Iowa Fertilizer Spill Reported

An estimated 800 gallons of 28% liquid nitrogen fertilizer spilled at a Franklin County farm supply in Coulter, IA, Monday about 5 p.m.

The spill occurred as an employee of AG Vantage FS opened the wrong valve while filling a tanker. Staff at the farm supply acted quickly to contain the spill, but about 650 gallons reached a tile inlet that drains into Maynes Creek, a drainage ditch on the south side of town.

AG Vantage FS built a dam across the drainage ditch and pumped out 6,000 gallons of contaminated water, applying it to nearby agricultural land.

The DNR inspected the stream last night and found five small dead fish. Tuesday, DNR staff was tracking the fertilizer as it moves downstream. By 3 p.m., the fertilizer had flowed about 5.5 miles downstream and no additional dead fish had been found.

However, field test kits show ammonia levels in the water are high enough to kill fish. The DNR will continue to monitor the stream and the ongoing cleanup efforts.

The DNR will consider appropriate enforcement action.

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