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Severe flooding in northwest Iowa causes multiple manure discharges


September 25, 2018
By Iowa Department of Natural Resources

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Spencer, IA – Following heavy rains and extensive flooding in northwest Iowa, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is encouraging Iowans to stay out of floodwaters until after the waters recede.

Lois Benson, an environmental specialist at DNR’s Spencer field office, said that 26 livestock operations have reported their manure storage systems were overflowing.

“They are reporting they’ve received from 7 to 12 inches of rainfall, with more expected,” she said. “The vast majority have a national pollution prevention discharge elimination system or NPDES permit. In essence, this permit allows them to overflow in heavy rains.”

Most of the discharging livestock facilities are in Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien and Clay counties.

“We’re telling them to hold the overflow as best they can and try to prevent it from reaching a stream. Some are transferring it to other areas. Some are trying to contain it behind terraces.”

Producers who expect to discharge need to call the Spencer DNR field office at 712-262-4177.