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UPDATE: Storm Lake, Iowa has wastewater spillage from Tyson Foods; some wastewater reaches the lake

Tyson foods says it's working with officials on cleanup effort
Storm Lake, Iowa - Ice Fishing
Posted at 12:57 PM, Jan 19, 2022

UPDATE 1/19/2022 5:25 PM

In a press release, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said that wastewater flowed into the City of Storm Lake’s storm sewers for less than an hour on Wednesday morning. DNR says that an estimated 16,500 gallons were released and some of it reached the lake, a popular recreation area in northwest Iowa.

Originating at a Tyson Foods plant, wastewater began flowing into a storm sewer at about 2:25 a.m, says DNR. The discharge ended about half an hour later at 2:58 a.m. The likely cause was a pump failure in the plant.

A Tyson spokeswoman sent a statement to 3 News Now on Wednesday afternoon.

"We took immediate action to contain the accidental release of water from the plant and are working cooperatively with city and state officials as we continue to implement our containment and cleanup measures and further evaluate the matter," wrote Kelly Hellbusch.

The storm sewer empties into a stormwater detention basin about a block north of Storm Lake, where Tyson staff began pumping it up. Tyson staff are working to estimate how much wastewater entered the lake, according to DNR.

Tyson and the City of Storm Lake collected water samples for testing. DNR staff indicated they do not expect environmental issues given the small amount that reached the lake.

DNR will monitor the cleanup and consider appropriate enforcement actions.

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