Dairy waste floods homes near Yakima

Cow manure is flooding homes and yards near Yakima, and the Health Department is warning residents not to drink their water.

OUTLOOK, Wash. -- An Outlook dairy has unleashed a flood of hazardous water into and around nearby homes.

According to the Department of Agriculture, a small levee broke Wednesday in a nearby field owned by Deruyter Brothers Dairy. A mix of water and dairy waste then moved across another farm's compost piles, traveling further downhill toward a cluster of homes.

At least four homes were damaged, with dairy waste flooding the living space of at least one of them.

The Department of Health is working to test drinking water, but is alerting residents not to drink it. They are also working to give residents clean water.

Meanwhile, officials from Yakima County and the Washington State Department of Agriculture were going door to door in the neighborhood Thursday to share the information and drinking water alert.

The Deruyter family dairy farms have been sued several times in the past for violating the Clean Water Act. 

One of the attorney's who successfully prosecuted Dan Deruyter's farm, Charlie Tebbutt, is demanding the state enact immediate evacuations and provide relief for affected residents. One family has evacuated already.

Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) is sponsoring a bill that would make it more difficult to regulate waste from farms.  HB 848 reads: "Congress never intended the Solid Waste Disposal Act (commonly known as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) to govern animal or crop waste, manure, or fertilizer, or constituents derived from such sources, or the ways in which they are managed, stored, handled, or applied by agricultural operations."

Copyright 2017 KING


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