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Fish kill in IA river traced to hog farm


August 15, 2011
By Manure Manager

August 10, 2011, Randall, IA – A fish kill on the South Skunk River in
Hamilton County, IA, has been traced back to an outdoor concrete manure
holding structure at a hog confinement northwest of Randall near Little
Wall Lake.

August 10, 2011, Randall, IA – A fish kill on the South Skunk River in Hamilton County, IA, has been traced back to an outdoor concrete manure holding structure at a hog confinement northwest of Randall near Little Wall Lake.

By the afternoon of August 5, the leak from the storage structure had been stopped, but approximately a half mile of tile line is still leaking manure into an unnamed tributary that flows to the South Skunk River.

The hog confinement unit, consisting of four buildings with up to 4,800 animals combined, is owned by Merlyn Hegland, Ellsworth, IA.

The fish kill was reported and Iowa DNR staff was on the scene until darkness that evening. The next day, the DNR had environmental specialists at the site to find the source while fisheries biologists were doing an assessment of the fish kill. Field tests indicated high ammonia and low dissolved oxygen levels in the water. Dead fish were documented as far down stream as south of Story City, more than five stream miles.

The DNR has recommended that the producer pump down the concrete manure holding structure and consider pumping contaminated water from the stream.

The incident remains under investigation by the DNR.


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