Crews pumping Wells County creek after chemical spill

Local News

WELLS COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — Cleanup work is underway after a chemical spill that left fish in a Wells County creek dead.

The Indiana Department of Emergency Management said Tuesday that it received a report from Indiana DNR on Saturday about dead fish in Six Mile Creek outside Bluffton.

A contamination source was not found, though, IDEM said.

On Sunday then, DNR spotted a “possible foreign substance” in the creek. That was reported to IDEM.

Monday morning, more dead fish were found in the creek, and IDEM and DNR both progressed their investigations.

The contamination was traced to an above-ground fertilizer storage tank near the intersection of county roads South 500 East and East 550 South that leaked. It’s not clear how much fertilizer was spilled.

IDEM said the responsible party was conducting a spill response to minimize further impacts. That includes “intercepting and eliminating contaminant flow through a field tile and through the construction of a large earthen dam in Six Mile Creek,” IDEM said.

Efforts are also being made to contain the impacted water in Six Mile Creek, IDEM added. Crews are pumping water from the creek to nearby agriculture fields.

The clean-up efforts are ongoing, and the pumping will continue until the fertilizer concentrations are reduced such not to create a threat to down gradient receiving waters, IDEM said.

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