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Massive amounts of manure spills from farm field into rural community

FULTON, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Thousands of gallons of manure has spilled into a West Michigan community.

It's happening in the Fulton area, which is in rural Kalamazoo County.

The manure is running off from a farmer's field and putting the surrounding area in danger.

This nasty situation is developing right near the Norris family's front yard.

"I don't want that in my yard, or in my area. It's kind of disgusting," said Lisa Norris, who lives across from the spill.

The manure was spread over this farmland outside Fulton last week.

"With the warmup on Sunday, that snow started to run off the field along with the manure," said Bruce Washburn, an environmental quality analyst for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

A stream of feces formed, flowing over 42nd Street into ditches and neighboring properties.

The DEQ said it's already working to contain it.

"Try to keep anymore contaminated water from heading down stream. They have it dammed at the field," Washburn said.

The big concern is this dirty material getting into waterways and hurting wildlife.

"And obviously human health is the other concern that we have. Swimming in it, drinking it, that's what the health department is looking into," Washburn said.

The farming company that spread the manure told Newschannel 3 that it wasn't prepared for a warm up like this.

It reported the spill to the DEQ after its own efforts to contain it failed.

"We haven't determined whether it was an improper application or whether it was bad timing. Winter spreading on snow-covered ground is a more risky practice," Washburn said.

Washburn said the farming company has been proactive in cleaning up the spill.

However, a warmer week ahead could mean trouble.

"Things could break loose and cause more problems," Washburn said.

Lisa Norris hopes this can be taken care of before it impacts her pets and the well water she depends on.

"Yeah I don't want to drink that, absolutely not," Norris said.

The farming company could be fined.

But the DEQ says they're still in the early stages of their investigation.

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