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Iowa officials investigating manure spills, fish kills

April 15, 2021 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa environmental officials are investigating two separate manure spills into state creeks that led to fish kills in both tributaries.

Both spills occurred Wednesday, according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The first saw “several hundred thousand” gallons of livestock manure spilled into Mud Creek in Lyons County in the northwestern corner of Iowa. The second saw about 10,000 gallons of manure spilled into Kossuth County’s Lotts Creek in north central Iowa. Investigators reported finding a large number of dead fish at both sites.

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The pollution of Mud Creek was attributed to a local dairy, which reported the spill after an irrigation unit became stuck, the department said. The manure flowed through fields and pasture before reaching Mud Creek. DNR staff helped stop the spill and will monitor the clean-up, the department said.

In Kossuth County, a commercial manure application company was applying manure in the area when a hose detached from a pump and rolled into the creek, the DNR said. Collecting the manure was deemed impractical due to the creek’s high banks, wide channel and swift flow, the agency said. Lotts Creek flows into the East Fork of the Des Moines River, but the agency said the spill is not expected to affect downstream water supplies. Even so, the agency is testing water samples there.