DNR assisting with manure spill on reservation

DNR assisting with manure spill on reservation
Posted at 2:46 PM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 15:48:20-04

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has released a statement on a new manure spill:

State, county and Oneida Nation staff are responding to a large manure spill causing a fish kill in Silver Creek on the Oneida reservation about four miles west of Ashwaubenon.


The spill occurred on the Phil Robertson farm on County Road E immediately west of the Outagamie-Brown county line. It was reported at 1 p.m. Monday but likely started the night before. Before the source of the spill was stopped an estimated 300,000 gallons of manure were released into a grassy waterway and into Silver Creek, a tributary of Duck Creek. The manure flowed east and most of it is in Brown County.


People and pets can get sick from coming in contact with manure. Brown County and Oneida Nation health officials advise the public to not swim, play, walk or fish in streams in this area or in waters that look or smell like they contain manure. Health officials also advise the public to keep pets away from these streams.


Cleanup efforts started after the initial report and are continuing. The farm is not a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation). Oneida Nation staff is monitoring water quality with assistance from the state Department of Natural Resources. 


Oneida Nation staff asked DNR to assist with managing the cleanup.

Dead minnow species and bluegills have been seen at multiple road crossings on Silver Creek as it flows north towards its confluence with Duck Creek, just north of State 54 near S. Pine Tree Road, about 3 miles northeast of the farm. The manure plume has reached Duck Creek, field staff confirmed today.


Oneida Nation staff has been collecting water quality samples at several locations. DNR staff has collected bacteria samples at several locations, including the first downstream road crossing on Duck Creek. The farm contacted a sewage pumper Monday. Manure is being pumped from Silver Creek near the State Highway 54 crossing.


The farm reported the spill occurred when a valve holding manure in under-barn storage failed and released most of the contents into the farm’s main manure storage structure. That structure, already nearly full, overtopped and released manure onto a grassy waterway.


A crew from Outagamie County responded immediately after the report and excavated a sump-collection hole in the grassy waterway leading from the farm to Silver Creek. DNR staff also responded quickly and began coordinating cleanup efforts with Oneida Nation officials.