"The record-breaking rains that started with Hurricane Florence are continuing to strain North Carolina’s hog lagoons.
Because of the storm, at least 77 lagoons in the state have either released pig waste into the environment or are at imminent risk of doing so, according to data issued Tuesday by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. That tally more than doubled from the day before, when the department’s count was 34.
When a pig in a large-scale farm urinates or defecates, the waste falls through slatted floors into holding troughs below. Those troughs are periodically flushed into an earthen hole in the ground called a lagoon in a mixture of water, pig excrement and anaerobic bacteria. The bacteria digest the slurry and also give lagoons their bubble gum-pink coloration.
North Carolina has 9.7 million pigs that produce 10 billion gallons of manure, mostly on large-scale farms, primarily in low-lying Sampson and Dupin counties. Both counties were affected by Florence."