Chicken farmers concerned over water pipe requirements - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Chicken farmers concerned over water pipe requirements

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Many Limestone Co. poultry farmers are trying to hook up with Pilgrim's Pride. (Source: WAFF) Many Limestone Co. poultry farmers are trying to hook up with Pilgrim's Pride. (Source: WAFF)
LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Some North Alabama chicken farmers are concerned that they may have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority to stay in business.

Tyson Foods is not renewing its contracts with Limestone County poultry farmers. Many of them are trying to hook up with Pilgrim's Pride. That company requires farms to have bigger water pipes. To get the larger pipes, the farmers have to pay the water authority.

In one case, for the biggest chicken farm, that would be roughly $60,000. It's an impact fee. The General Manager for the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority, Byron Cook, said an average chicken farm using the bigger, two-inch pipes, would have a maximum water usage of 100,000 gallons in a day.

The problem for farmers is that they have to have the two-inch pipes to be considered by Pilgrim's Pride. Cook said that impact fee has been their policy for years, and the money is used pay for water system upgrades needed to compensate for heavy water usage. He said it's the same deal for a developer building a subdivision, that they pay $1,000 per home.

Cook said they will not reduce the fee, but they are considering something they rarely do, which is let the farmers pay in installments.

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