OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. - A large manure spill, which resulted in a significant fish kill in Dutchman Creek near Freedom, has been contained and is in the process of being cleaned up, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The spill happened at Neighborhood Dairy, a large dairy farm located just northeast of Freedom in Outagamie County, the DNR said.
The portion of Dutchman Creek affected, about a mile and half, is almost entirely located within tribal boundaries of the Oneida Nation. The DNR has notified the tribe and will keep them updated, they said.
The spill was apparently caused by a full manure pit and a valve malfunction which allowed manure to back up and run out of the dairy’s runoff collection system, flow through a wide grassy swale and enter Dutchman Creek, said Ben Uvaas, a DNR wastewater and runoff specialist.
From there it flowed to the northeast, crossing under Section Line Road and then Vans Road. A berm constructed north of Vans Road has contained the spill.
DNR groundwater specialists are monitoring the spill, but the thick clay soil in the region may prevent any groundwater contamination.
The volume of the spill is unknown, but it did kill a large number small forage fish in the affected section of the creek, such as bullheads, mud minnows and sticklebacks.