Fish Kill Averted in Lee County Manure Spill
Posted: 10/04/2011
MONTROSE – The DNR investigated a manure spill from a small dairy about one mile south of Montrose in Lee County Monday evening.

Dairy producer Raymond Dresser of Keokuk was pumping out a pit to use the manure in land application. Dresser briefly left the pump running. A hydraulic valve on the pump malfunctioned releasing an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 gallons of manure. The manure travelled several hundred yards into a waterway.

Dresser acted quickly to dam the waterway at the lowest end, trapping much of the manure so he could pump it up and reclaim it, and called the DNR to report the spill about 3 p.m.

An unknown amount of manure flowed downstream to reach a branch of Lamalees Creek.

“The producer was fortunate, because the creek was dry,” said Russell Royce an environmental specialist from the DNR Washington field office. “He did the right things, damming the waterway and pumping up the manure. But he’s lucky, because if there had been any water in the creek, conditions were right for a fish kill – low water levels and warm temperatures.

Royce cautions other livestock producers to have someone watching the pump and to take care during the fall manure application season. “This time of year it doesn’t take much to cause a water quality problem or fish kill,” he said.

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