Every few months, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is notified of a fish kill caused by livestock manure that’s washed into a waterway. Often times, the source of the problem is traced back to a commercial truck wash facility. Dan Stipe, supervisor for the DNR field office in Atlantic, says anyone constructing such a facility should probably be connected to a wastewater treatment plant. "There are a number of variables they have to take into consideration, but simply letting (wastewater) go untreated into a waterway generally results in something negative happening," Stipe said.
A fish kill in Cass and Montgomery Counties this week is blamed on a discharge of wastewater into Rose Creek from a truck wash owned by Muller Livestock in Griswold. Stipe says workers were spraying out trailers full of livestock manure, which carry high level of ammonia. "Ammonias in the lower five, six or seven parts per million range can kill fish and my staff was finding ammonia levels in the 250 range coming from the basin," Stipe said. "Ammonia from manure is usually the pollutant of concern from these facilities." Stipe says the DNR continues to investigate the fish kill in Rose Creek and will consider possible enforcement action against Muller Livestock.