Poultry Farm Pollution and Its Effects on Drinking Water

Chicken is a relatively inexpensive and nutritious protein that millions of people enjoy in Maryland. Due to the ever-increasing demand for poultry products, more farms are operating across the state, and their impact is increasing, as well. Runoff from poultry farms releases toxins into the soil, reducing water quality and polluting rivers.

If you live near a poultry farm, consistent water testing ensures that your supply is free from toxins. Poultry farm pollution contains contaminants like nitrates, bacteria, and viruses. In some cases, large amounts of nitrate can be fatal.

At Hague Quality Water of Maryland, our water testing services accurately identify toxins in your supply. Although you can’t prevent pollutants from contaminating your water, you can prevent it from harming your loved ones.

Impact of Poultry Farming

Poultry farming is a booming industry, but high demand also means a more significant carbon footprint. The waste products that companies dump into water sources contaminate the environment, and this waste is responsible for product recalls. As poultry farming grows, water sources are increasingly at risk, and so are the people who live around them.

Despite its environmental impact, pollution from these farms doesn’t fall under the proper regulations. As a result, the farms dump waste into water sources like the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. The river is essential for the health of the Bay, but just as it pumps fresh water, it also brings pollutants.

The pollution from poultry farms accounts for 44% of the nitrogen and 57% of the phosphorous that flows into the Bay. Poultry farm waste includes manure, urine, feathers, feed, and chicken carcasses. After heavy rainfall or other inclement weather, these contaminants flow into creeks, canals, and groundwater.

Common Contaminants From Poultry Farms

  • Waste: Animal waste, like feathers and manure, contain dangerous bacteria that harms environmental and human health. In moderate amounts, chicken manure helps promote vegetation growth. Oversaturating the soil with chicken manure has the opposite effect and harms both plants and the water.
  • Nitrogen: The over-concentration of nitrogen in drinking water harms the water source’s purity and, subsequently, the people who drink it. Nitrogen encourages the growth of algae in the water, depleting the supply of oxygen and promoting bacteria growth. Nitrates harm young children and expecting mothers, even in small amounts.
  • Phosphates: Like nitrates, an excess of phosphates in water encourages algae growth and causes vegetation to release harmful toxins.
  • Algae: In addition to the harm that it creates for fish and wildlife, algae also increases microbes and bacteria. When it merges with surface and groundwater, it seeps into drinking water and harms both you and your pets.
  • Viruses: Since poultry waste contains viruses and toxins, if they make their way into your water supply, you increase the risk of getting sick. Some of the bacteria and viruses that come from poultry farm pollution include E. Coli, avian influenza, giardia, and cryptosporidium.

The Importance Of Water Testing

Consistent water testing is necessary to ensure that poultry farm pollution doesn’t make its way into your water supply. If you suspect that runoff is contaminating your drinking water, the only way to know is by checking its quality. The earlier you identify your water quality issues, the better it is for your family’s health and preventing the problem from spreading further.

When you test your water quality, you’ll know what toxins exist in your supply and the right steps to remove them before they cause harm. Testing also ensures that your water treatment solutions are working, or if you need to change your filtration strategy.

How We Help

Your home’s water supply has an impact on your health. If you suspect contamination from poultry farms, don’t wait until it becomes a health hazard. At Hague Quality Water of Maryland, our specialists perform free water testing for your home and business and offer water treatment solutions if you find pollutants in your water supply.

Our Hague WaterMax® BEQ is specially designed for city water and our Hague WaterMax® is designed for well water issues. These multi-stage water treatment solutions will help you protect yourself and your family from contaminants that may find their way into your water.

We make getting to the bottom of your water contamination issues easy. To maintain social distancing measures and protect our customers, we now offer in-home water testing kits for as low as $200. After sending in your water sample, the results go straight from the lab to you.

Our team is ready to help you if you suspect you have contamination, or even if you’re looking to get a routine water quality check. We know water, and we’re always here to help even with complex contamination issues. Call our experts at Hague Water of Maryland for a free quote today at (410) 757-2992.

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