Our environment’s fundamental components include food, water, and plant life. Massive levels of ammonium sulphate have the potential to be harmful to each of these.
This morning, 20,000 pounds of it spilled from a truck onto a state roadway, leaving its mark.
Several of the trees burned near I-77 bore one of such marks.
Zac McClendon, the owner of Bare Roots Gardening and a local landscaper and plant expert, tells News 19 that his main worry is for the soil.
The high concentration of salt near the roots of that plant will decrease its capacity to absorb water, but over the course of the next year or so, McClendon predicts that the spill will lower the pH of the soil in a larger radius around it, which will have an impact on all the plants and result in decreased uptake of specific nutrients.
Zac emphasizes why these trees are unlikely to recover in the long run. They’ll probably pass away.
The water director for this region assures us that the water supply beneath this chemical leak is unaffected because the solid ammonium sulphate didn’t sink in far enough to breach the pipes.
“There is basically no way that there could be any kind of pollution in the water system,” said Trip Peak, director of Winnsboro Water. “Not only is it about 20 feet deep, but it is also in a steel casing pipe, and then the water line itself is in a ductal iron pipe.”
Additionally, DHEC would notify them to cut the water line into smaller segments, perform the necessary repairs, disinfect, and flush it before re-entering service.
Then comes our main food source: livestock raised by neighborhood farmers. Amanda Jones, a co-owner of Doko Farm in Blythewood, tells News 19 that she would take precautions to protect her unique heritage breed animals if they were ever in danger from a chemical accident, which they weren’t in this instance.
The most vulnerable livestock, such as young poultry or turkeys, could be moved to a farm building and given fans to help clear the air, Jones suggested. “Because we are pasture-based 365 days a year, what we could do is move any livestock in an affected area to the far side of our local farm,” he added.
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