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According to a press report last Friday, the Starlite Hutterite Colony, near Starbuck, Manitoba, held an open house to show off its new sewage lagoon cover. The 200 by 350 foot cover has been designed to hold in the intense smells given off by the hog manure and other animal wastes held in the lagoon.

At an open house, colony boss Jacob Hofer and the representative of the Canadian company that fabricated the low linear polyethylene (LLP) cover, Roy Farrow, discussed the fact that the colony has been receiving complaints from local people about the stench from the manure lagoon. “This is about trying to get some goodwill going,” said Mr. Farrow.

When they walked on the cover to demonstrate its strength—the lagoon is 20 feet deep—Hofer joked that he was walking on water, a brave statement considering the contents of what he was really moving over. Hofer added some terse comments about Manitoba animal rights activists who protest the colony hog operations, the efficiency of which was described in detail in a news report last September. He feels the animals are cared for like babies. The article last week describes the way the new cover will stand up to wind, rain, and sunlight, and the technique for venting and burning off methane gas from the lagoon.

Another news story last November described similar concerns for public relations at the Pincher Creek Hutterite Colony near Pincher Creek, Alberta. It, too, has a hog manure lagoon which creates an intense odor that people in the nearby town were complaining about.