|Former Manders Dairy
Farm. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
WESTON – Despite surface water surrounding the manure lagoon at the former Manders Dairy Farm on Range
Line Road in Liberty Township, there is no eminent danger nor leakage from the lagoon.
Following complaints regarding what was perceived as an overflow or other breach of the pond, Jocelyn
Henderson, a resource management specialist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of
Soil and Water, inspected the facility on Tuesday and found no current problems.
"We have been involved with this site since January," Henderson said by telephone following her
She indicated there have been weekly visits to inspect the facility, notably following a small overflow
from a settling basin next to the barn.
The property is currently owned by Dairy Acquisition 1 LLC, a firm based in Mankato, Minn. The facility
was used for some time for dairy heifers but has not been used as a dairy since 2011. The Ohio
Department of Agriculture said it is no longer a permitted dairy operation.
There are currently no livestock in the former dairy barns, and Henderson said the property owner has
been cooperative with inspectors.
The inspector said the water, which has pooled around the lagoon, is likely there because the drainage
tiles from the farm have been plugged to prevent any manure from getting into the public waterways
through the ditches, which take water from the field tiles.
"That is predominantly fresh water," Henderson said.
She said one of the reasons the tiles have been capped is due to a small amount of overflow and discharge
a few weeks ago caused by melting snow and surface moisture overflowing the basin by the barn. Henderson
also indicated some manure had been applied to the field recently. A "small amount" of manure
did previously make its way into the Range Line Road ditch before the tiles were capped, she said.
As to the manure lagoon itself, Henderson said, "There is at least six inches to a foot before the
lagoon would overflow its banks. If it gets to that point, they would have to haul some of it away.
There is no breach, there are no leaks."
Henderson said the owner is waiting for better weather in order to be able to properly "land
apply" manure to the fields. To the best of her knowledge, Henderson said the owners are planning
to apply the liquid manure to the fields per best handling practices. The ODNR soil and water division
will continue to monitor the site as needed.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says they have a 24-hour "Spill Hotline" available if
anyone should detect or notice any potential environmental hazard, include manure spills or leaks. That
number is 800-282-9378.