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NRCS gives funds for water examination

March 27, 1997

By Amy Priour

Lariat Staff Writer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide financial assistance for a two-phase proposal to examine the quality of the water in the Brazos River Basin.

U.S. Representative Chet Edwards, officials from the Brazos River Authority (BRA), the mayors of the cities of Waco and Clifton, the Erath County judge and representatives from the Erath County dairy industry met with the chief of the NRCS, said Vance Gore, Edward press secretary. The chief organized a technical review committee to look at the proposal and report back.

Edwards said in a press release the meeting was very productive, with the leaders of different groups working together to present a united front.

Manure from dairy farms in Erath County is washing into the Brazos River. Nutrients in the manure, such as phosphate and nitrate, are causing algae to bloom and negatively affect the quality of Waco's water.

The BRA proposed to study the feasibility of turning the wastes into fertilizer to be sold, phase one of the program.

'Improving and protecting the water in Lake Waco is an absolute top priority of mine,' Edwards said in a press release.

Gore said Edwards believes this water problem will take a cooperative effort to solve, and that it will not be solved overnight, but that steps need to be taken now.

This dairy waste composting proposal is designed to help reduce the pollution levels in the Bosque River and Lake Waco.

Representatives from the Brazos River Authority and the Mt. Carmel Water Treatment Plant were unavailable for comment.

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