Milk – a dangerous substance?

Most people think milk is harmless.

But in the wrong hands and in the wrong place it can be a dangerous substance – for life in freshwater. When it spills into water in any quantity it can use up oxygen and add large quantities of nutrients to the water. Fortunately it’s not actually toxic! In fact, milk can be as bad as letting raw sewage wash into the water.

Normally in cold weather, it’s against the rules to spread milk on the farmland in cold weather because it can quickly run straight over the frozen land into ponds, streams and rivers.

But in the exceptional cold weather, as you can see here, the Environment Agency is trying to help farmers by relaxing the rules on the disposal of uncollected milk.

So it’s allowing farmers to tip milk onto frozen land for the time being, when there’s no alternative way of getting rid of it and provided it doesn’t wash into the water to cause pollution.

It’s one of those tricky situations where rules, to be practical, have to be relaxed.


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