DNR, Contractors Work to Contain Manure Runoff

The DNR is still looking into exactly what may have led to a major manure runoff in eastern Fond du Lac County last week. A farm had spread manure just before a heavy rain – causing it to flush into nearby waterways. 

DNR Wastewater Specialist Ben Uvaas says progress is being made as “several hundred thousand gallons 
of manure-laden water was pumped from the creek in an area where it appeared
to be most contaminated. So that’s really good cleanup progress.”

Uvaas also tells us that the investigation into the runoff led them to find other issues. He says “in addition to the areas that we confirmed manure leaving fields – that had received manure from Red Tail Ridge Dairy – an unrelated farms manure pit was overtopping to a small degree and was also likely contributing pollutants to the stream.”

Fish kills were reported along the manure plume’s path – but it was mostly small fish. Signs were posted along the path, and near County Highway CCC – warning people to avoid the water. 

Uvaas adds that “because of the clay soils in the area and the depth of groundwater, they don’t anticipate that local wells will be impacted. That said, the department does advise anybody like we would in any situation – if a private well owner notices a change in color, odor, or taste with their drinking water or well water, they should stop using it and contact the department or Fond du Lac County Health Department and let them know.”