Monday afternoon, DNR staff were rechecking a discharge from a fertilizer plant into a drainage ditch about six miles southeast of Clarion.
Friday, DNR staff responded to a complaint about air pollution at the NuOrganics facility when they found a discharge that had overflowed from a large storage tank. The ammonia-laden water flowed into a road ditch, through an underground tile line and into a drainage ditch. DNR staff found contaminated water in the ditch for two to three miles downstream.
DNR staff collected water samples for laboratory analysis. They also found live fish in the ditch below the contaminated water. Low stream levels helped contain contaminated water in pools, preventing it from moving downstream into the Iowa River.
A contractor hired by NuOrganics dammed the drainage ditch and recovered approximately 10,000 gallons of contaminated water. The plant has shut down production as they work to discover the cause of the discharge.
DNR will continue to monitor the cleanup and consider appropriate enforcement action.