Brazoria County, Texas Hurricane Inland Flooding and Farm Animal Waste: A Risk Assessment
Large-scale factory farms or contained animal feeding operations (CAFOs) frequently use waste storage lagoons for waste management. Heavy rainfall events and flooding have caused many of these lagoons, which hold millions of gallons of waste, to fail and spill their contents into watersheds. Waste lagoon spills may harm the surrounding environment, human health and safety, and the economy of an area This study focuses on Brazoria County, which is located on the Texas coast and has four CAFOs that use lagoons for waste management within its boundaries. A risk assessment was performed to evaluate the potential for contamination from a CAFO lagoon spill on the Texas coast in Brazoria County. For the purposes of this research, a risk assessment is defined as an evaluation of the environmental, human health, human safety, and economic factors that could be at risk in the event of a CAFO waste lagoon spill caused by hurricane inland flooding. This assessment evaluates the risk of lagoons contaminating streams, rivers and other water bodies of Brazoria County. A geographic information system was used to evaluate variables pertaining to the factors that place the area at risk. The goal of this research was to produce a map showing the risk of contamination in Brazoria County if a tropical storm or hurricane generating inland flooding impacted its coast.
sewage lagoons, animal waste, floods, Brazoria County, risk assessment
Archuleta, C. A. (2001). Brazoria County, Texas hurricane inland flooding and farm animal waste: A risk assessment (Unpublished thesis). Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.