South Atlantic Water Science Center - North Carolina Office
Period of Project
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Surface-Water Quality and Swine CAFOs
The Animal Feeding Operations Unit within the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Water Resources (DWR) is responsible for permitting and regulating animal feeding operations throughout North Carolina. As of 2010, DWR permitted approximately 2,150 swine operations in the state, the majority (about 2,000) of which are located in the Coastal Plain Physiographic Province.
The lack of stream water-quality data associated with the many permitted swine concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in eastern North Carolina makes it difficult for DWR to:
Therefore, the DWR collaborated with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to generate needed information to provide a scientific basis for water-resource managers and policy makers to evaluate existing, or establish new, regulations or procedures at permitted CAFOs for protecting and enhancing stream water quality in nutrient impaired waters in eastern North Carolina.
During the study, samples were collected and analyzed from 54 Coastal Plain watersheds to determine whether swine CAFOs had a mesuarable effect on stream water quality.
All water-quality data collected during this project are available online in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) database.
The final report for the completed study was released on June 23, 2015 and is available online.