CHILLICOTHE, Iowa — Acting on a tip received about midday Thursday, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff found blackwater — treated sanitary sewer wastewater — entering South Avery Creek about one mile southwest of Chillicothe in Wapello County.
According to a DNR statement issued Thursday afternoon, the DNR staffers traced the sewage to Ecosystems Inc., a trucking operation run by Jeffrey Klodt of Chillicothe. Klodt said he was land applying wastewater from the city of Osceola’s wastewater treatment plant, the DNR said.
The blackwater ran off the hilltop, followed a mile-long course into an underground tile inlet and coursed through a field and road ditch before entering the creek, the DNR said.
An unknown quantity of wastewater entered creek, the DNR said. Klodt told investigators that six semi-tractor trailers had already unloaded at the site. The DNR staff directed Klodt to cease unloading wastewater.
Water samples from the creek have been being sent for laboratory analysis. No dead fish were seen in the creek, the DNR said.
The DNR recommends keeping children, pets and livestock out of the stream for 24 to 48 hours after the discharge stops. The DNR said it will continue to monitor the situation and consider appropriate cleanup and enforcement action.