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DNR investigating spill and fish kill in Butler County

MEDIA CONTACT: Daniel Watterson at 641-424-4073 or Daniel.Waterson@dnr.iowa.gov.

ALLISON – A leaking pit from a hog confinement about five miles southeast of Allison in Butler County sent DNR staff to the field Saturday to investigate.

The manure flowed into a grass waterway, into an underground tile line and into a tributary of the West Fork of the Cedar River. Owner Jeff Kramer discovered the leak and a faulty pipe seal late Friday at the Jefferson Finisher Farm.

He and his crew worked overnight to remove manure from the pit and land apply it. Kramer worked with Iowa Select Farms to dam the tributary and pump up contaminated water in the creek.

When DNR arrived Saturday morning, pumping and land application to crop fields continued. Most of the contaminated water was contained, but field tests showed elevated ammonia levels below the dam. Staff saw one small dead fish Saturday, but no other fish.

Kramer continued pumping contaminated water and land applying it. On Monday, Nov. 6, DNR staff found contaminated water contained to a one-mile stretch of the tributary. Fisheries staff found a few more dead fish, but also live fish in the stream.  

The DNR will continue to monitor cleanup and will consider appropriate enforcement action. 

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