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Drinking water discharge into creek may be cause of fish kill in Ames

AMES – DNR staff investigated a fish kill along Ioway Creek in Ames, Thursday, July 8 after a passerby noticed dead fish mid-morning and called the DNR.

The impacted area begins near the pedestrian bridge in Stuart Smith Park and continues south approximately a mile. Several different species and sizes of dead fish were observed in the area; however, live fish were observed at the Duff Avenue bridge.

DNR staff believe a water main break that happened late afternoon Wednesday on South Riverside Drive, which discharged approximately 700,000 gallons of drinking water according to the City of Ames, is to blame, but the investigation continues. The drinking water is believed to have entered into a nearby storm sewer that leads directly to Ioway Creek. Drinking water contains chlorine and has a temperature of 55 degrees, both of which can stress fish, especially during times of low flow such as now.

The water main was repaired and there is no on-going discharge. DNR Fisheries staff will be conducting a dead fish count and the DNR will determine appropriate enforcement action.

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