LETTER: Fish farms are not the only farms creating pollution problems

Dear editor,

I find it very odd that a lot of people in the Comox Valley are very concerned about fish farming and the pollution it creates, but do not appear to be worried about the pollution that is occurring on their doorsteps.

I am talking about the practice of local farmers broadcasting livestock manure (either liquid or solid) on their fields. There are a lot of nutrients plus pathogens in this manure. Precipitation will cause the nitrate nitrogen (which is highly mobile) and other mobile nutrients in the manure to leach down to groundwater, wells and probably to the sea.

Phosphorous and potassium (also present in the manure) do not move readily in the ground since they attach themselves to soil particles. However, surface water that runs off a field (i.e. during the winter) that has had manure recently broadcast onto it will very likely have all of these dissolved nutrients and others in it. This “loaded” runoff will flow down ditches to the nearest creek or water run and again, end up in our waters off-shore. This is having a detrimental effect on shellfish, fin fish, sea weed, sea grass etc.

I was told by a person in a management position with our CVRD that the law enables farmers to do this because it is legislated “in the farmer’s right to farm.” If so, it is my opinion that the legislation should be changed.

In Alberta, the large feedlots are restricted by law to retain all manure produced within the operation onsite. It is then processed, composted and marketed as a soil amendment.

Whether it be salmon farming or livestock farming the excrement produced can be disposed of in a much more environmentally responsible way and could end up as another source of income. What it takes is the will (and maybe legislation) plus money to make it happen.

Len Paulovich

Courtenay

Just Posted

RCMP investigate sexual assault in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating a reported sexual assault at Sandwick… Continue reading

Comox Strathcona Waste Management board approves tour of Nova Scotia advanced recycling plant

Three CVRD representatives will tour Sustane Tech. plant while in Halifax for FCM conference

Comox opts for ‘blank sheet’ when it comes to cannabis bylaw

Comox council unanimously approved a bylaw to prohibit the sale of cannabis within the town.

Housing crisis amplified on Denman Island

High home and rental prices and a shortage of housing stock have led to island-wide struggles

Big Read: locked out of the woods

Vancouver Islanders struggle to balance back country public access with private land protection

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

CONTEST: Win a whale-watching tour for four

Where in the world are the Snowbirds?

Crews called to highway crash in Nanoose Bay

Accident happened just before 4 p.m. near Hillview Road

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

New funds, recruits set to alleviate B.C. sheriff shortage

The Government of British Columbia announced new sheriff graduates, funding for more classes

Video: RCMP investigation gets a deer little photobomb

Princeton RCMP were conducting a drug investigation in Princeton which a deer strolled through

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

UPDATED: Unions, CP Rail come to agreement, avoiding work stoppage

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

Most Read