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DNR checking runoff from fire in Des Moines

DES MOINES – DNR environmental specialists checked dark, soot-smelling runoff in Walfley Creek near the Firestone plant on Second Avenue late Sunday and again this morning.

The creek reaches the Des Moines River between Aurora and Interstate 80/35.

DNR staff traced the runoff to Phoenix C&D Recycling on Northeast 22nd Street in Des Moines where a fire occurred July 6. Runoff flowed from the recycling center through a runoff detention basin, then went west underground before reappearing in the creek. 

“Residents in the area may notice a sooty fire odor and black discoloration,” said Ted Petersen, supervisor of DNR’s Des Moines area field office. “We’re working with Phoenix recycling to reduce the amount of water leaving the site.”

He added that people should keep their children and pets away from the creek for at least 24 hours after the water runs clear.

Residents should not be concerned about drinking water quality. Des Moines Water Works has been notified and is monitoring raw water for potential contaminants. Drinking water goes through an extensive treatment process.

DNR staff investigated the fire site Friday. At that time runoff was minimal and staff expected it to be contained.