Goats at Storm Water Facility

There are about 50 animals in a Bellwood Heights storm water facility on Heron Ridge Drive.  They’ve been eating the plentiful grass from a wet spring.  It’s mostly sheep with a pair of llamas and a few goats as well.  It seems to be a popular place: cars stop, children get out, and they enjoy watching the animals.  Grass is poor nutrition and grass eating animals must eat a lot of it to get the nourishment they need.  This means a lot of manure and urine produced.    This facility has already has had a great deal of manure put in it. You can see it on the ground and even smell it if the wind is right.  This may not be a good thing.  A storm water facility is a place for treating storm water.  The purpose is to remove nutrients and sediments and release it to a water body as clean water.  Having goats and sheep to control vegetation is great in many situations.

Vineyards and organic farms see this as an alternative to herbicides for controlling unwanted weeds and grass.  During times of rainfall surface water from several blocks flows through this facility.  As a consequence of too many animals, nutrients and coliform bacteria could be carried into Gee Creek.   There is rain predicted for Thursday, June 15th.   If there is enough rain to move storm water through this facility, it would be a good day to find out if there is a problem.

Thanks for Paul Snoey for this information.

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