Believe us, the last thing we want to do is diminish support for manure digesters. We need these facilities and the benefits to the environment they promise. But we’ve got to tell you, we’re getting a little concerned about the digester near Waunakee.

This week’s explosion that blew the inflatable, nylon cover off the 1.25 million gallon manure digester is the latest in a series of incidents, some of which we are just learning about. We need some answers and it’s probably time for Dane County and the DNR to turn up the heat on the company operating this thing.

We have no question the amount of phosphorus reduction and the energy generated by the digester is a net positive for the region. But the spills and the malfunctions and now an explosion make us wonder if the technology exceeds the ability of Clear Horizons and PPFC Partners, which owns Clear Horizons, to operate it.

We need some reassurance this company can prevent additional problems and potential violations, because the incidents are starting to add up.