What can you do about animal waste impact on water quality?

Frank Carini’s recent article in ecoRI news discusses how animal waste can threaten our state’s waters, including water we use for drinking, swimming, recreating, raising and catching food, etc.  The article contains action tips that each of us can do to reduce the impact animal waste has on our waters.  It’s well worth the read, click here to access the article.  And, it’s well worth each of us taking action – whether its picking up the poop while walking our dog or not feeding the ducks or geese at the shores of our favorite park.

If you have a small farm and raise livestock animals, you may face challenges managing the livestock and its waste on limited land area and perhaps with limited financial resources.  In addition, rural areas of our state experience the most growth and development, which can bring about additional challenges to small farming operations.  Most of these rural areas rely on private wells for their drinking water.   Proper manure management will help protect both valuable water resources, including your drinking water and animal health and well being.  It will also help you be a good neighbor and land steward.

Extension has developed a series of factsheets and self-assesment worksheets that I think will help.  They include information on:
Storing and recycling manure
Managing the livestock yard
Managing the pasture
Creating buffers around surface waters

People who have used these materials have said they are practical and easy-to-use.  Written by Holly Burdett, a URI Cooperative Extension professional who has long provided technical assistance to RI farmers, these factsheets take into account the limited resources and challenges that livestock owners on small acreage may encounter.

For more information about what you can do around your home to protect water quality, visit:

http://web.uri.edu/safewater/protecting-water-quality-at-home/

http://web.uri.edu/riss/