A fish kill near Waukon in Allamakee County is under investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.


Just after 11am Monday, the Waukon Wastewater Treatment Plant had reported that a local drying company, Aveka Nutra Processing, had spilled 76,000 pounds of yeast, that was running into the treatment plant.

Under normal circumstances, a spill from the plant would be routed into a lagoon, before it's treated at the wastewater plant. But a power loss caused the lagoon pump to fail, which allowed the yeast to spill into a tributary of Paint Creek, south of Waukon, killing an unknown number of fish.

Wastewater workers were able to reroute the yeast to the plant less than an hour later, at about 11:45am. The yeast overwhelmed the treatment plant's capacity, which caused an ongoing release of partially treated wastewater.

The DNR fisheries staff conducted a fish count Monday, and recommended that livestock and pets be kept from drinking from the creek for three days, or until the water clears.

The DNR continues to investigate the fish kill, and will consider any enforcement action.

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