Plugged Liquid Manure Line Causes Spill

Melvin, Iowa — A plugged liquid manure line gets the blame for a spill of 14,000 gallons of the natural fertilizer near Melvin on Wednesday.
liquid manure honeywagon houle
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says an estimated 14,000 gallons of liquid manure was released Wednesday from an 1,800 head hog confinement owned by D&L Swine LLC west of Melvin. To put that into perspective, according to their specifications, that’s about as much manure as would fill two normal-sized liquid manure tanks like the ones pulled behind tractors.

The DNR reports the release occurred when a line from the confinement building to the lagoon became plugged causing the liquid manure to run across the ground surface to a tile intake that outlets to an unnamed tributary to the Floyd River.

DNR officials say the owner responded by placing large hay bales in the waterway downstream from the tile outlet. The liquid manure is being pumped back into the lagoon and the tile line is being flushed. They say pumping will continue until the ammonia levels in the contained part of the stream return to normal. No fish kill occurred because the stream was too shallow for fish along the approximately one-fourth of a mile of waterway.

The DNR says the spill was reported by the owners of the facility.

Environmental specialists from the DNR were on the scene Wednesday and Thursday to monitor the cleanup efforts.

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