Greenish water, elevated ammonia traced to poultry CAFO

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The Iowa DNR traced green-colored water and elevated ammonia levels discovered Wednesday in a Wright County drainage ditch to an egg laying facility about four miles south of Eagle Grove.

EAGLE GROVE — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) traced a green color and ammonia discovered Wednesday in a Wright County drainage ditch to an egg laying facility about four miles south of Eagle Grove.

Investigations by the field staff from the DNR’s Mason City office revealed wastewater from Daybreak Foods Inc. was land applied on a field just before a heavy rainfall. The DNR said saturated soils likely caused a tile outlet below the field to begin discharging algae-laden water.

Daybreak Foods plugged the tile line to prevent further runoff, according to the DNR.

The two-day DNR investigation found elevated ammonia levels and green color in about two miles of the drainage ditch. No dead fish were found, the department said.

Water samples were collected in the ditch and river for laboratory testing, but field tests showed ammonia levels did not appear elevated downstream in the Boone River.

The DNR said it would will monitor cleanup efforts and consider appropriate enforcement action. They said Daybreak Foods Inc. holds a DNR wastewater permit that specifies conditions for land application of liquids from an egg wash water lagoon.

The Iowa DNR traced green-colored water and elevated ammonia levels discovered Wednesday in a Wright County drainage ditch to an egg laying facility about four miles south of Eagle Grove.

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