Manchester mayor backs restrictions on horses near drinking water
Gatsas, a member of the Board of Water Commissioners, spoke as the New Hampshire horse community considers its options about expected restrictions of horses on the vast Water Works holdings in the Lake Massabesic watershed.
"It's imperative we keep that water supply as pure as we can. ... That is our drinking water," said Gatsas, a former racehorse owner who said he still has one retired, 19-year-old horse.
"The legal landslide that would come from them declaring manure as hazardous to humans is just massive," said Patricia Morris of Center Barnstead. She said Water Works has not provided scientific studies to show that horse manure is hazardous to human health, and some studies have found no pathogens in horse manure.
"They eat grain, they eat hay, they eat apples and drink water. That's all they do," said Morris, who is also a member of the New Hampshire Equine Trails Coalition.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said that droppings of warm-blooded animals contain bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal problems, Water Works Director David Paris said.
He said the science is also pretty clear on manure's effect on nutrient loading. When phosphorous and nitrogen in animal waste get into water bodies, it can lead to algae blooms. Blue-green algae blooms have been associated with serious diseases such as Lou Gehrig's disease, but scientists have not proved a direct link, according to material supplied by Paris.
She plans to file a right-to-know request with the agency to see if state money was used to develop trails on the land.
But Morris said setbacks from water bodies could be a possibility, and she would be willing to discuss areas where horses could be allowed on Water Works land. She noted that state parks officials recently backed away from horse restrictions but adopted rules that require riders to spread horse droppings when possible.
Paris said the Water Commission's Rules and Regulations Committee will meet soon to work on changes to Water Works regulations.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Tough task for NH budget writers - 14
- A kinder, gentler House Speaker? - 19
- State's treasury chief will seek a full term from Legislature - 0
- GOP gives nod to Bill O'Brien's return as House speaker - 47
- Advocates want more money from liquor sales to treat addiction - 0
- GOP and Democrats each pick up a seat in recounts - 0
- Bedford’s Sanborn drops out of NH House Speaker race - 0
- Merrill replaces Flanders as NH Senate Chief of Staff - 0
- Gov. Hassan wants a 'thoughtful, careful' budget - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Dave D'Onofrio's Patriots Notebook: It took a while, but now they're on Wright track - 0
- Newmarket blacksmith has forged a career shaping the elementsof steel - 0
- Kathy Sullivan: We need to rethink some of our county government positions - 0
- Pipes and plans: A chance to show up Mass. - 0
- H.S. Football Power Poll: No doubt - Astros finish on top - 0
- College Hockey: Wildcats home to RPI on Tuesday night - 0
- Manchester school board OK's contract for driver’s ed program - 0
- Unrest erupts after grand jury decides against charges in Ferguson, Mo., shooting - 0
- Malkin, Crosby foil Bruins in overtime - 0
Clinton has 'historic' lead in poll
Sources say former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card to be tapped as Franklin Pierce president
Randy Johnson, Pedro, Smoltz lead HOF ballot
Pipes and plans: A chance to show up Mass.