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Fertilizer spill causes fish kill near Elkader

By: - July 22, 2020 5:40 pm

The Turkey River is in northeast Iowa near Elkader. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

Fertilizer from a co-operative was linked to a fish kill along Roberts Creek a mile northeast of Elkader, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported.

Businesses have to report spills within six hours, but a private citizen reported the Elkader spill. State investigators found dead minnows, carp and suckers among the dead fish along a three-mile stretch of the creek.

The stream feeds into the Turkey River, which the state stocks with trout.

DNR field staff on Tuesday found high ammonia levels in a drainage ditch near the co-op, Three Rivers FS. Company staffers said they emptied a secondary containment on Monday. The company found a possible source of the spill.

The state will consider enforcement action.

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