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Dead cows in farm's manure piles cause water-quality violations

March 16, 2012 |  1:28 pm

More than 50 cows were found partially buried at a Central Valley farm, officials said, in violation of state and federal water quality regulations.

The cows were found decomposing in a manure pile in the dairy’s production area last month. The dairy is in Gustine, and is owned by the Rego Family Trust.

A routine inspection of the dairy by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board found numerous violations of federal and state water-quality regulations.

“This dairy’s lack of good management practices and blatant disregard for the law impacts both surface and groundwater, posing dangers to public health and polluting the waters of the state of California,” Water Board Executive Officer Pamela Creedon said in a release.

In addition to the dead cows, inspectors found signs that wastewater had flowed into nearby drainage ditches, rodent holes, discarded medical syringes, and manure wastewater improperly dumped on cropland.

The water board is requiring the dairy to remove the dead animals by March 30, provide documentation on how many animals it has, and stop all improper waste water discharges.

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-- Sam Cohen, Fox 40 Sacramento

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