Streamline - Winter 2011 - (Page 11)

Farm Tours for Source Water Protection BY NANCY CARR, SOURCE WATER PROTECTION SPECIALIST With a centralized water source, the farmer divides his fields for rotational grazing, the pastures improve and herd health improves. NON-POINT POLLUTION CAN’T be pointed at. It just runs off a general area, without definite boundaries, as opposed to a stormwater outfall pipe. Runoff carries excess nitrates and phosphates, litter, motor vehicle drippings, over-applied and improperly stored pesticides and herbicides and animal feces. Two other articles in this winter Streamline discuss the problems caused by unmanaged nutrients. The Woodstock wastewater treatment plant upgraded in order to decrease the nitrates and phosphates in its discharge that are harming the Chesapeake Bay. The effluent from wastewater treatment plants are point sources, so decreasing the nitrates and phosphates at wwt plants is simpler to target than the runoff from a farm field or other landscape feature. The VACS article indicates that there is a barrage of practices to help prevent harmful runoff from farms. The best practice, according to state and federal conservation technicians, is the riparian buffer. “Riparian” refers to the land edge along a waterway. By fencing out livestock and planting trees and shrubs next to the water, or just allowing an ungrazed edge to grow up naturally, the network of roots will filter pollutants before they reach a stream. The plants will also hold the soil in the banks – not degraded now by hooves. The farmer, with cost-share funds that may pay back 100 percent of his investment, will put in an alternative watering source away from the stream. The riparian buffer is a tool used for source water protection. Excluding animal feces from waterways, either deposited directly or indirectly (through runoff from pastures), decreases the bacterial content in raw surface water supplies, as well as the amount of nutrients. Farmers are generally well aware of this option. However, changing tradition sometimes takes one or two convinced landowners to put a new idea into practice – then seeing is believing. Neighbors will adopt the strategy. With a Left. Riparian buffer along Linville Creek, Rockingham County. Right. Chestnut oak emerging from protective tube, Black Creek, Nelson County; tubes disintegrate as trees grow. 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Winter 2011

From the President
From the Executive Director
Farm Tours for Source Water Protection
Preparing Yourself for an Emergency Response
One Step Ahead: Tappahannock Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade
Improving Virginia Waters – VACS
Variable Frequency Drives Can Save You Money
City of Emporia Water Plant Upgrade
The Woodstock Wastewater Treatment Plant
Bird Contamination and Your Water Tank
VRWA 24th Annual Exposition Preview
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefi ts
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are?
VRWA Mailbag
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board Of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index To Advertisers/Ad.Com

Streamline - Winter 2011