Sludge spill reported at FD plant

About 2,500 gallons of sludge spilled Sunday afternoon at the wastewater treatment plant in Fort Dodge, but state environmental officials indicated that the incident’s impact on the nearby Des Moines River will be limited.

”As this was a relatively small discharge compared to the amount of water in the river from recent snow melt, the dilution limited the impact to the river,” Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials said in a written statement.

The spill occurred between 3 and 4 p.m., according to Chad Schaeffer, the city’s director of engineering, business affairs and community growth. He said liquid sludge was being pumped from one tank to another as part of the daily operations at the plant, located at 1801 Ave. O.

Schaeffer said the worker operating the pump left it for less than10 minutes. When he came back, he found one end of a hose on the ground with sludge coming out of it.

The Department of Natural Resources reported that 55 gallons of sludge was recovered and placed in a tank. The department reported that about 2,445 gallons of sludge went into a nearby intake that discharges directly into the Des Moines River.

Department officials reported that they will continue to monitor the situation and consider appropriate enforcement action.