Environmental Concerns About Water Quality

Picture of water running from a tap Voices from Knox County:

"Many farm families get their water from a spring resource on the farm, so they are probably more conscious about chemicals getting into the sources than anybody else."

"The absence of E. Coli indicator bacteria suggests that both Wolf Run and the Kokosing River are free from appreciable levels of fecal contamination."

"The nitrogen levels increased at all the test sites, especially in the form of ammonia. There are a couple of possible answers that help explain this. First, organic nitrogen is far more available than phosphorous, especially in the form of ammonia. This is because of all the grazing cattle and horses in the area."

"Some people [buy our springwater] because they know we don't use chemicals, other people just because it's good spring water."

"It is probable that the increase in plowing and fertilizing that will take place during these months [late spring] could cause major changes in the stream's physio-chemistry."

Knox County is home to the Kokosing River, well known for its clean water and good fishing. Even though the county's main industry is agriculture, chemical use has not noticibly affected water quality. Farmers as well as cityfolk rely on the county's streams, river, and aquifer as sources of drinking water. The potential for water contamination must remain a primary concern of all the residents of Knox County. As with any industry, improper use of natural resources such as water can render them useless to the community at large.

The absence of E. Coli, mentioned above, indicates that manure has not seriously contaminated the area's waterways. When waste enters streams it lowers the amount of oxygen available to living organisms. This contamination is also a health hazard to the people who consume water.

photo credit: Buckeye Farm News, Feb. 1996

home sources
E-Mail The Family Farm Project