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Home arrow Health arrow Best practices for environmental health : environmental pollution, protection, quality and sustainability
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Best Practices for Aesthetics

  • 1. Develop a periodic clean-up program to remove trash and other litter close to bodies of water, conducted by civic groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church and synagogue groups, etc.
  • 2. Sample the water including scum, foam, and color to determine what contaminants are present and where the contamination is coming from. This is typically point source contamination and needs to be either stopped on a voluntary basis or by direct order of a governing body and if necessary the use of further legal efforts.

Agriculture

Manure and other animal wastes are sources of ground and surface water pollution, especially from microorganisms and oxygen-demanding waste which can affect life in streams. About 95% of the fecal coliform found in urban stormwater comes from non-human sources. Feedlots used for animals or poultry produce large amounts of concentrated animal waste which readily contaminates ground and surface water supplies because of the quantities of waste available, through direct surface runoff or seepage into the groundwater, and because of over-application of the waste materials to the land. These contaminants add high levels of nitrogen nutrients to the soil. The increased nutrients create substantial growth of algae in surface waters, thereby killing fish and other life forms because of reduced levels of oxygen. The higher levels of pathogenic bacteria may also cause disease. Medical waste can be generated daily on farms. These wastes include needles, syringes, scalpels, drug or vaccine vials, outdated drugs, etc. If improperly handled they may injure livestock, people, and waste handlers, and pollute the environment or increase the potential of infection.

Best Practices for Agriculture (See endnotes 2, 3, 4, 29)

  • 1. Use proper grazing management measures in sensitive areas such as streams, wetlands, ponds, and other bodies of water. Exclude livestock and use alternate drinking water locations.
  • 2. Leave harvested plant material on the ground to reduce soil erosion and runoff.
  • 3. Reduce nutrient runoff by determining the actual needs for nutrients by type of crop, location of the farm, prevailing weather conditions, and time of year.
  • 4. Use appropriate pest management procedures while reducing use of chemicals.
  • 5. Use strips of vegetation to provide barriers against runoff.
  • 6. Use runoff control and proper waste storage on feedlots.
  • 7. Use proper feed formulations to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus in the feces.
  • 8. Use appropriate erosion and sediment control procedures (see appropriate section).
  • 9. Use irrigation water in quantities needed and not in excess.
  • 10. Use soil efficiently by: testing for quantities of nutrients naturally available and using the results to determine the amount of nutrients to be added; use a proper nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) source; use proper timing of nutrient application; and use manure whenever possible as a source of nutrients.
 
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