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Red color in Little Beaver Creek near Grimes may move downstream

GRIMES – DNR is investigating a red color in Little Beaver Creek after the Grimes wastewater treatment plant in Polk County reported a red color entering the system Friday afternoon.

Operators from the city’s treatment plant and DNR staff traced the color to an area in Grimes, but were unable to positively identify the chemical or its source. However, they haven’t seen any dead fish or other environmental effects in the creek.

They confirmed the red discharge is no longer coming into the treatment plant, but it will continue to discharge and may extend downstream. It’s possible the red color will enter Beaver Creek on the west side of Camp Dodge in Johnston over the weekend. 

At 4:45 p.m. Friday, it hadn’t reached the intersection with Highway 141.

As a precaution, people should keep children and pets out of the stream. Staff will follow up on Monday, working to identify the product and where it came from.

The DNR will consider appropriate enforcement action with the city and the responsible party for violating a water quality standard.