The story below illustrates the animal waste situation well. (pun intended)
At least 138 Darfield residents had serious stomach upsets after drinking water contaminated with animal waste.
The Canterbury District Health Board's Community and Public Health division has released its report on last year's outbreak of waterborne gastroenteritis in Darfield.
Twenty-nine people tested positive for campylobacter in the July and August outbreak. Another 109 people were defined as having probable campylobacteriosis.
Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Ramon Pink said the outbreak happened after heavy rain caused animal effluent to enter an untreated well.That is a lot of sick people and I fear this type of event will increase as we continue to bend over backwards to supply dairy farmers with water, so they can make money, and as a consequence we have spoiled water or depleted rivers. It is common I believe and I know of more than a few instances where farmers have diddled the system to get more water than the rivers can allow - leading to dried up streams and fish gasping for breath in fetid ponds. Too often I also see the farmer near us let his cows wander down to the river to drink and shit with impunity - what has happened to the clean streams accord? Well it was voluntary - nuff said.
This despoilment of the commons was touched on by JMG and I recommend reading this post from him. We have to take back our commons and restore equality for people and communities and we have to start now while the rivers have some chance of recovery.
As for dairy farmers - first I would make their personal water supply be sourced downstream from their farms - that would sort 90% of it out quite quickly imo.