types of wastewater treatment systems have a tremendous impact upon water
quality, human health, and the environment. Publicly owned waste water
treatment plants treat human waste. Animal feedlot treatment systems treat
waste from dairies, cattle and hog feedlots and chicken processing plants.
Both types of water treatment plants allow organic chemicals and nutrients
to pass through. Until now, such chemicals have been largely ignored as
environmental contaminants. Nationally, feedlots that hold animals in
close quarters are a leading source of pollution. Anabolic steroids are
given to cattle in feedlots to stimulate growth, and study results indicate
that significant amounts are in runoff from the feedlots. Spills and leakage
from the manure lagoons of factory farms can cause fish kills, red tides,
and threats to waterways used for recreation and drinking. A huge area
in the Gulf of Mexico described as a dead zone devoid of biological life
is attributed massive amounts of nutrients entering the gulf from animal
feedlots. In 1995, nearly 30 million gallons of manure and urine killed
at least 200,000 fish in 13 separate spills in the US. Female fathead
minnows down stream of cattle feedlots have been found with male characteristics
and male fish have been found with abnormally small testes indicating
that they have been affected by hormones in the environment. (Gillette,
L. Environmental Science and Technology, University of Florida May 1 2002).
The Clean Water Network, the Izaak Walton League and Natural Resource
Defense Council are pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to adequately
regulate wastewater treatment from these sources. For additional information
visit the following link http://www.cwn.org/docs/programs/feedlots/feedlots.htm.