The Wisconsin DNR says large number of fish were killed following a manure spill in a creek near Freedom.
Officials say that the spill resulted because of a valve malfunction from Neighborhood Dairy, causing a full manure pit to run out of the farm’s runoff collection system. It affected about a mile-and-a-half long stretch of Dutchman Creek and flowed under Section Line and Vans roads.
Much of the affected area is in the Oneida Indian Reservation and estimates total about 20,000 gallons of manure spilled.
According to the DNR, farm workers reacted quickly and began pumping manure from the pit to another storage area. They also called in vacuum trucks to remove contaminated water from the creek.
The DNR says it’s possible groundwater may not be affected because of thick clay soil, but specialists are monitoring the situation.
The cleanup effort is expected to last several days.
DNR Officials Propose Rules to Limit Farm Waste
Officials with the Wisconsin DNR have developed new standards to limit animal waste on farms in the eastern part of the state.
Proposed DNR regulations are focused on more than 87,000 acres of farmland in 15 eastern counties. The land lies over fractured bedrock, which can serve as a pathway for manure to get into aquifers and contaminate drinking water.
The rules include certain practices farmers must follow, such as avoiding certain areas to reduce the possibility of polluting groundwater. Currently, regulations are uniform across the state. DNR officials say special steps must be taken in eastern Wisconsin in order to meet the groundwater standard.
The proposal is expected to go to the Legislature by January.