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North Iowa egg company fined for polluting creek

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EAGLE GROVE | A Wright County egg production company has been ordered to pay a $5,500 penalty for polluting a creek.

The Iowa DNR, which is responsible for enforcing environmental laws, received a complaint Aug. 15, 2017, that a creek near Daybreak Foods Inc. egg production and processing facility in rural Eagle Grove had a “greenish color and smelled dirty,” according to an administrative complaint order.

DNR Environmental Specialist Daniel Watterson arrived at Daybreak the next day to investigate. He and staff discovered a tile outlet sending a steady flow of water into the creek, according to the order.  

The order said samples showed the discharge and downstream creek water contained high ammonia levels. Samples of upstream creek water were normal.

Daybreak employees told Watterson wastewater had been applied to a field due to dry weather, and a 2-inch rain had occurred shortly after the last application, the order said.

The company has a permit to apply wastewater but is prohibited from allowing it to discharge or run into surface waters, according to the DNR. 

Repeated application of wastewater, combined with rain, flushed wastewater into the tile line and through the creek, causing discoloration and high ammonia levels, Watterson concluded in the order.

Daybreak was ordered to pay a $5,500 administrative penalty by Feb. 19, the order said, and must install a shut-off valve on its tile outlet within six months.

Contact Ashley at 641-421-0556 or on Twitter @GGashkmiller. 


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