How is Water Used on a Hog Farm?
All farmers are tasked with working the land and caring for it in an environmentally conscious way, and as a hog farmer, it’s doubly important to be good stewards of water for ourselves, our animals, and the environment. Water is a valuable and limited resource that must be managed smartly. The houses our hogs live in are designed to conserve and reuse water for cleaning and flushing. The floors in our hog houses have slots in them, allowing the hog waste to fall into a reservoir below. Several times a day, recycled water flushes out the new waste and carries it to the holding pond, or lagoon. By recycling lagoon water to flush out the buildings, we are able to reserve clean water for the hogs to drink. In the lagoon, solid waste is broken down into a fluid that is reused for more flushing, and for irrigating and fertilizing our crops. We test the lagoon four times a year to monitor nutrient levels – this tells us how much lagoon water can safely be applied and prevents runoff of nutrients into our streams, rivers, and drinking water. As Waste Application Certified Operators, we monitor the irrigation process on site, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality inspects our farm annually.
Hog farmers like us raise healthy animals in such a way that respects the animal, consumer and environment. We are aware that our work to conserve and protect our water supply has a broad impact, not only on our families who live here on the farm, but also on communities that rely on a clean and safe water supply.
Lorenda and Harrell Overman are proud sixth-generation Wayne County farmers who raise healthy market hogs to produce bacon, pork chops, sausage, barbecued pork and ham. They also raise corn, wheat and soybeans.