Investigating Possible Contamination

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JERSEY SHORE -- Environmental regulators are investigating reports of "slaughter house waste" getting into a tributary to the Susquehanna River in Lycoming County.

People who live on Nippenese Road near Jersey Shore noticed the water that runs through these fields and under the road turned a brownish-red this week.

"It definitely changes the color of the run water, gives a smell off," said Ann McKean.

The discolored water is near a farm that uses decomposing, bloody waste from a meat-packing plant by the truckload to fertilize its crops.

An investigation with the State Department of Environmental Protection was at Brett Bowes' farm looking into the issue.

Kelly Branton lives nearby and said the stench and the apparent contamination is causing lots of concern.

"It's not good for our children and people in the community. We can't sit out and enjoy our properties because it smells so bad," said Branton.

Newswatch 16 has learned DEP issued a notice of violation a month ago to Bowes for spreading the waste too close to a stream.

Brett Bowes wouldn't speak on camera but said he built a large pit to store the slaughterhouse waste and is saving a lot of money on fertilizer in the process.

In an effort to better mask the smell of the slaughterhouse waste and get the full benefits from it Brett Bowes said he uses this machine to put the waste in more than 1000 acres of farmland he has here near Jersey Shore but neighbors said they still smell it and still see it.

"We want it stopped, everyday we worry about whether we can drink our water or come outside," said Branton

The DEP is looking into if any more "waste" from the slaughter house ran off into the tributary in Lycoming County.