MOORE COUNTY, Texas (KVII) — One of the biggest risks to groundwater is pesticides and chemicals. To help protect the groundwater supply in Moore County the Texas Department of Agriculture hosted a disposal event.
In this week’s Panhandle Runs on Water, ABC 7 News looks at how collecting and properly disposing of these chemicals can be vital to protecting the environment.
“I want to leave our family farm to my kids and grandkids in better shape than I found it,” said Sid Miller, Commissioner of Agriculture for Texas.
That’s a goal shared by farmers and ranchers. One way to keep that goal is to be good stewards of the environment.
The Texas Department of Agriculture hosted a disposal event where farmers and ranchers can get rid of old pesticides and chemicals, something Miller tells ABC 7 News is long overdue.
“Some of these chemicals are so old were picking up DDT, Arsenic and Strychnine things that are very dangerous to the environment especially dangerous to our water table,” said Miller.
“It’s very important to keep that stuff from contaminating our own local wells,” said Steve Walthour, general manager of North Plains Groundwater Conservation District. “Most all the house wells out here have no cleanup or contamination mitigation standard when they're pumping water out of the wells so your kids can end up drinking it later.”
Pesticides can contaminate groundwater. The closer the water table is to the surface the greater the risk it may become contaminated. An environmental company is hired to collect and transport the products to Dallas where they will be incinerated.
“I farm in South Africa,” said Hentie Vinbiljon, farmer. “I farm over here as well. We have a potato farm over here and we have some herbicide and fungicide over here and yeah we leave it to the experts to get rid of it.”
“This is the best way for us to get rid of those chemicals that we no longer need they can’t go in our landfill in Dumas because it’s not a landfill that can take that material,” said Walthour.
The cost to host each one of these disposal events is around $200,000 and the goal is to have more of these not just in the Texas Panhandle but throughout the entire state.