Tag Archives: Water

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Water is critical to the survival of all living creatures, but if that water source is compromised, it can have deadly consequences.

For cattle ranchers, watering their livestock from ponds and the presence of high amounts of blue-green algae can be a threat, said Scott Fritz, toxicology resident with the Kansas State University Veterinary Diagnostic lab.

“It is common when we look at case histories to see a sudden, overnight death associated with blue-green algae,” Fritz said during a recent Cattle Chat podcast with the experts at the Beef Cattle Institute.

To avoid this tragedy, Fritz said cattle ranchers need to monitor the ponds that cattle drink from, especially in late summer.

“Blue-green algae are present in every body of water and they are an important part of the ecosystem. However, in mid-summer the water can become stagnant when the rain tapers off, and that is when the algae will rapidly bloom,” Fritz said. When those algae blooms start to die, toxins are released.

He said there are visual cues that ranchers can watch for when monitoring the ponds.

“You’ll first see what looks like pond scum on the top of the water. It can be blue, green or orange,” Fritz said. “Any time the pond looks a little different, it is important to get it tested.”

To test the water, Fritz said producers should collect a sample by using a container, jar or old water bottle.

“The blooms are buoyant, so on a windy day they tend to drift to one side of the pond and that is a great place to make the collection,” Fritz said. He recommended that when ranchers collect a sample, they should try to gather water a few inches below the surface.

When the samples arrive at the lab, they are evaluated under a microscope for the presence of algae. If algae are present then the scientists do follow up testing to determine how much toxin is concentrated, he said.

Fritz has observed that blooms are becoming more common and can occur more than once in a summer on an individual pond, which is why monitoring is important. He also said that cattle can be given access to the pond once it is determined through testing that it is safe.

“It isn’t economically practical to keep cattle off pastures for years, so the best thing producers can do is monitor the ponds. Once the blooms are gone and the toxins are no longer present, it is safe to put the cows back out there provided the water is going to continue to be monitored,” Fritz said.

WASHINGTON (July 9, 2020) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler issued the following statement on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill.

“I would recommend President Trump veto this bill. The Democrats’ FY21 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill fails to include funding for vital programs necessary to ensure EPA can carry out its core mission.

“At a time when countless cities across America are facing financial difficulties, Democrats have completely gutted the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), a popular loan program which has provided nearly $12 billion in water infrastructure projects and created 25,000 jobs under President Trump. Since the onset of the pandemic, WIFIA has saved taxpayers over a billion dollars while continuing to move critical infrastructure projects forward in cities including: San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Miami, FL, Courtland, NY, Wichita, KS, and numerous other cities across the country.

“House Democrats are blackmailing the agency on the basis of their arbitrary response deadlines for congressional letters. In an election year gimmick they are attempting to penalize the agency by threatening to withhold funds for an alleged failure to provide information regarding my predecessor that was shared with the Appropriations Committee more than a year ago.

“The House Majority is trying to score political points instead of putting forward a realistic appropriations bill. They are trying to undo common-sense regulations put forth by the Trump Administration that update Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and make lawful methane adjustments that have saved taxpayers millions of dollars while protecting human health and the environment, and allowing American businesses to flourish.

“Rather than looking out for the health and safety of Americans and the environment, House Democrats are playing politics at the expense of both communities across the country and EPA career employees.”