Wastewater Sludge Discharge at Fort Dodge
FORT DODGE – On Sunday, during a transfer of sludge at the wastewater plant in Fort Dodge due to construction activity, the hose on the transfer pump came out of the receiving structure and about 2,500 gallons of sludge was discharged to the ground at the facility.
An attempt was made to recover the sludge; however, only about 55 gallons were recovered due to snow melt and other complications. Approximately 2,445 gallons entered a nearby intake that discharges directly to the Des Moines River. The recovered sludge was put into the receiving structure.
As this was a relatively small discharge compared to the amount of water in the river from recent snow melt, the dilution limited the impact to the river.
The incident occurred when the transfer pump was left unattended for 10 minutes.
The DNR will continue to monitor the situation and consider appropriate enforcement action.