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Manure Spill Near Garnavillo Elevates Ammonia Levels in Stream
Posted: 07/02/2013

GARNAVILLO –The DNR responded to an anonymous report of manure odor Friday, checking ammonia levels in an unnamed tributary of South Cedar Creek near Garnavillo in Clayton County.

Rick Martens, a DNR environmental specialist, found high levels of ammonia in the tributary and traced it back to a 300-head hog finishing building owned by Douglas Reimer of Guttenberg.

He also found a leaking pipe at the hog facility with liquid manure entering an inlet to an underground tile. In addition, he found flattened grass, ponding and some manure solids in a grassy area that Reimer said he had used for emergency land application. 

Both the tile line and the grassy area drain to a small intermittent stream, which flows about one mile to South Cedar Creek. There is no estimate of the amount of manure which reached the stream.

Reimer immediately closed the intake to the tile line and repaired the pipe.

Martens found elevated ammonia levels downstream in South Cedar Creek Friday. There was no evidence of a fish kill. By Saturday, field tests showed elevated ammonia levels in the tributary but not in South Cedar Creek. Water samples have been sent for laboratory testing.

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