The long-term dry spell that started more than two years ago has left stream levels low and made fish and other aquatic critters like crayfish especially vulnerable to spills and even small amounts of pollutants.
“These three tips can help prevent spills and fish kills, and they’ll also help keep applicators safe,” says Trent Lambert, supervisor in the Mason City field office.
- SLOW DOWN! Getting in a hurry has caused past spills and accidents. Don’t try to speed things up and then accidentally miss the corner and land in the ditch.
- Be diligent. Pay attention during pumping and land application, watching the equipment, weather and land. Stay away from saturated soils and be aware of the potential for runoff. Don’t over apply. Walk or ride the umbilical line before and during pumping to ensure all of the couplings are and remain fastened. Don’t leave running equipment unattended.
- Avoid water. Keep umbilical hoses and application equipment away from bridges, creeks and tile intakes. Avoid surface application by injecting or incorporating. Stay away from sensitive areas and steep slopes. Follow required separation distances for your operation.
If the worst happens, call in a spill report as soon as you can to 515-725-8694. DNR staff are experienced in handling spills. They can likely help you keep a bad situation from becoming worse.
For more tips, see “Avoid Spills and Fish Kills—9 Tips for Successful Land Application.”