The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 23, 2007


Great Brook Farm dairy construction project underway

Visitors to Great Brook Farm State Park on Lowell Street may notice that construction has just begun on a new waste water treatment facility. The state park includes a dairy farm where 70 cows are milked by farmer Mark Duffy. The waste facility will treat "grey water" from the washing of stainless steel equipment after each milking. At a cost of $180,000, the project is expected to be completed before the end of December.

Construction is visible in the field behind and to the east of the dairy barn at Great Brook Farm State Park. (Photos by Betsy Fell)
Wendy Fox, press secretary for the Department of Conservation and Recreation, explained that "strip treatment," consisting of a 60-foot underground pipe, will allow the water to be dispersed over a wide area. The water will contain milk and soap, "all organic, and non-toxic," according to Fox. The area above the pipe will be covered with attractive plantings. Duffy notes that the system will not handle manure, as this is composted and sold for garden use.

The facility will replace a series of dry wells that currently provide treatment, but are not in line with DEP recommendations. "This (new) system is used in dairy farms across the country," said Fox, noting the DEP was involved in the planning and that this system will bring the barn up to environmental standards.

Duffy hopes the state will continue investing in Great Brook Farm. He notes the current barn is more than 50 years old and is proving inadequate for barn tours, which have become popular with schools and must be able to accommodate mobility-impaired students. He points to the governor's promise to improve state parks, and notes, "We want to do a better job of giving a more realistic view of modern farming. A new barn would be good for the environment, for the cows, and for the public."

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito