The image to the left are the Finger Lakes. Otisco Lake is in the same region.
May 5, 2017
By Your Letter
Regarding "The No.1 issue with No. 2," about farmers building pits to store cow manure:
The story brings back memories of my days as the public works commissioner of Syracuse when we struggled to find out what to do with the mountains of yard waste we were collecting in the city -- you know, the piles that accumulate this time of year, causing a mad scramble by the DPW to pick up in a timely fashion. Cow manure application was causing a problem in the Otisco Lake Watershed. Oh, yes, that happens to be a drinking water supply in the county. It was a huge regional issue in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, as well.
The basic chemistry that was at play regarding composting is mixing a carbon source with a nitrogen source. The city had the carbon (yard waste) and the dairy farms had the nitrogen (cow manure). By the way, cow manure is not the only problem. We had visited a large poultry operation in Pompey that was having an issue applying chicken manure to the land because of complaints from residents in Pompey who had built mansions as part of our urban sprawl. We had also visited the Revere Ware company to look at the possibility of creating in-vessel composting operations decentralized and located right on the farms. The carbon and nitrogen, when first composted, produces a lot of heat, heat that could be used to supply hot water which the dairy farmers used. It could also produce a liquid fertilizer that the Grace Co. was experimenting with....