Workers at a farm operation in northwest Iowa have been cleaning up a big mess this week. Lois Benson, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says a massive manure spill occurred sometime Sunday night at the High Plains Dairy in south central Osceola County  “They had a pump failure, which resulted manure overflowing…it turns out it was about a-million gallons of manure released,” Benson says.

The spill is one of the largest of it’s kind in Iowa. Most of the manure ended up in a dry creek bed.) “It’s very unusual…a very large spill,” Benson says. “The creek bed was entirely dry, which does minimize some of the environmental impact.” DNR staff have been working with High Plains Dairy to make sure a similar mechanical failure doesn’t happen again.

Benson says High Plains has done a “great job” with the cleanup. Workers dammed the dry creek bed to contain the manure, which is now being applied to nearby fields.

“They actually had manure applicators on site for doing their fall pump out, so they have pumped pretty much nonstop since the discovery of the spill and have been doing their routine applications since then,” Benson said. “They’ve been doing application right from that dammed-up area.”

The producer has also been pumping clean water into the streambed, flushing remaining manure. A press release from the DNR states the agency “will consider appropriate enforcement action.”