Whatcom dairy farmer fined $8,000 for allowing manure runoff to pollute water

Snook Brook Farms, north of Ferndale, July 19, 2017.
Snook Brook Farms, north of Ferndale, July 19, 2017. The Bellingham Herald file

A Whatcom County dairy farmer has been fined $8,000 for allowing manure runoff from his Snook Brook Farms to get into ditches at Grandview and Kickerville roads.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture issued the fine Oct. 24 to Seth Snook for the dairy at 6804 Kickerville Road, northwest of Ferndale.

Subsequent water quality tests showed elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria.

Fecal coliform come from human and animal feces, and can sicken people as well as threaten wildlife, fish and shellfish beds.

Responding to a complaint, a State Department of Agriculture inspector on March 24 found manure overflowing from a storage pit and into a wet field that drained into the ditches, then Terrell Creek and ultimately into Birch Bay.

Other violations were noted in April, according to the state.

Snook had been cited twice previously, in 2014, for similar violations.

He was accused of animal neglect for the condition of his cows in a separate case, although the charges against him were later dismissed or reduced to misdemeanors.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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