Back Print

Iowa DNR is investigating a fish kill near Waukon

Posted: Tue, Jul 21, 2020 3:18 PM

The DNR is investigating a fish kill in a tributary of Paint Creek south of Waukon.

Shortly after 11:00 a.m. Monday, the Waukon Wastewater Treatment Plant reported that Aveka Nutra Processing spilled 76,000 pounds of yeast and that the yeast was running into the treatment plant.

Normally, the plant routes spills into a lagoon before being treated in the plant. However, the lagoon pump failed after a power loss, allowing the yeast to spill into the creek, causing a fish kill. Plant operators were able to reroute the yeast to the plant by 11:45 a.m. The influx of yeast overwhelmed the treatment plant's capacity—causing an ongoing release of partially treated wastewater.

DNR recommends preventing livestock and pets from drinking from the creek for three days or until the water clears up.  The DNR will continue to monitor the situation and will consider appropriate enforcement action.