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Industrial Agriculture Poisoning Wells and Streams

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

industrial agriculture causes water pollution

Story at-a-glance -

  • Large industrial farms are polluting water across rural America with repercussions felt in public water supply systems and private wells alike
  • The number of systems polluted with nitrates and Coliform bacteria, including E. coli, are rising; rural residents in some Wisconsin communities are forced to drink bottled water as well water piped into their homes is brown, smells of manure and is full of nitrates and E. coli
  • Cracks in the bedrock and areas near waterways and the practice of spreading manure over land with thin topsoil result in rising nitrate levels in water, which in turn promotes toxic algae growth and increases the risk of cancers, birth defects and miscarriage
  • Regenerative, organic and biodynamic farming are the best choices to reduce environmental devastation while still being able to produce enough food to feed the population; consider supporting your local regenerative farms by purchasing through farmer’s markets or directly from the farmer

Animal waste and fertilizer runoff are two of the largest contributors to water pollution and contamination. Rising productivity on industrial factory farms is single-handedly impairing drinking water supplies across the country, polluting with key culprits like nitrogen, phosphate, insecticides and pesticides.

In the Midwest, Iowa is the leader in U.S. corn and soy production and a major producer of hogs, eggs, cattle and chickens raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).


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