OSSIAN, Iowa – Soil conditioner leaking from an underground pit is being blamed for a fish kill in northeast Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources was contacted about a fish kill roughly 1.5 miles west of Ossian on Saturday. DNR staff say they found dead fish and a strong organic odor in Dry Branch Creek near County Road B32.
Following the creek upstream, DNR staff says they identified the source as a soil conditioner leaking from an underground storage pit at the Milan Hageman farm. The DNR says field tests showed relatively high ammonia levels for about 8 miles downstream, until water in Dry Branch Creek disappeared underground just upstream of the Turkey River.
State workers returned to the fish kill site on Monday to count dead fish and monitor cleanup. The DNR says it will take appropriate enforcement action and seek a penalty for the fish killed.