Polluted water from a fertilizer spill in northern Iowa has spread through 18 miles of Kossuth County, killing hundreds of thousands of fish and other wildlife.State officials say the anhydrous ammonia spill in Lotts Creek killed fish, turtles, otter and frogs and is now considered the worst spill-related fishkill in state history. A dam was put up late yesterday just above where the creek joins the East Fork of the Des Moines River. If the contaminated water reaches the river, the number of fish killed is expected to go much higher. Four pumps are set up that can pump five thousand gallons of water a minute. They’re spreading the water over 800 acres of farmland. Kevin Baskins of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it’s “chaos” at the scene as over two dozen people were on the site last night at eight o’clock, including area farmers who brought in their equipment to help construct the dam. Baskins says their main goal is to keep the ammonia-contaminated water out of the East Fork of the Des Moines River to keep any more fish or wildlife from being killed. The first public water supply downriver from the spill is the Des Moines Waterworks. Baskins says drinking water in the Capitol City shouldn’t be affected, as the Waterworks draws water miles and miles away from the spill, and the Raccoon River is an alternative if there’s a problem in the Des Moines.
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