“A growing body of evidence indicates that CAFO-generated contaminants are ending up in the waters that we depend on for commerce, recreation, and perhaps most importantly, drinking. Spills that occur during manure transport or when storage facilities fail can lead to easily discernible, significant impacts on water quality, as I explained in my previous blog entry.
More insidious though are the negative impacts resulting from the over-application of animal solid waste to crops. Spreading livestock manure in quantities greater than the plants can use or the soil can absorb can cause severe water quality problems and thereby harm human health. Although waste generated by the animal farm operator can be a valuable commodity when applied on land to help crops grow, the sheer scale of CAFOs distorts such usage.
Because CAFOs are often clustered within small areas and many farmers purchase livestock feed instead of growing it on adjacent land, the area available for manure disposal is rapidly vanishing. The U.S. Department of Agriculture brought this trend to light in 2000 when it found that the potential for water pollution from manure runoff was higher in those regions with the largest concentration of animals in confinement. More recent studies also point to CAFO density as a chief indicator of localized runoff and higher contaminant concentrations in water.”
Read more: Huffington Post