March 16, 2017, Green Bay, WI – Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources recently responded to a manure spill, estimated at 100,000 gallons, in southeast Brown County.
The manure release occurred sometime March 13 when a valve was left open by a farm employee. It was reported by the farm late that night as a spill of about 1,000 gallons. Cleanup began early March 14. DNR and county staff arriving at the scene determined it was a larger, expanding spill and directed a more aggressive cleanup with more berms, sumps and pumping.
Responders determined that manure flowed for approximately 3.5 miles, reaching the Luxemburg Road crossing, where the stream is identified as School Creek. School Creek is a tributary of the Kewaunee River. DNR specialists are assessing the extent of water quality impacts.
At this time, the source area where manure flowed out from above ground storage is contained. Cleanup activities are ongoing. DNR is working with Brown County Land & Water Conservation staff and the farm owner. The farm, located in the Town of Humboldt, is not a concentrated animal feeding operation, and does not operate under a DNR permit.
The DNR and county health department advise the public that the water in the stream might not be safe for people or pets. Surface water samples are being taken to monitor water quality impacts.
DNR has determined there is some risk of groundwater impact due to the dominant geology in area being shallow bedrock and advises private well owners to closely monitor water quality. Any changes in water color or odor should be immediately reported to the DNR and the county health department.