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Hundreds of gallons of milk dumped from Hy-Vee pollutes Iowa stream


This news story was published on August 14, 2020.
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Photo of polluted stream via owa Department of Natural Resources

ANKENY, IOWA — Hundreds of gallons of milk dumped from a Hy-Vee store in Ankeny has led to dead fish and a polluted stream.

As of noon Thursday, dead fish began surfacing in roughly one-half mile of a tributary to Fourmile Creek in Ankeny following a release of, reportedly, upwards of 800 gallons milk on Tuesday night from a Hy-Vee store.

A DNR and city of Ankeny investigation Wednesday traced the milk to a storm drain at the Hy-Vee store at 410 N. Ankeny Boulevard.

Hy-Vee contracted with an environmental firm who worked through Wednesday night to clean up the tributary, placing small dams so they could pump up milky water. “The contractor is doing what they can to minimize environmental damage,” said Ted Petersen, DNR supervisor. Cleanup continues on Thursday.

While the DNR investigation is ongoing, milky water had not reached Fourmile Creek Thursday afternoon. Dead fish in the tributary were mostly minnows and small gamefish. DNR fisheries staff will be on site Thursday afternoon to do a fish count.

Petersen cautions that apparently harmless materials, like milk, can be toxic to aquatic creatures. “It’s important to know that storm drains flow underground directly into a nearby stream,” he said. “Sanitary sewers connected to your house’s sinks, showers and toilets send wastewater to a treatment plant or septic system. So, when disposing of a liquid into the municipal collection system, it’s important to check with the local wastewater treatment plant or DNR field office prior to disposal.”

Upon completion of the investigation, DNR will consider appropriate enforcement action, which may include fish kill restitution.

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6 Responses to Hundreds of gallons of milk dumped from Hy-Vee pollutes Iowa stream

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 15, 2020 at 4:30 am

    Jeez, why didn’t somebody realize what a dumb idea this was?

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 14, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    I hope the DNR fines Hy-Vee greatly. This is so wrong on so many levels.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 14, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    It is too bad the store could not give this milk away before it spoiled. I wonder what they did with all the meat?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      August 14, 2020 at 11:23 pm

      sold it on the dark web

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      August 17, 2020 at 10:02 am

      That doesn’t sound like capitalism. Murica.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 14, 2020 at 10:24 am

    Damn farmers!