North Carolina would be heaven for Miss Piggy—there are ten million hogs in this state. They are spread over 2,400 hog "farms," which contain 4,000 of the infamous "lagoons," which I choose to call cesspools. I did not run across a figure for how much excrement each hog creates in its lifetime on the farm, but it is considerable. In times of excessive rain, the cesspools are liable to overflow, and that can create immense problems for our water supply.
The excrement has to be stored somewhere because it can't be used as fertilizer as fast as it is produced. Even when the sludge is sprayed on fields for fertilizer, runoff can poison streams and rivers. The cesspools are favored by farmers because it is a lot cheaper to dig a big hole than it is to erect several large holding tanks. The Legislature, though, is being asked to ban all cesspools on hog farms by 2008. So, what alternatives do we have?