Melting snow raises water concerns - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Melting snow raises water concerns

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

This winter has dumped more than 60 inches of snow in the Wausau area.

As it melts, it could pose challenges, especially for farmers.

"We have a lot of contaminate issues occurring during the spring, during the snow melt period with manure run-off," said DNR Regional Coordinator, Terrence Kafka.

The Department of Natural Resources warns that as the snow melts, the water flowing into streams and rivers could be contaminated.

"Bacteria and small organisms feed on the organic material," said Kafka.

They said the best way to prevent the runoff from contamination is by waiting to lay manure until after the snow melts.

"Generally we would prefer that Ag producers would not apply during this time of year at all," said Kafka.

And it's not just farmers affected.

With so much snow piled up all across Marathon County, highway crews said they're also getting prepared for it all to melt.

"We're currently working to get ahead of that, we've got our graters out opening ditches and waterways," said Marathon County Highway Operations Supervisor, Russ Graveen.

Supervisors said they have 66 workers ready to deal with flooding if it happens.

"If we do see some flooding areas where we have problem culverts, that are froze, we actually have three jetters, three backhoes, and excavators that can pull snow," said Graveen.

The melting has already started in some spots, but the big thaw is still ahead.

That's keeping a lot of people watching as temperatures start to rise.

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