CAFOs: The good, the bad and the possible


After 10 years of research in Kewaunee County, Bonness said it was obvious that “current regulations were not protecting groundwater” and recounted stories of “my water turns brown in spring and fall.” Appalling, but insufficient, Bonness said. Regulators needed documentation, hard facts, to shape the permitting of CAFOs. What she called “brown water events” occur commonly in Kewaunee County. A mixture of bovine and human excrement emanating from cow manure and discharges from septic systems combine to pollute groundwater. In October, a woman reported manure emerging from her spigot. Twenty-four hours later all the faucets in her Kewaunee County neighborhood reported manure spewing from their faucets as well. Everyone had a stake in solving the problem, Bonness said.