Sep 24, 2007

City Prevents 4-H Water Pollution

After Yolo County Fairground officials banned 4-H animals from being housed during the rainy season –when waste contaminated the city's water treatment plant—the city has been working to make sure livestock had a place to stay.

During the City Council meeting Tuesday night, Public Works Director Gary Wegener talked about the city's effort to make sure that the fairgrounds will be able to house animals this winter.

"We've just worked out the pollution permit terms for the fairground," he said.
From now on, 4-H students are required to do basic upkeep when they house their animals at the fairgrounds - including sweeping up after the animals, placing waste in sealed containers and properly disposing of the waste to prevent it from washing into the ground with rain water.

Wegener said as long as the animals are cleaned up after there should be no significant problems.

Councilman Jeff Monroe said he was happy that Wegener worked with the fairgrounds and that this issue could now be put to rest.

"I can't image losing 4-H out there," Monroe said.

The fairgrounds earlier this year turned out to be one of the sources of an "orange goop" which shut down Woodland's water treatment plant.

Apparently, the animal waste was reacting with chemicals used in water treatment. The reaction colored the treated water orange, which violated the state's Clean Water Act.

Since the contamination was inadvertent by the jail and fairgrounds, there were no fines.