Up to 10,000 gallons of manure spill into Walnut Creek

RIDGEWAY, Iowa – The DNR on Wednesday announced it is investigating a manure spill about three miles north of Ridgeway in Winneshiek County.

An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of manure reached the headwaters of Walnut Creek after a hose came apart during manure application, the news release said.

“The spill occurred on the Kevin Moellers cattle confinement about 4 p.m. Tuesday. Moellers reported it to DNR at 8:10 a.m. Wednesday,” the release said.

Environmental dangers from confinement operations is one of the reasons the Winneshiek County

Board has sought changes to the process the state uses to approve such facilities. Floyd County is among those supporting Winneshiek’s call to lawmakers to make changes.

According to the news release, Moellers dammed the creek about a mile downstream and pumped water to his lagoon until the water ran clear. He reported there was no fish kill.

DNR staff from Manchester took several water samples and tested for ammonia Wednesday morning. Inspectors did not see any dead fish and confirmed field tests showed low levels of ammonia.

“They went to a lot of effort and destroyed some cropland to prevent the manure from going further,” said Clark Ott, DNR environmental inspector.

The DNR will monitor the cleanup and consider appropriate enforcement action.