere near your home, you may need to consider adding water filters to your drinking water lines. This becomes especially important if you get your drinking water from a private, underground well.

As you might imagine, animal feedlots create a lot of waste. This waste from the animals is often removed by the owner of the lot, but some of it may actually seep into the ground and become mixed with the underground water supply. In addition, animal waste can travel to above-ground water supplies (rivers, lakes, etc) via runoff. Runoff occurs when heavy rains or snow melts create "streams" that run into these larger bodies of water.

Unlike agricultural contamination which is concerned mostly with chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, animal feedlot contamination is usually in the form of bacteria or other harmful microorganisms. Microorganisms from fecal matter from animals can make people sick very quickly and in some cases can be lethal. Two chemicals that feedlots can introduce into drinking water are hazardous as well. They are phosphorus and nitrogen. Excessive amounts of nitrogen in water can cause what is commonly known as blue babies.

It is true that many feedlots try to collect their waste in ponds. While this method works as far as reducing the waste to usable fertilizer, it still does not prevent seepage into underground water sources or prevent possible runoff during heavy rains or snow melts. For this reason, those living in areas that have feedlots, water filters are a good preventive measure. And, again, this is especially important for those homes that get their drinking water from private, unregulated wells.

It should be noted that those who get their water from public water companies are probably not at risk of contamination, or at least not as much at risk as those who get water from private wells. Still, installing a high-quality water filter can help eliminate any material that may have slipped through the treatment process at the water plant.

Water filter systems for private wells are available and are less expensive than many people imagine. Water filters can be purchased and installed to treat the water as it comes into the home or they can also be installed at the tap or under the sink. For homes located near feedlots, a whole house water filter system is the best option.

It is important to have your well water tested regularly but even a negative test should be taken with caution. Contaminants from feedlots may not be present in the water today, but show up tomorrow, depending on the weather and the condition of the catch ponds and lagoons used to collect liquid waste. This is why it is important to have home water filters and filtration systems in place around the clock.



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