The Fudge Report

"All the poop that's fit to scoop..."

Friday, April 15, 2005

MDN: News on Japan as it happens: "500 tons of cow urine pollutes river in Hokkaido

SAPPORO -- A blunder by a worker resulted in 500 tons of cow urine overflowing from a reservoir in the Hokkaido village of Tsurui, running into an irrigation channel and polluting a branch of the Kushiro River.

Kushiro officials said the accident occurred in the predawn hours of Thursday, while urine in a concrete reservoir on a farm in Tsurui was being transferred to another reservoir.

Because the concrete reservoir, which has a capacity of 3,000 tons, was full a worker began pumping it into another reservoir with a capacity of only 2,500 tons.

However, the worker went home without turning off the pump and arrived at work at 4 a.m. on Thursday to find that 500 tons of urine had overflowed from the smaller tank.

The urine that spilled from the tank flowed into a nearby irrigation channel, and part of it ran into a river branching off the Kushiro River. This branch river has two spawning points for trout and salmon, but the accident is unlikely to have a direct effect on them because these points are upstream of the place where the irrigation channel meets the river.

However, fears have been raised that the spillage could harm young fish when they are released into the river. Furthermore, downstream the river branches into another river that runs through the Kushiro Marsh, eventually flowing into the Pacific Ocean, and it is possible the urine could affect river and sea fishing, officials said. (Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, April 15, 2005)"


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