116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating a fish kill on Dry Branch Creek west of Ossian in northeast Iowa.
DNR staff Saturday found dead fish and a strong odor in Dry Branch Creek near County Road B32, a mile-and-a-half west of Ossian in Winneshiek County, according to a news release Monday.
Following the creek upstream, they identified the source of the fish kill as a soil conditioner leaking from an underground storage pit at the Milan Hageman farm. The DNR doesn’t say in the release what is in the soil conditioner, but these add-ins can include manure, food waste, compost, biochar, sulfur and lime.
Hageman hauls the material for land application on crop fields, storing it until conditions are right for application, the DNR reported.
After discovering the leak, Hageman hired a contractor to build small dams to protect the creek and to identify leaks in the building, the DNR said. The remaining soil conditioner was land applied.
Field tests showed relatively high ammonia levels for about eight miles downstream, until water in Dry Branch Creek disappeared underground just upstream of the Turkey River, the DNR reported.
DNR staff were on-site Monday to count dead fish and to monitor the cleanup. The DNR will take appropriate enforcement action and seek a penalty for the fish killed, the news release states.
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