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Fish kill on Roberts Creek in Clayton County traced to fertilizer coop

  • 7/22/2020 4:21:00 PM
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ELKADER—Tuesday, the DNR traced a fish kill on Roberts Creek just a mile northeast of Elkader to an agricultural cooperative.

A private citizen reported the fish kill to DNR fisheries staff, who responded--finding dead minnows, carp, suckers and other species along nearly three miles of the creek before it flows into the Turkey River.

DNR field staff investigated the site on July 21, finding elevated ammonia levels in a drainage ditch below the Three Rivers FS, an agricultural cooperative. Coop staff indicated they emptied a secondary containment structure around a fertilizer tank on July 20. DNR field tests show water emptied from the structure had high levels of ammonia.

The coop cleaned the containment area and found a potential contamination source. Managers are upgrading water-testing equipment and will train staff on testing and monitoring the area.

DNR will monitor cleanup and consider appropriate enforcement action.

Spills of hazardous substances must be reported to the DNR at 515-725-8694 as soon as possible but not later than six hours after the spill occurred or was discovered. Learn more about spill reporting requirements on the DNR’s website.