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Illinois Approves Adams County Hog Farm

Jun 11, 2013

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has approved a proposed hog confinement in Adams County, after adding additional environmental protections.

Those added protections are due to the fact that the 5,000 hog facility will be built on a geological formation called karst.

The site of the future confinement.
Credit Judy Koehler

In karst, the bedrock contains holes which make it easier for water to infiltrate from the surface, meaning hog-waste could contaminate drinking water.

Water Resource Scientist Stacy James with the Prairie Rivers Network said the added protections, including mandating concrete waste pits are built to a higher standard, don’t eliminate the risk.

“I mean it’s just well known that concrete cracks, all concrete cracks. So how long will that pit, even if designed according to standards, hold up and be storing the waste completely?” James said.

The Adams County Board in an earlier vote endorsed the construction of the proposed facility.

James added that the Illinois’s Geological Survey karst expert, Sam Panno, has recommended that hog confinements not be built on this geological formation.