Manure Manager

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IA DNR investigating manure release


September 3, 2013, Inwood, IA — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating a manure release to an unnamed tributary of the Rock River.

A neighbor reported the release to the DNR, when he discovered manure flowing through his farm pond. The manure came from a solids settling basin at a 4,000-head open lot cattle facility.

The cattle facility pumped the manure from the basin and improperly applied about 12 loads of manure – each at 2,500 to 4,000 gallons – to a corn field. The manure flowed off the field into a creek, which then ran for a mile before entering the neighbor’s pond, and then through the pond’s outlet back into the creek.

The manure was pumped from the pond and returned to the facility for treatment. The DNR is onsite investigating and has not found any dead fish. The DNR observed live fish in the stream, but found ammonia levels to be at 20 parts per million upstream of the pond. High levels of ammonia, found in manure, can be toxic to fish and other aquatic life. The DNR will continue to monitor the stream during the weekend.

It’s important to call the DNR’s 24-hour spill line at 515-281-8694 as soon as possible after seeing a fish kill.